Adventist head bemoans social ills …Plans to be part of the solution through its network of churches
President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica, Pastor Everett Brown in re-affirming the Seventh-day Adventist Church's commitment to Jamaica, has called for members to be part of the solution in solving the many social issues that are "destroying the very heart of this nation".
"We are convinced that there is a special work for the Seventh-day Adventist Church to do," said Pastor Brown.
"A work that some would define as service, a unique ministry that the Church has been called to accomplish. It is a ministry that recognises our obligation to lead sinners to Jesus Christ and speak and act as the voice of God in a hedonistic and perverse world."
Brown was speaking at the service of installation and consecration of the officers, directors and executive committee of the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (JAMU) held at the Mandeville Seventh-day Adventist Church last Sunday.
"Today," Brown continued, "the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica, reaffirms its commitment to God and the preaching of the gospel. We also reaffirm its commitment to the nation-building values of respect, excellence in humility, compassion, integrity, fairness, commitment, forgiveness, responsibility, punctuality, justice for all and trust. We call upon our members to be true to these standards, and our fellow citizens to be exemplary on these principles.
"The administration believes that our mandate to lead people to experience the saving grace of God is not negotiable, but we cannot, as a Church, turn and walk away from those social issues that are destroying the very heart of this nation ... the issues that beckon our resolute actions and articulate voices as citizens of this country are numerous," he said.
"The murders and murder toll are alarming and concern all of us well-thinking Jamaicans and must be treated by all entities including the Church as a very serious social issue. All stakeholders must meet at the table and utilise collective wisdom and resources to combat, condemn, and conquer the crime giant."
Brown added: "Furthermore, far too many of our children are abused; socialised in dysfunctional homes and communities; not attending school; and are missing. Must we not go the extra mile in securing, planning for, and helping our children maximise their full potential towards a better country and a brighter world? Also, too many brilliant high-school graduates, in the church and community at large, because of financial limitation, are not getting an opportunity to pursue tertiary education, the church is ready to be a part of the solution.
"Let us do more managerially and sacrificially to make tertiary education more accessible to our people. The Church is ready to do more to become a part of the solution."
He said that, in addition, the Church would be engaged, where possible and appropriate, in addressing some of the social issues that are negatively affecting the community in which it serves under the strategic objectives of:
1. Total membership involvement in Evangelism and ministry of the Church.
2. A recommitment to Adventist Christian education.
3. Family Wellness including healthy lifestyle
4. Christian Stewardship
5. The Church in the community, which constitute the fundamental building block of our involvement in communities through our more than 740 congregations across Jamaica.
Brown said the Church's ministry would reflect the ministry of Jesus Christ, and therefore, "as we embark on this new epoch in the life of the Adventist church in Jamaica, we earnestly seek the blessings of God for our members and the nation at large in 2016 and beyond".