Mon | Aug 21, 2017

'Church shouldn't be boring'

Published:Saturday | June 18, 2016 | 6:00 AM
Hubert Anderson, founding member of the Seventh-day Adventist organisation HART Ministry.

As a founding member of the Seventh-day Adventist organisation, HART Ministry, which targets and inspires children and young adults across the country, Hubert Anderson is on a mission to make Jamaica better.

HART is an acronym comprising the first initials of four St Mary and Portland-based young professionals (Hubert and his friends, Adrian, Richard, and Tan) who decided to join forces last year and use their faith to engage and enlighten young people.

According to Anderson, 33, during that time, the group has developed into a pioneering community-based venture, delivering outreach programmes in Manchester, St Catherine, Trelawny, Portland, and throughout St Mary.

He told Family and Religion: "We are a group of young people who care for the social, spiritual, and physical aspect of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and have taken up this initiative to help young people know that church is not just about coming in, reading your Bible, and going home. Church shouldn't be boring. If it is, you are doing something wrong.

"We go into the communities, and do upliftment programmes at church, and use the social aspect to engage through things like games, which show that church is actually fun. In doing so, we are able to connect with the community and impact the lives of the young people.

 

CLOSER TO CHRIST

 

"We tell them that as young people, we need to put ourselves in the position where we know God is at the centre of our organisations, and what we're doing is worthwhile, and in doing so, we will draw others closer to Christ."

Anderson, who hails from Port Maria, St Mary, and teaches at the Hope Bay All-Age School in Portland, is optimistic about the prospects of the country's young Christians, but believes employers should be more flexible with Sabbath keepers, who are forbidden to work on Saturdays.

He explained: "I think the biggest problem young people face today is in the jobs market because, with most jobs, you have to work on Saturday, and if you don't, you won't be employed.

"I really think employers need to consider that we have a right to practice our religion. They say Saturday is the best business day, but that day is not for us, it's for God, and we need to swear allegiance to Him.

"Many young Seventh-day Adventists have a wide scope of knowledge that would be valuable to any company or organisation, but employers need to look into the situation and say: 'I know this person is brilliant, and the Sabbath is important to them. I'm going to give them that day off'."

As HART prepares to celebrate the first anniversary of its launch, Anderson hopes that over the next 12 months, he will see the younger generation become more passionate and committed.

He said: "I want our young people to be more dedicated in what they believe in and give us the support to keep doing things like our outreach programme. When we do all of these things and come together, we are stronger, but if we are divided, we're not going to reach anywhere."

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com