Wed | Sep 20, 2017

'Knocked down but not out' - Moravian pastor urges congregation to be vigilant, prayerful

Published:Monday | January 16, 2017 | 1:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
Members worship at Covenant Moravian Church on Molynes Road, St Andrew, during yesterday's service. The Moravian Cchurch has been rocked by a sex scandal after one of its pastors, Rupert Clarke, was charged with having sex with a minor.

Describing the ongoing sex scandal rocking the church as a "Red Sea" experience, members of the Covenant Moravian Church in St Andrew, while acknowledging that mistakes were made, vowed to remain strong in their faith.

Leading the church in a time of singing and adoration during service yesterday, Marsha Brown, member, was strident in her comments, making reference to the chorus How Great is our God as she urged congregants to be steadfast despite the hurdles.

The congregation proceeded to a time of prayer, which was led by the liturgist, Kevin St Hill, who stood in the gap for the former church leaders.

"Even in the middle of our problems, we are broken, battered and bruised people, and in our brokenness, we have done bad things to each other, to ourselves and against You (God). So from the bottom of our hearts, we want to tell You that we are sorry and we ask for Your mercy," he prayed.

He continued, "We remember our leadership both at the national level and at the level of this local congregation. You have called us by our names and so we call your children by their names. We call them not because they are perfect, but because they are made in your likeness and so we remember Rupert (Clarke), we remember Paul (Gardner) and Jermaine (Gibson) and we place them before You. We remember their families and we remember those on the other side of the situation."

In encouraging the congregation, the Reverend Penelope Morgan Owens, who delivered the sermon titled 'Knocked Down But Not Knocked Out', said it's time to be vigilant and prayerful.

"Because of what has been happening, I know many members feel down, but I want to tell you that we are not out."

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com