Kiwanians recognise members of the clergy
In countries worldwide, there has always been much concern about decent wages, working conditions and working hours.
Some may argue that not everyone is adequately compensated for the work they do. In fact, some can never be adequately compensated because their jobs are immeasurable, mainly because the functions and responsibilities are difficult to quantify and are borderless.
The clergy falls into this latter category and so when the Kiwanis Club of New Kingston, as part of their annual recognition of outstanding community leaders, sought to honour two deserving servants of God recently, it was considered without reservation.
The very Reverend Dr Burchell Taylor of the Bethel Baptist Church in Half-Way Tree, and Anglican Venerable Archdeacon Patrick Garth Cunningham of St Luke's Anglican Church in Cross Roads, both in St Andrew, have offered exemplary innovative leadership and spiritual guidance in the various communities where they have together served for over half a century. Their individual ministries have had positive, transforming and relevant impact on their congregations as well as people outside of their churches.
Reverend Dr Burchell Taylor was cited in part as "a statesman of the Christian Church and he's highly regarded and respected within the Christian community by basically all denominations. He is regarded as one of the best theologians of the Caribbean and a great thinker".
In equal prominence, Venerable Archdeacon Cunningham was cited as one who "loves and serves God in many ways, but he shows particular care and concern for the marginalised, especially those afflicted with HIV and AIDS".
In a moving ceremony, dubbed 'Thank You, Pastor', president of the Kiwanis Club of New Kingston, Paulette Kirkland, lauded the honourees as dedicated citizens and encouraged them to continue to offer outstanding service to the community. She congratulated them for giving of their time, talent and resources through counselling/guidance sessions, outreach programmes and prayers in times of needs, among other services.
She recognised that even as her club honours these stalwarts of the cloth they, too, are honouring and glorifying God. She thanked their families for the love and support they provide to them so that they are able to offer such selfless service in pastoral ministry.
Emcee for the event, President Claudette Carter, shared with the audience some of the ways in which they can honour their pastors personally and corporately as a church through prayer, showing appreciation, buying gifts and cards, obeying the bible and serving in the church. She added that the church can advocate for better salaries, organise a caring team to look after the pastor and his family, and pick up their medical expenses.