THE EDITOR, Sir:
The 2011 census is out and comments from many quarters have been aired, some of which question the exclusion of pertinent information, and some with a certain 'we are better than them' type of boasting.
The latter reaction pertains to certain denominations who gloat over their ascendancy in terms of church membership, while those of the more traditional communions are left to rationalise their losses, while promising to copy the more evangelical/Pentecostal forms of worship to recapture members.
I wonder if the churches should be playing the numbers game, rather than asking the question: 'How is my church better able to live fully in Christ and spread the Gospel in a more holistic way for the liberation of all?'
This question is not meant to obfuscate the facts, but rather to expand what the Gospel and church are about. Worship is certainly one aspect of serving the Lord, but the proof of the pudding of such service is in the application of faith to life in such a way that we are not caught up in the mere 'feel good' quagmire of religion.
For instance, the traditional churches have slipped badly from 1962 until 2012. At the same time, it must be conceded that these same churches are the ones which have contributed, and still contribute the most, to the integral development of our people through education and works of mercy. Think Food For The Poor, Credit Union, CAFFE, hospitals/clinics, and one-third of the educational institutions in Jamaica.
This is no time for gloating or 'sheep stealing' but rather to reach out to those who are looking for some meaning in life as they struggle to avoid drowning in the sea of despair.
I am , etc
Donald J. Reece
Jamaica Council of Churches