Goodridge: Churches preying on Anglicans
Stand firm. That is the challenge being put before the Anglican community in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Delivering the sermon at the ordination of Deacon Coleridge Brooker to the Holy Order of Priests at the St. Georgeâs Cathedral, Reverend Curtis Goodridge, rector of the Parish of St. Lucy, Barbados, last week Friday evening used the opportunity to warn the congregation against the several denominations âpreying on Anglicansâ. His very dynamic sermon pricked the corns of many as he appealed to Anglicans to get their houses in order.
âIn the Caribbean today everybody wants to set up a church and be bishops,â the Barbadian priest pointed out.
He said times like these demanded men who are courageous, firmly grounded in the Lord and who, when they open their mouths, people are forced to listen. He said he saw Brooker fitting into this role.
Rev. Goodridge told the church it pains him at times when he reflects on the issue that in many of the Anglican churches, âThere is more fire in the pews than in the pulpits.â
He added, âMany of our churches are dead and lukewarm because many of our members are dead and lukewarm.â The priest also warned the gathering against allowing secularism to enter the realms of the church. Rev. Goodridge said it was sad to say it appears that in the Anglican Church, society is leading the church. âWe must never lower our standards. The church must never go down the standards of this world,â said the Lordâs anointed.
He further stated that at times one cannot differentiate between the church and society because what is happening in society is also happening in the church. However he challenged the church to be the vision of society.
Another issue dealt with by the Barbadian priest is the concept shared by many that the work of the church is mainly for the bishops, priests and deacons. âYou may not be able to preach like Paul but you can preach without even opening your mouths…the way you live can draw others to the Lord; the things you say or do can also do the same,â Rev. Goodridge stated.
Deacon Brooker, a Barbadian by birth, was reminded by Rev. Goodridge that his task ahead would not be an easy one. Brooker was also challenged to take stands for Jesus.
âIt may cause you to become unpopular. If everyone loves you, something is definitely wrong with you. You are not in a popularity contest,â Brooker was told.
âOur task as clergymen is not to draw others to us but to the Lord,â Rev. Goodridge emphasised.
The new priest was also told that at times the life of a priest can be very lonely; however, the Lord will be his comforter.
Deacon Brooker was wished a fruitful ministry by his fellow clergymen and the congregation shortly after he was ordained to the priesthood by Dr. Sehon Goodridge, bishop of the Windward Islands.
He was appointed the assistant priest of the St. Georgeâs Cathedral.