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Anglicans told look at needs of church

Anglicans told look at needs of church


Anglicans are being advised not to place emphasis on personality when electing leaders; they should first look at the needs of the body they are electing the person to lead. After doing so, they would know whose personality fits the bill.

This advice came from the Reverend Father Von Watson, Rector of St. Mary’s Church, Barbados who on Monday morning delivered a lively, thought-provoking sermon at a mass at St. George’s Cathedral, Kingstown. {{more}} The mass, which preceded the synod to elect a Bishop of the Diocese of the Windward Islands, was attended by clergy and lay delegates from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Grenada.

The Bishop who is elected, he exhorted, should be a “bridge builder”, to unify the people of three independent nations into one family in the Church. He added that there was “no time for Episcopal bench warming in today’s world.” The newly elected Bishop must therefore not use time as an “excuse for non-performance.” He opined that the new holder of the office previously held by Dr. Sehon Goodridge should be visionary, energetic, imaginative and a creative thinker under God.

Father Watson further urged the gathering to make a special effort to reach out to a special group of members whom he said the church had taken for granted. He described these persons as being in a triangle of strain, stress, triumphs, tribulation and pressure. They, he said, are the ones in the 35 to 50 age group who are caught up with the needs of their children and ageing parents as well as the pressures of keeping their jobs in today’s economy. Added to that, they then have to make a decision as to how they could fit God into their programs.

He called on the church to begin to affirm this group in any possible way, and never take them for granted. He stressed that this group will “ensure that the young Church is sustained. If they are disengaged, their children will be disengaged.”

Watson made the point that it was the Anglican Church that had translated the most widely used version of the Bible, the King James Version, yet, “the new men have come along and want to give the impression that we do not know the Bible.” He reminded the gathering that the traditions of the Church, like baptism of infants, the use of incense and saying daily mass were practised by Christians even before the books of the Bible were put together.

He further encouraged, “We have no excuse to be terrified. God has not given us a spirit of fear. Make sure no one scares us into oblivion. Many are looking forward to the day when this Cathedral becomes a storeroom for some businessman. Under God it will not happen!” he exclaimed to echoes of amens from the congregation.