THE 19th church-driven Emancipation Lecture, which takes place this Sunday at the Meadowbrook United Church in St Andrew, is to be presented this year as part of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of Independence celebrations and will feature an explosion of national culture, including music, dance and poetry.
Hosted by several Kingstonbased churches, this year’s lecture will be delivered by the head of the Department of Economics at the University of the West Indies, Dr Damien King on the theme “Emancipation and Economic Empowerment”.
Among the cultural items to be presented are a combined church choir, the BaSiS Performing Arts Ensemble and the Boulevard Children’s choir.
The series of lectures began in 1995 in observation of Emancipation Day and presenters have all explored the ‘lessons and the legacy of emancipation’.
As with previous years, Sunday’s event is planned and organised by a special committee comprising representatives from several Kingston-based churches.
This year, the churches involved are the Boulevard and Bethel Baptist churches, the Meadowbrook, Hope and Webster Churches of the United Church of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands and the United Theological College of the West Indies. The committee is chaired by renowned businessman and member of the Meadowbrook congregation Elon Beckford.
Host minister at the Meadowbrook United, Rev Derik Davidson affirmed that although this year’s theme is timely, coming as it does in the 50th year of Jamaica’s political independence, economic independence continues to be elusive. “As we contemplate the theme... we are reminded that terms like righteousness and justice are biblical words whose repetition may have numbed us to their meaning. Indeed that numbing, or even dumbing of our minds is a major problem in our society.”
The lecture continues the renewed thrust of Jamaican churches to become more involved in placing social issues on the national agenda.