It's poor parenting!
Church blames families for societal breakdown
POINTING to examples of social and moral decay in the country, the New Testament Church of God in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands recently launched a programme intended to reduce the incidence of divorce and sharpen parenting skills, which it said are lacking.
"Parenting skills are lacking in our society. The family is the initial path for bringing structure to our society, so when there is a fall-down in the home we have to reflect on whether we are parenting the right way," said Cynthia Williams of Portmore New Testament Church in St Catherine where the launch took place.
"The schools, the prisons, and the students are having problems and I am pointing this back to a lack of proper parenting," she continued.
The new programme is a family life ministry which is an amalgamation of the couples', senior citizens' and singles' ministries, the family training-hour programme and the parenting group. Its purpose, the church said, is to improve family relationships by encouraging the development of strong, spiritual, nurturing and supportive bonds between family members both in the church and in the community.
Head of the outfit, and pastor of McDonald Lane New Testament Church, Reverend Dennis Walton said the church has seen the need to intervene and to help the many dysfunctional families and families that are hurting in both countries, and that it was his hope that the ministry would bring about the restoration of morals and values in society.
"We really believe that if the families can be reached they can be ministered to. If healing can take place, if proper counselling can be offered, we really believe that so many families can be saved, particularly our children and the couples, and I believe that something great is going happen," he said.
"I am also hoping that we will have less divorce cases and less people coming to church to shout and sing but returning home feeling empty and hurt," he added.
In addition to that, Williams said her church, through parenting counselling sessions and other support programmes, will be seeking to establish parenting committees in basic and primary schools to help parents become better.
Couples will also be another major area of focus.
"Society begins with a couple and if they have a strong foundation then when the children come into the picture they will pass that on to their children, and if we start with the good foundation then some of the challenges that we are having in society would be minimised," said Christine Hendrickson, chair of the couples' ministry.
On Sunday, members of the church's 350 branches islandwide travelled to Portmore to participate in the launch of the ministry
which bears the motto: Building Healthy Christian Families... Building Healthy Congregations.
The Cayman launch is scheduled to take place within the next two weeks.