Pastor: Get rid of violence, corruption to realise Vision 2030

Pastor: Get rid of violence, corruption to realise Vision 2030

Observer staff reporter

Friday, January 17, 2020

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BISHOP Conrad Pitkin said corruption, violence and other societal ills must be stamped out if Jamaica is to realise its 2030 vision to be the place of choice to live, work, do business, and raise families.

“I suggest to you that there are some challenges we must confront with a view of addressing them directly.

“We have a divided gap of inequality among our people. The inequity confronts many in their daily experiences in society; [causes] disenfranchisement, the breakdown in family life, the lack of respect and respect for others, the lack of economic inclusion among the poor in depressed community; injustice, aggression and the huge monster in the room… corruption and crime – the twin twin brothers destroying our nation and stifling economic welfare and well-being,” Bishop Pitkin continued.

“My brothers and sisters, crime and corruption know no colour, no upper class, no middle class, no lower class, no political party, no division, and no ethnic group. We have to address these challenges and overcome them if we are to achieve the 2030 national goals of empowerment, social security, economic prosperity, and the health and well-being of all Jamaicans living in a healthy natural environment,” the clergy man said.

Bishop Pitkin was addressing the the 40th National Leadership Prayer Breakfast yesterday morning at Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston. With the galloping crime rate, Pitkin implored all Jamaicans to be more empathetic towards each other.

“We need to be a more loving, caring and just society, where aggression is minimised; where inequity and inequality are directly addressed, where there is economic inclusion enabling all Jamaicans to share the wealth and prosperity that we all will work together to achieve. A society where we are our brother's keepers, a society where God and country come first, one nation under God, a society where, as a people, we are sacredly ethical in our economic and social dealings and practices,” the bishop said.

At the same time, Bishop Pitkin called on employers to pay their employees decent, liveable wages. Explaining that a society with sound moral and ethical values will allow the pursuant peace, he said love will conquer hate and peace will be triumphant over war.

“Let us cultivate a heart of forgiveness, forgiving one another and be willing to forgive even those who have wronged you… forgive one another so that we may experience the power of healing and inner peace,” he added.

The annual event, held under the theme 'Pursuing the Power of Peace', brought together leaders from the Government, Church and civil society for prayers, and to seek divine direction for the development of the country.

Proceeds from the breakfast will be donated to the child resiliency programme of Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA).

VPA Founder Dr Kim Scott, who said she was grateful for the contributions, told Jamaica Observer that the programme is designed to build resilience in children who are vulnerable to crime.

“These children have high levels of exposure to domestic violence and community violence, and they have been traumatised.

If we don't offer some support we run the risk of them entering into a life of crime and violence later, so we take referrals and they come after school,” Dr Scott explained.

The VPA works with schools, churches, mental health services, community-based organisations, and the police to create a network of protection for vulnerable young people.

It offers academic support, life-skills training and mentoring, family support, counselling and nutritional support.

“As we do all that is humanly possible to bring peace and prosperity to our nation, we recognise the limitations of human capabilities and call upon our Heavenly Father to restore and uplift our country and to bring peace and prosperity to our land,” Prime Minister Andrew Holness tweeted at the event.

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