Stakeholders in Manchester bank on 'special touch of Jesus'Friday, July 02, 2021
BY KASEY WILLIAMS
MANDEVILLE, Manchester – Stakeholders in this south-central parish say divine help is needed to resolve social ills and issues of violence, with the hope of becoming a model parish.
Political representatives of Manchester as well as church, police and business leaders congregated at the New Beulah Moravian Church for a day of prayer on Wednesday.
“We needed a time of prayer to raise the spiritual temperature and to seek divine help as we work towards the health and well-being of our parish,” said chairman of the Mandeville Ministers' Association, Reverend Anthony Chung.
“We need divine help to be able to attend to the ills that are affecting us… We believe that we have a role to play and, as we partner together with the social agencies, we believe that together we can make Manchester a model parish for the rest of this nation, and this nation a model country for the rest of this region and for the rest of this world,” he added.
Custos Garfield Green, who partnered with the Manchester Prays Committee, said values and dignity need to be restored.
“It is my strong belief that, as a people, we need the guidance, healing, comfort, and special touch of Jesus to help us restore our values and dignity as a people and as a country. We cry and we complain over the indiscipline and social ills around us and we express our desires for change, but the change and inspiration we seek [is] within us; let us be bold and put our faith to work,” Green said.
“We are going to rebuild this country, family by family, community by community, parish by parish. It is to this end we seek to engage the people of the parish in prayer,” he added.
Government minister and Member of Parliament for Manchester North Eastern Audley Shaw supported the initiative, as he said the country is in a crisis of falling standards.
“We have a crisis in Jamaica. It's a crisis of falling standards and it is not too late for us to turn it around, and that's why initiatives like what you're doing here today are very important in that process,” said Shaw.
Assistant Commission of Police (ACP) Michael Smith, who is in charge of the Area Three police division that includes Clarendon, Manchester and St Elizabeth, said it is the only police area with reductions in murders.
“Every single Wednesday we pray for Area Three and we have seen results in our initiative, and [it] is just broadening what we would have started. Once men and women decide to pray, God will intervene. He will change and transform the landscape of our nation,” said ACP Smith.
Member of Parliament for Manchester North Western Mikael Phillips said the parish has been plagued by domestic violence.
“It has been a parish that leads the country, at some points, in domestic violence. I want us to pray for those who have experienced it,” he said.