Convenor, Umbrella Group of Churches, Rev. Dr. Lenworth Anglin, says the church is recommitting itself to playing a major role in the rebuilding of critical areas of national life, as the country unites in celebration of its first 50 years of independence.
Dr. Anglin, who was giving the main address at the 32nd staging of the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast (NLPB), at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, on January 19, said the church will continue to unite with all major stakeholders, including the Government, in an effort to provide all citizens with education and training, health services, and safety and protection.
"As part of this nation and as a church, we believe that every citizen is entitled access to certain provisions… and we will continue to work to ensure that this is a reality. We will continue to assist in the rebuilding of our economy and will together, see to the renewal of our communities," he said.
Dr. Anglin, who is also Chairman of the Church of God in Jamaica, said the church also has a leading role to play in restoring an emphasis on positive family life. "The church, while continuing to make our practical contribution in addressing these issues, will continue to lead in the efforts to restore certain values and attitudes in this nation," he said.
He further asserted that no nation can speak of greatness, without observing, maintaining and practising basic values and attitudes.
"I suggest that as we seek to rebuild, we must call on everyone in this society, at all levels to unite in this process. Transformation of this country is necessary and possible, change for better will continue to come and the church will sit at any table that speaks to transformation,” he added.
In his remarks, Chairman, National Leadership Prayer Breakfast Committee, Rev. Dr. Peter Garth, called on leaders to use their time wisely as they work towards nation building.
"If we are going to turn Jamaica around, we will have to appreciate, administer and allocate our time wisely. There is far too much idleness taking place in Jamaica. We need to get to work and to create in Jamaica a work ethic that is rooted in disciplined, hard work," he said.
He further encouraged the nation’s leaders to keep their integrity intact, "to say no to what is wrong” and to hold on to their virtues. "Don't let go of what is right and watch God steal the show," he said.
This year's NLPB was held under the theme, ‘Jamaica 50: Reconcile…Rebuild…Rejoice’.In attendance were leaders and dignitaries from the political, church, academic and business communities. These included the Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen; Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, and Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Andrew Holness.
The NLPB, which is held under the patronage of the Governor-General, is held annually to foster greater unity in the nation, particularly among the nation’s leaders at all levels, through prayer and fellowship.
The event was first held in January 1981, arising out of the church’s concern for peace and justice, reconciliation and unity in the nation. The Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) has been sponsoring the event since 1985.
The NLPB Committee will this year focus on renovating the Glenhope Place of Safety, in St. Andrew, a section of which was destroyed by fire last year, from funds raised at the event.