Jamaicans living in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, have been urged to believe in the country of their birth, and not to dwell on the negatives things they are told.
Delivering the Sermon at the Independence church service on Sunday (August 8), at the Benjamin Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ottawa, Pastor Floyd Spence called on the congregation to continue to believe in Jamaica and the Jamaican people.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, reading the Scripture Lesson at the Jamaica Independence Church Service, at the Benjamin Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ottawa, Canada. Behind him are the participating clergy, from left, Rev. Joel Charles, Pastor Floyd Spence and Bishop Trevor Hall.
“I know sometimes you are bombarded with the evil reports that are piped out of Jamaica, and we are told that our country and its people are scary and some of us have given up hope. But, let us believe in a country that helped many of us to be where we are today; a country that poured its resources into us, a country that believed in us even when some of us did not believe in ourselves,” he stated.
Pastor Spence said that not to believe in Jamaica was to give up hope.
“Not to believe is to resign to our fate. Not to believe is to accept the negative labels that others, both locally and abroad, have placed on us. Not to believe is to abandon the very system that nurtured us,” he said.
He called on the congregation, which included Jamaica’s Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, as well as Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Sheila Sealy Monteith and other members of the diplomatic corps, to join forces with the government and people of Jamaica to help make the country a better place.
Senior Pastor Floyd Spence of the Benjamin Seventh-day Adventist Church, Ottawa, Canada, delivering the Sermon at the Jamaica Independence Church Service on August 8.
The church service was the third and final event in Ottawa’s three-day celebration of Jamaica’s 48th year of Independence, August 6 to 8. It was organized by the Jamaica (Ottawa) Community Association (JOCA), under the patronage of the Jamaican High Commission.
The activities started with a flag raising ceremony on Independence Day at the Elgin Police Station, continued the following day with an outdoor festival, JAMDAY, and concluding on the Sunday with the church service.
Dr. Tufton, who was on an official visit to Canada, used the opportunity to celebrate at two of the events. He addressed the attendees at JAMDAY, thanking them on behalf of the people and government of Jamaica for continuing to maintain a link with the country of their birth. He also thanked them for maintaining that link.
Director of Jamaica’s Centre of Excellence for Advanced Technology in Agriculture, Dr. Derrick Deslandes (left), and Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. Marc Panton, at the Independence Church Service at the Benjamin Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ottawa, Canada on August 8.
The Minister, the first visiting Jamaican official in many years to celebrate independence in Ottawa, was asked to read the Scripture Lesson at the Church Service, while High Commissioner Sealy Monteith read the Prime Minister’s message.
Participating clergy included Rev. Mark Gordon, Bishop Trevor Hall and Rev. Joel Charles. Two 12-year-olds, Giselle Brown and Renee Scantlebury, recited Jamaica’s National Pledge. The congregation was also treated to Cheryl Shaw’s rendition of “I Know My Redeemer Lives.”