Excerpt from Jamaica Observer column published 23 January 2017
by Jean Lowrie-Chin
In reflecting on the inauguration of President Donald Trump, a Facebook friend posted, “Today I express gratitude for not waking up in America this morning.” Still, many of our family and friends in the Jamaica Diaspora in the US continue to enjoy a better quality of life than we do in Jamaica. The heartbreaking news out of Hanover that two small children were shot dead along with their father in what seems to be a reprisal killing, brought Member of Parliament Ian Hayles to tears as he expressed frustration to reporters.
When the cameras panned around the Grand Jamaica Ballroom at the Jamaica Pegasus at those powerful heads of church and state bowed in devotion at last Thursday’s National Leadership Prayer Breakfast, I was reminded of a passage from the Bible – James 2 14-18: “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? … Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
Our Jamaican landscape is dense with churches, and so if these churches can respond to this challenge, and call our local leaders into partnership, Jamaica would be a peaceful country. Church leaders should seek to befriend the 63 Members of Parliament and the 226 Parish Councillors. They should also reach out to the appointees to boards of government agencies, and seek updates from them on how their agencies are serving their country. By inviting representatives of the Health Authorities, Social Development Commission, JAMPRO, HEART-NTA, NHT, NHF to your church council meetings, you may learn of opportunities for church members of which they were not aware. Our church leaders have the potential to be development monitors for Jamaica.
JCF 150th Anniversary Launch
The Jamaica Constabulary Force had an impressive launch of their 150th Anniversary celebrations last Thursday. We were reminded of the brains and talent that reside in the JCF as we heard addresses from Acting Commissioner Novelette Grant and award-winning officers, and the excellent performances of the JCF Band and the JCF Choir. The JCF continues to be one of the most philanthropic organisations in Jamaica. Did you know that in recognition of having the largest youth organisation in Jamaica and annual fundraising for Special Olympics, the JCF received the award for the Most Outstanding Employee Giving Organisation from United Way of Jamaica in 2014?
The crooks will always want to sow distrust for the JCF, so let us be smarter than them and not use the deeds of a few, to condemn the entire Police Force. Congratulations on your 150th Anniversary, JCF!