SOME OF THE MANY QUESTIONS ANSWERED ABOUT PEACE INITIATIVE AS SENIOR MINISTER AMORY COMMENDS CHURCH ORGANISATIONS FOR STERLING COMMUNITY OUTREACH
Government officials and members of the church fraternity came together on Thursday (November 14, 2019) at Government House to celebrate, encourage, recognise, and fellowship with each other, as well as to applaud the sterling community service of five Christian organisations.
The Faith Tabernacle Church of God Ministries, Gideon St. Kitts Camp, Methodist Radio Network, Moravian Church (Bethesda-New Dawn), and the Rivers of Living Water Christian Centre were all recognised as this year’s recipients of the 3rd Annual Ecclesiastical Affairs Outstanding Community Outreach Awards.
The award programme, organised by the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Ecclesiastical Affairs, was designed to deepen the relationship between faith-based institutions and the community they serve.
Senior Minister and Minister responsible for Ecclesiastical Affairs, the Honourable Vance Amory congratulated the evening’s awardees. He noted that the work that is undertaken by churches around St. Kitts and Nevis is having a real impact.
“We can look to the period of peace which we have had in the last eight to 10 months,” Senior Minister Amory stated, referring to the Peace Initiative that resulted in a truce between rival gangs and the establishment of alternative engagement opportunities for at-risk youth.
Several members of the church community are directly involved in the Peace Initiative acting as liaisons between the security forces and the gangs. Other churches have introduced activities such as after school programmes to engage young people. Further, the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs has received tremendous support from churches for its National School Chaplaincy Programme (NSCP). The NSCP was launched in January 2019 to provide support for students, teachers and parents in personal, moral, emotional and spiritual development matters.
Honourable Amory thanked the church membership for the “ongoing prayers and support for the policies of the government to ensure that we have an environment in our communities [where] peace abounds, and we can live in safety.”
The senior minister said that the awards stand as a tangible representation of the government’s support for the excellent work being carried out by the faith-based institutions and is designed to encourage other agencies involved in similar activities.
This development raises many questions as for months now citizens as well as the opposition ST. KITTS – NEVIS LABOUR PARTY, has been asking for transparency as it relates to the so called PEACE INITIATIVE. Calls to the churches mentioned above for a clearer understanding of how they are involved were unsuccessful up to press time. KYSSFM will give you more as this story unfolds.