Churches assist Grenada
December 3, 2004
Churches assist Grenada

The Association of Evangelical Churches of St. Vincent and the Grena-dines is this year celebrating its 25th anniversary.

The silver anniversary was observed with a week of special activities which began on October 31 and culminated with a Prayers and Thanksgiving Service on November 7. {{more}}

The Association’s president, Rev. John Lewis, stated that the silver jubilee is very significant because the Association, which was formed as a result of a 1979 disaster, is now assisting a disaster-struck country on its 25th anniversary.

“It was out of a similar situation that the Association started – in 1979 – out of the volcano eruption that the ministers got together and felt the need to begin such an organisation. And, what we are seeing, on our 25th anniversary is that we are responding to a relief need in another country,” Rev. Lewis stated.

The president added, “As part of our 25th anniversary celebration, it happens that we are involved in helping Grenada at this time.”

Former president of the Association, Rev. Maxwell Providence, also found the milestone significant.

“I think that’s rather interesting because 25 years ago, to be exact, we were exactly where Grenada is, only that we didn’t have as much damage to buildings. But we had the same level of disruptions, in that we had all the people from Gordon Yard to Rich-mond, and all the people from Georgetown to Fancy had to find places to live around town,” he stated.

Rev. Providence said members of the Association had to work together to help the church, especially in Grenada, to minister to its people.

Asked the biggest challenge that confronted the Association during its 25 years, Rev. Providence, who is a founding member, stated: “As I look back over the years, I think the biggest challenge is helping the individual denominations and churches to recognise the need for the Association in the nation.”

The former president explained that among the membership there is a oneness as far as recognising Almighty God as Lord and Saviour, though there are those who differ in doctrinal positions and would hold fast to their positions.

“We all come in at different points. And there are those who feel so strongly that their point is the only point at which we could enter that they are not too quick to associate with others who may have come in at a different point,” he stated.

Rev. Providence, threading somewhat cautiously, said that Jesus is the “only way” to salvation. And he was not suggesting that there were different ways to God. He, however, made the point that while the membership rallied around Jesus and what He did, they saw some things slightly different and approached them slightly differently.

“And, I think, that is one of the challenges for the church – that we can all recognise that we have some differences. But the things that unite us, that bring us together, are so much greater, so much more fundamental and significant than the things around which we differ that we should focus more on our commonalities. We can use our differences to strengthen us, rather than to separate us.”

The Association of Evangelical Churches comprises 13 denominations.