Our Readers' Opinions
November 6, 2015
Tears for my Parish Church

Editor: An event of Saturday, October 17 has caused discord which openly conflicts and contradicts oneness within my worshipping community at St Phillip’s Parish Church in the Valley.

The decision to grant permission to a partisan political entity to use the church’s electricity to facilitate the NDP rally has distorted and chocked the church’s mission of years with superstition and, I hope, erroneous assumptions.{{more}} That there are dissensions and gulfs within churches in matters of opinion cannot be denied.

Leaders and those holding offices within the church, clergy, laity, especially church councils and boards, must never overlook the consideration that the church is a fellowship of its believing members. The holding of office is unimportant to whether or not, in exercising that office, justice is done in the eyes of the worshipping community.

In many church communities there is the constant danger where some who hold office use their specific distinctions and differentiations to accomplish their individual interests. The church is always, and in all cases, the whole people and God. Unity and equality within the brethren should supersede all other behaviours.

It is common knowledge that politics in St Vincent and the Grenadines is not an empty word. The divisiveness it contains and encourages is unparalleled. Truth is what it is, and the truth about politics as it currently is will make an unpleasant sermon. Regrettably, it is the story of the powerful and ingrained prejudices of one tribe against another. It is the formula for dissent and disagreement and has the capacity to condemn my parish community to dispersion.

My parish church has endured a rich spiritual witness, spanning a hundred years and more. Its foundation is deeply rooted in Christ, not politics. The existence of the church does and should not depend on the largesse of politics or any political party. The church, in this age of unprecedented secularism, should be cautious of its responses to situations presented to it.

The position to give in to the political desire of the NDP is unfortunate in the sense that it illustrates the extent to which mere mortals will descend to seek the satisfaction which their nature demands; to attain their share of the world’s goods.

It must never be taken for granted that the material resources to sustain the church community are derived through the free and willing in-gathering of the gifts of all. Placed for the proclamation of the gospel, it is essentially on that issue that my convictions clash with and my path diverges from those in whose authority I place the trust of managing the affairs of the parish.

The mission to bring about the living message of its own sign of salvation is a big enough task for St Phillip. Let us all work to accomplish this vital task in a responsible way.

Keep St Phillip, my Parish Church, out of partisan politics.