NEW YORK, NY. Published, August 15, 2012.
Mr. LaMont, who received a warm welcome from the congregation, used the occasion to underline the historical importance of the month of August to Jamaicans everywhere. Mindful of the significance of the day/date (August 1, Emancipation Day), he cited the Emancipation Act, the Frome (Westmoreland) Uprising and Independence from Great Britain as key indices in development and prosperity as a nation, since 1962.
The special prayer service at the Bronx Bethany Church of the Nazarene, in the north Bronx, climaxed a day of prayer and fasting, marking the eighth annual observance of the Jamaica Diaspora Day of Prayer and Fasting for Jamaica’s spiritual renewal and transformation.
A capacity audience heard prayers, inspirational messages and songs from selected clergy and an enthusiastic, interdenominational congregation, led by host pastor, Rev. Dr. Samuel Vassel, supported by the Bronx Bethany Church Choir and the Youth Ensemble.
Among the participating clergy, Rev. Granville Senior of the United Church of the Bronx, offered ‘a 911 call to heal our land and to bring Jamaicans back with love for one another’, in his prayer session on repentance, restitution, and reconciliation.
The Rev. Noel Chin of the United Methodist Church, offered thanks for, ‘how far we have come as an independent nation in (the fields of) education, sports, democracy, and technology’.
“We are a little dot (geographically) and from very humble beginnings, but we have made a big impact on the world,” noted Rev. Chin during his session, celebrating past blessings of the nation.
The final session of prayer was offered by Rev. Nigel Powell of the United Moravian Church. And the congregation gave him a resounding ‘Amen’ as he prayed for a vision and the future of our island nation, Jamaica.
Expressing grave concerns for the preservation of family life, the growth and renewal of the church without spiritual and ethical compromise, Rev. Powell offered that, ‘the future is ours, we will not fail for Christ is with us’.
The Church Choir delivered a powerful rendition of the Lord’s Prayer, as did soloist Shree Williams who received a standing ovation for her song rendition of “The High Places”.
The special prayer service, one of several held around the world, was organized by the Intercessory Prayer Ministry International, the Clergy Coalition, and the Jamaican Consulate-NYC.
The Rev. Dr. Samuel Vassel served as chair of the 2012 planning committee and reported success for this year’s initiative.