Dean of St Michael Cathedral, Rev’d Jeffrey Gibson, today suggested that the Barbados Labour Party, like Moses, could lead the island out of its current circumstances as there is now no place for ‘fancy rhetoric’.
Delivering the sermon in observance of the party’s 80th anniversary, he spoke of Barbados now being afflicted by ‘individualism’ and ‘disintegration’ “and instead of the pursuance of the common good, there is now a resurgence of narrow interest groups competing for the goods”.
In a sermon themed on Exodus, he spoke of Moses telling his people not to be afraid and stand firm, and said, “there is a lot of fear in Barbados” which causes self-doubt and stops the nation from moving forward.
Remarking that the BLP thanksgiving is for its 80th anniversary, Rev’d Gibson said, “it is noteworthy that Moses was 80-yearsold when he was called by God and given the assignment of delivering the children of Israel from bondage”.
“Interestingly, your founder leader, the Right Excellent Sir Grantley Adams was referred to by the oppressed Barbadian masses of the 1930s, 40s and 50s as Moses.
“In this BLP 80th year, and on the eve of a general election the question you must seriously ask yourselves, is this: are we similarly being called to assume national leadership to point the way to a new beginning?”
“Your answer will dictate your response to this historic opportunity,” the Dean advised.
He twinned the future of church and state, while quoting American spiritual and civil rights leader Martin Luther King in stressing that the church must be a critic and guide to the state, or risk becoming irrelevant.
“We are at the crossroads in both the Anglican Church and in the state. In 17 days’ time, the Synod of the Diocese of Barbados will meet to elect the 14th Bishop of the diocese.
“Significantly, in the not too distant future the electorate in our country will be called upon to select a new administration to govern the affairs of state.”
He said that religious believers may see this juncture “as a divine opportunity for faith and politics, the sacred and the secular, to experience God’s liberating presence to bring new life to our nation”.
Dean Gibson said that for “both church and country to enable positive movement beyond crossroads, there must be, first and foremost, visionary leadership… which inspires, motivates, and facilitates a search for realistic, relevant and meaningful solutions to the challenges we collectively face”.
He however said that such visionary leadership “is not defined by fancy rhetoric that sounds sweetly to the ears but which the brain finds disappointingly lacking in substance. The proof is always found in the results”.
The Dean said “the changing times in which we live means that we can no longer continue business as usual. If we do so we are at great risk of continuing to see the same results, which are the source of our current disappointment and frustration”.
Adding to his call for change, and against the backdrop of the BLP seeking to replace a decade-old government, he added, “the world today is not the world of 10 years ago”.