Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Charles Griffith is urging the Community Independence Celebrations Committees to put systems in place for “succession planning”.
Speaking during the annual Community Independence Celebrations Church Service at the St Peter Parish Church Speightstown, St. Peter, Griffith said that it is important for them to find ways to incorporate more youth in order to carry on the legacy.
“One of the things I want to impress upon the parish independence committees this morning is to start the process of succession planning because with 27 years in; this needs to go on and you need persons to pick up the mantle and to continue the process in community empowerment,” he said.
Griffith added that the pandemic changed the approach to how the independence celebrations were held.
“I have seen in the past where the gymnasium was absolutely packed with people from individual parishes cheering on their ambassadors but COVID-19 would have forced us to innovate because I have seen where technology was involved in the last two year,” he said.
He said that the future of the programme is based on those new young volunteers.
“I know that the longevity of this programme is primarily attributed to those volunteers who function at the parish independence committees throughout this country. I have seen in my own parish the growth of people who have participated in the particular programme,” he said.
The Minister added that there is a need to strengthen the parish independence committees and he promised that, under his watch, he will ensure that the “longevity” happens so the secretariats can live on.
Delivering the sermon, based on John 5:19, Reverend Canon Peter Haynes encouraged the congregation to put their faith in a God who heals and cares for them.
“In a context of a God where the cities are failing and the enemies are destroying them, John is saying do not fear but continue to place your faith and trust in a God who loves you, who understands and knows what he is doing in our lives. It is about building community and brothers and sisters. We are here not only to worship God but to [operate] in a sense of community,” he said.
Reverend Haynes encouraged the ambassadors to acknowledge that they are participating in an important part of the community which contributes to their growth and development.
“It is almost the end of what is taking place in education. It is not a pageant or fashion show or beauty contest of who can dress the best. It is one which calls on you to draw on your resources and on the gifts which God has given you and to use and build community,”he urged.
“We ensure you’re being taught not to search for jobs and be employed all your life but to employ yourselves and … and to become your own boss. To become your own person as an individual,” he added. (MR)