Jamaica Gleaner / Reverend Aston Carlyle, pastor of the Kingston-based Webster Memorial United Church, says church members must be willing to get proactive and do away with the “see no evil” mentality in order to promote peace at the community level.
Carlyle made the call while delivering a sermon at the 2018 Easter convocation of the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, in Montego Bay on Sunday.
The convocation, which was held under the theme ‘Disciples of Peace: Renewing and transforming God’s World’, was projected as a means of empowering persons to rally for peace at the community and national levels.
“As peacekeepers, we cannot adopt this ‘see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil’ mentality that threatens to undermine community life, for we know that when we turn a blind eye, we will turn more dead bodies over in our streets,” said Carlyle.
“Peace-making calls for creative thought and sustained dialogue, and it demands deliberate action. We must see to it that our homes become sanctuaries for battered women if necessary, and that our homes become safe havens for children who are seeking to escape abuse,” continued Carlyle.
“When we hear of dissonance in our homes, discord in the church, division in our communities, or dislocation in our country, it must tear up our hearts and our consciences and cause us to weep,” added Carlyle.
In his message, Reverend Norbert Stephens, the general secretary of the United Church in Jamaica, said that the church should partner with the government and the security forces in the pursuit of peace.
“We wish to join in partnership with the government and the security forces and to add a different dimension to this peace-making process. While we will always recognise the nature of our limitations, we will never opt for giving up,” said Stephens.