“Government and the Church must become partners in addressing social ills” -Minister Harmon at RLM’s 11th anniversary
Georgetown, Guyana – (October 1, 2018) Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, last evening, sounded a call for the Church and other faith-based organisations to partner with the Government to address social ills, noting that the two entities share common goals and a vision of a good life for its peoples.
The Minister of State was at the time addressing the congregation of the Restoration and Life Ministries (RLM) in South Ruimveldt at a special service held in observance of the church’s 11th anniversary, which was held under the theme, “Striving for Perfection.”
Minister Harmon noted that the Government and the Church must work together to build social cohesion, moral rearmament, human dignity and equal opportunity for all Guyanese. This, he therefore said, makes the Government and faith-based organisations natural partners in the fight against racial and ethnic division, discrimination, poverty, crime and all other social ills that plague society.
“Like your church, the Government strive every day to improve its approach to policy-making and implementation. This is never easily achieved. However, it is important that we keep trying. Our efforts are certainly made easier with the input of faith-based organisations such as yours. The Government is cognisant of the fact that this Church serves the community and provides spiritual succour and important relief for the members and community. I am inspired by the leadership and the work of the church,” he said.
Referencing President David Granger’s speech at the Solomon’s Temple in Berbice in August 2017, Minister Harmon said that the Church must play a greater role in fostering social cohesion and national unity.
“In his address, the President noted that the church cannot close its eyes. It cannot be unaware of the causes and only act when the consequences become unbearable and painful. The Christian church, as one of the oldest institutions, together with the Hindu and Islamic faiths has a duty to act to help to eliminate the social problems that affect the region. The church must attend to a person’s spiritual as well as material needs. The Church’s mission has a social character,” Minister Harmon shared.
He therefore called for a concerted effort to be undertaken even as the country prepares for a new oil and gas industry, which Minister Harmon said will bring even more spiritual and technical challenges.
Meanwhile, Founder and Senior Pastor of the Church, Mr. Wade Ridley said that the Church “had small beginnings”, but has now grown to provide spiritual guidance and community service to hundreds.
He noted that in addition to a recently held health fair in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health, the Church has been working with the village of Capoey in the Pomeroon- Supenaam (Region Two). Not only has the Church provided clothing and other essential amenities to the community but it is also working to set up an agro-processing facility for the residents as a means of financial and economic empowerment.
The event was also attended by Minister of Social Protection, Ms. Amna Ally, Mayor of Georgetown, Ms. Patricia Chase- Green and other Pastors and Deacons from sister churches including General Bishop Dr. John Smith of the Central Assembly of God Church.