G-G calls on leaders to build a crime-free country

Saturday, January 19, 2019

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GOVERNOR-GENERAL Sir Patrick Allen has called on all leaders in Jamaica to join forces and build a nation that is free from crime and violence.

“We are blessed with the capacity to find solutions to the problems which we encounter. What we need is the will, the consistency and the fixity of purpose to do what must be done to build a Jamaica which is consistent with the desires of the people of faith and with those who have shaped our national development plan, and most importantly, to build a Jamaica where crime and violence have no place,” he emphasised.

The governor general was speaking at the 39th National Leadership Prayer Breakfast, held at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Thursday.

Also in attendance were Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who read the first lesson; and Leader of the Opposition Dr Peter Phillips, who read the second lesson.

The governor general reminded the audience of the purpose of the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast. “The genesis of this annual event began out of a national concern for healing, building togetherness, tolerating difference and as our national anthem promotes, showing true respect for all,” he said.

The breakfast was held under the theme 'I Pledge', as an inspiration from Dr John C Keane's book, 'I Promise' in which he took an in-depth look at Jamaica's National Pledge and was passionate about the role it could play in nation-building.

Meanwhile, Jamaica's first female president of the Jamaica Baptist Union (JBU) and pastor of the St Ann's Bay Circuit of Baptist Churches, the Rev Karen Kirlew, called on Jamaica's leaders present, to pledge to serve the nation truthfully.

She said that 'I Pledge' calls on the truthfulness of our pronouncements. “When we bring a heart of sincerity to the pledge we make… it's an honest declaration… so keep focused on the pledge we make, keep focused on the path, and keep focused on Jamaica and what we hope to achieve for Jamaica's sake,” she said.

Rev Kirlew also encouraged leaders to be covenant keepers, rather than covenant breakers.

“We're not being asked to take an oath today, we're being asked to make a pledge. I pledge is a continuous act of service to Almighty God and to God's people. We are making a pledge that whatever the outcome is, we will stand by it. This is our covenant where we are participants in the life of God, and what God wills for God's people,” she said.

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