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Christian Church leaders speak with one voice to help poor

Leaders of various Christian denominations in Trinidad and Tobago have pledged their continued service to the poor during the worldwide pandemic. Their ‘Declaration of Solidarity among Christian Churches’ is below.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me, to proclaim good news to the poor.”

These are the words with which Our Lord Jesus Christ began his public ministry (Lk 4:18) as he read the scroll in the synagogue in Nazara. We too, as Christian leaders, read that same scroll as well as the scroll of the current global pandemic, which invite us as Christian leaders to act collectively in solidarity with and in service of the poor.

With this in mind, ten Christian leaders gathered together on a Zoom platform on Friday, April 24, 2020. The purpose of the meeting was to unite us in a common voice of concern and to be a voice for the voiceless so that all may have fullness of life.

We ten Christian leaders stand committed in the name of Our Lord and Risen Saviour Jesus Christ to attend to the poor and the most vulnerable in our society at this time. Jesus says to us clearly in Matthew 25: “When I was hungry you gave me food; when I was thirsty you gave me drink.”

We promise to work together, to share resources, ideas and best practices for the benefit of those most in need in our society. The current challenge of the global pandemic cannot be adequately addressed by one voice nor by several individual voices, but by one collective voice reflecting our common concern for God’s suffering people.

We invoke the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom, to guide us along this path, with no self-seeking purpose or self-aggrandisement, but with the sole commitment to help those most in distress and affected by the current pandemic.

We ask you the people of our beloved twin-island nation to pray for the success of this common Christian social undertaking. We encourage you to be your brother’s and sister’s keeper and may God who has started this good work in us bring it to fulfillment (Phil 1:7).

Unanimously endorsed by:

– The Most Rev Charles Jason Gordon, Roman Catholic Church

– Bishop Don Hamilton, Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies

– Rev Dr Ulston Patmore Smith, Moravian Church Trinidad Conference

– The Rt Rev Claude Berkley, Anglican Church

– Rev Mark David, Siparia Open Bible Church

– Rev Desmond Austin, President, Trinidad & Tobago Council of Evangelical Churches

– Bishop Benjamin Agard, National Elder/Director Open Bible Standard Churches, Trinidad and Tobago Inc

– Superintendent Maxine Forrest-Edwards, Methodist Church, North Trinidad Circuit

– Rt Rev Joy Abdul-Mohan, Moderator, Presbyterian Church of Trinidad & Tobago

– Kes Clyde Nelson, Ethiopian Orthodox Church

– Rev Denyse Atwarie, Church of Scotland

  • Fr Martin Sirju, Vicar General, Roman Catholic Church