Independence 38: State Service of Prayer, Praise and Thanksgiving held in Charlestown, Nevis

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, September 20, 2021 (MMS-SKN) — In celebration of the 38th Anniversary of Independence of the Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis, Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris led the Nation at the State Service of Prayer, Praise and Thanksgiving which was held at the Elquemedo T. Willett Park in Charlestown, Nevis, on Independence Day, Sunday September 19.

Held under the theme ‘Adapt, Diversify, Recreate: Independence 38’, the sermon was delivered by Rev Ron Daniel, Pastor of the Wesleyan Holiness Church in Newcastle, Nevis. Rev Daniel is also the Assistant District Superintendent of the Wesleyan Holiness Churches on the St. Kitts District, and President of the Nevis Evangelical Association.

The service which was held under strict Covid-19 protocols was attended by the Deputy Governor General for Nevis Her Honour Mrs Hyleeta Liburd, and Mr Elmo Liburd, Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Shawn Richards, Premier of Nevis who is also the Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs the Hon Mark Brantley, Minister of Health et al who is also the Chair of the Independence Committee the Hon Akilah Byron-Nisbett, and other members of the Federal and Nevis Island Administration Cabinets.

Also in attendance included His Lordship, the Hon Justice Ermin Moise, Resident High Court Judge in Nevis; President of the Nevis Island Assembly, the Hon Farrel Smithen; Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Senator the Hon Dr Bernicia Nisbett; Commander of the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force, Lt Col Anthony Comrie; Commissioner of Police, Mr Hilroy Brandy; Chief Fire Officer, Mr Everette O’Garro; and other senior civil servants.

Others in attendance included former Premier of Nevis, Ambassador His Excellency Vance Amory; Ambassador His Excellency Michael Powell, Ambassador His Excellency Sydney Osborne, Ambassador His Excellency Kevin Williams; and former President of the Nevis Island Assembly and former acting Deputy Governor General for Nevis Mrs Marjorie Morton among others.

Order of service was prepared by the National Church Bodies and Subcommittee for the 38th Anniversary State Service. Welcoming the congregants was Rev Ericson Cumberbatch of the Wesleyan Holiness Church, Molineux in St. Kitts, who is also Chaplain of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force.

Old Testament Lesson, coming from Genesis 41: 37-57, was read by Prime Minister, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, while the New Testament Lesson, coming from Acts 10: 34-43, was read by Leader of the Opposition, the Rt Hon Dr Denzil Douglas.

“As I looked at the theme ‘Adapt, Diversify, Recreate for Independence 38’, I wondered as to which story would be the best fit to share on this theme,” said Rev Ron Daniel as he delivered the sermon. “I thought of our country at this time of pandemic, and the crushing resultant effect it has had on our economy and our people in so many ways.”

He pointed out that he settled for the story of Joseph who though not faced by a pandemic was faced with a crisis of epic proportions which would see him have to lead Egypt as its Prime Minister during a time of uncertainty, distress, anxiety and in a time of famine, and was forced to adapt, diversify and recreate new norms to guide Egypt through difficult times.

According to Rev Daniel, for St. Kitts and Nevis to diversify and recreate as a nation, people must humble themselves and realise that their plans, programmes, policies, principles and projections must all come from God if indeed they are going to be successful.

“You see you can get plans from God but don’t have the heart to implement and stick to them,” said the man of the cloth. “Sometimes it’s because of fear of what you see. Sometimes it’s the people around you who question if it is going to work and maybe Joseph had those too.”

He added: “We must realise that as we face this pandemic that Joseph also faced a famine. He was able to adapt, diversify and recreate as well but he was able to do so because, he was human enough to realise that some things are bigger than him, and he was humble enough to realise that he had to get his plans from God.”

The Nevis Independence Choral, under the direction of Mr Wayne Moore, with accompanists Mrs Veta Morton and Mr Darron Sutton, rendered its anthem ‘In the Spirit of Thanksgiving’, while the Eden Brown Church of God Dancers performed a liturgical dance to the glory and honour of God and in celebration of the 38th Anniversary of the country’s independence.

Father Piotr Palowski of the St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Nevis, delivered the final blessing and benediction where among others he prayed to God to “heal our land and save our people. Satisfy us with your goodness.” This was followed by the benediction recited by Nevis Independence Choral, and the singing of the National Anthem by all present.

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