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Independence Message from the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Christian Council

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Christian Council congratulates the Government and people of St. Vincent on the occasion of the 33rd year of Political Independence and pays tribute to all the Nation Builders past and present.

Independence is a time of reflection and thanksgiving and the Council calls on all citizens to spend some time in doing same. As we look back at thirty-three years there are many things of which as a Nation we can be justly proud. The Education Revolution, the Development of our health and social services, our contribution to the world of culture via the music and literary arts.

At the same time there are some developments that warrant our attention. The Council takes note of the economic global challenges that confront the Nation and the concomitant challenges of unemployment, loss of income and threats to the economic well being of our people, we recognize all have been affected. In the midst of these economic challenges, the Council reminds the Nation of the words of the National Anthem “What e’er the future brings our faith will see us through” and the need for all to have a share in the available resources.

We also note with concern the increase in violence, crime and teenage suicides. This is symptomatic of the stress of contemporary life but also a need for youth, children and teens to remember the creator in the days of their youth. We therefore challenge parents/guardian to send their children to the house of God for worship, Sunday school and instruction in moral education. The Council re-affirms the biblical injunction to train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.

One cannot fail to observe the divisive nature of our society and its polarization. Persons seem afraid or unwilling to speak to the ills that confronts the society. Whatever divides us, should not be perpetuated but we must see all persons created in the image and likeness of God. We must value each person, respect one another, disagree if we must, but it must preserve the dignity and freedom for all. “for in His own image God made humankind”(Gen.9:6)

As we celebrate Independence 2012, we therefore join with the biblical writer in saying Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Christian Council wish the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines a Happy and Blessed Independence.

The Rt. Rev. C. Leopold Friday (President)

Rev. Adrian Odle (Vice President)

Monsignor Michael Stewart (Roman Catholic Church)

Major Pierre Antoine (Salvation Army)

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