ANGUILLA METHODIST CIRCUIT OPENS FAMILY SUPPORT CENTRE

anguillian
By anguillian August 30, 2013 09:31

ANGUILLA METHODIST CIRCUIT OPENS FAMILY SUPPORT CENTRE

 

Ministers and members of the Methodist Church at the Opening Ceremony

Ministers and members of the Methodist Church at the Opening Ceremony

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The Old Manse housing The  Eleos Family Support Centre

The Old Manse housing The Eleos Family Support Centre

The Eleos Centre, a Family Support Ministry of the Anguilla Methodist Circuit, was formally opened on Sunday, August 25, just under the crest of Road Hill, Sandy Ground. The facility is housed in the old Methodist Manse which was recently refurbished.

The main speaker was Reverend Cecil Weekes. He said the aim of the Eleos Centre was to provide various social programmes for young people and adults in the surrounding communities in the first instance, and later on elsewhere. “Through the programmes offered here, we will seek to channel their energies from negative, anti-social activities towards positive and productive ways of life,” he explained. “Speaking as a Christian, I firmly believe that for any programme – religious or secular – that is aimed at the transformation of lives, mentally and spiritually, and in personal behaviour, it must have a solid as a rock theological foundation.” He further explained that Eleos was a Greek word with various meanings including showing mercy and compassion; and that the objective of the Centre was “helping people to help themselves.”

Reverend Weekes challenged the governing board and the circuit to eventually broaden the scope of the Eleos Centre. He urged them to follow the successful example of Operation Friendship, a Methodist outreach organisation in Kingston, Jamaica.

The programmes of the centre were outlined by Mrs Hyacinth Hughes, a member of the Steering Committee. “The programmes we decided to have are under three headings,” she told her listeners. “Our main one is the after-school programme; then arts and crafts; and thirdly, social projects.

“The after-school programme commenced on 17th September, 2012. Although, it is aimed at primary school children, since we opened we have had at least three first year students from the high school primarily for maths. We open Monday to Friday 3.30-6.30 pm and on Saturdays 10-12 noon. We cover homework assistance, language, reading, maths, social studies and virtues (cooperation, cleanliness, excellence, generosity and friendliness). Currently we have a range of 15 –18 students since we started.”

Mrs Marva Thompson, another member of the Steering Committee, said the Centre came about as a result of the efforts of the Local Preachers to further the work of the Anguilla Methodist Circuit in such areas as family life. This was then passed on to the Circuit Mission and Evangelism Committee for their recommendations, and ultimately to the Circuit Council for approval.

She said that a Steering Committee met on a number of occasions and formulated a vision statement on the concept of stronger families and better communities. The Committee eventually came up with the following creed: “The Eleos Family Support Centre is a volunteer outreach ministry of the Methodist Church in Anguilla in collaboration with other organisations and agencies which subscribe to its principles, values, aims and objectives. The Eleos Family Support Centre believes that each person is created in the image of God and, as a human being, is designed to enjoy a full life. The Eleos Family Support Centre also believes that the inter-connectedness and wholeness of the family are inseparable from that of the community. The Eleos Family Support Centre adheres to a policy of non-discrimination, offering counsel and support services to all members of the community facing any of the crises that affect the modern family.”

Minister of Education, Jerome Roberts, thanked all persons who saw the need for the Centre. “I wish to applaud the Methodist community for your foresight and vision and for your role in getting us to this point,” he stated. “We are reminded of the work of our churches in times past and for being the pillars of education in our island. There is a lot of work to be done and the church and all of us have that responsibility. Eleos Centre, a Family Support Ministry, must stand out as a beacon as it seeks to build stronger families and better communities.”

Other persons who participated in the opening ceremony included Reverend Dr H Clifton Niles, who delivered introductory remarks and the Invocation; Kenn Banks, a Member of the Steering Committee, who gave the welcome; Devante’ Richardson, a Grade Six student at the Alwyn Richardson Primary School, who benefitted from the after-school programme at the Centre; and Superintendent Minister of the Methodist Circuit, Rev Dunstan Richardson, who, along with Rev Weeks, participated in unveiling the sign of the Eleos Centre.

anguillian
By anguillian August 30, 2013 09:31

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