NEW ACC CHAIRMAN WANTS ANGUILLA CALLED TO ORDER Message to Ministers, Congregations, Politicians

anguillian
By anguillian June 20, 2014 10:17

 

 

Rev. Dr. Wycherley Gumbs

Rev. Dr. Wycherley Gumbs

The new Chairman of the Anguilla Christian Council, the Rev Dr Wycherley Gumbs, wants to see the island called to order as he sets out to work with fellow clergymen, congregations and even politicians towards that end. He recently succeeded the Rt Rev Errol Brooks of the Anglican Church.

“To be part of the Anguilla Christian Council is an honour and my intent is to work together with all other associations – Evangelical and others if they are on the island – to ensure that we do the best in terms of calling the country to order,” the Superintendent of the Methodist Circuit said in an interview with The Anguillian. “We need to do this as much as possible and to impact the life of our community in a very positive manner. To that end, therefore, I hope we can collaborate in programmes and matters that relate to clergy and members of our congregations. This will enable the church not to be seen as a divided body – but though we have many parts we can hopefully speak at times with one voice on social, moral and political issues.”

The outspoken Methodist Minister was asked what useful advice he had for politicians. “Firstly, our politicians must put Anguilla first,” he stressed. “It is very easy in political campaigns to put party first – party first means politicians survival. That’s a human instinct and so the instinct for survival often puts us in a situation of challenge…and we forget that this is one island – a small one to boot. And that we have to live here and our children must find a place here, so it means we cannot go into the mud pool then expect that our children don’t see us in the mud pool. If they see us in the mud pool then they will think the mud is the place to be.

“So we must challenge our politicians, and they must challenge themselves to lift the level of debate. There must be no acrimony. They must talk to the issues that come up in the media or elsewhere, and do that passionately, but they should not have to negate and destroy the character of others or their families, by so doing, hoping they can score points. Our children see and hear more than we think and presently they are learning the worst of us. So it is a challenge to politicians to raise the level of debate – not just for their good, but for the good of the country and generations to come.”

Rev Dr Gumbs was asked whether the church had lost its influence in the community. “Oftentimes it appears that the church has, but the church is as strong as its members are,” he replied. “There is a need for the members to have a sense of vocation – a sense of calling in the several communions as it were – and to work together for the good of the country. They should not work just for the good of their own congregation because oftentimes members can become so mirrored looking at their own congregation, church or denomination, that we forget that the church has a global vision and a global mission. If we can speak to own island, our home and other places in terms of morality, integrity and visioning the future together, building our blocks together on issues and collaborating, then the public will begin to see the church no longer as a distant organisation.

“That means, of course, that the clergy will have to sit down together at some point and hammer out what Anguillians expect of us, and what we should say in terms of the Gospel to a situation that people speak to. If we address some of those things together, then there will be a sense of speaking with one voice on issues. It often means that politicians, other social activists and community persons, would get upset at some time. That is expected, but the clergy must be ready to respond not negatively, but positively, to the questions raised to us so that we can speak directly and prophetically to those questions from politicians and others.”
Rev Dr Gumbs added: “It must not be seen by politicians and the community that we are partisan – backing one group or another. When that happens, we have lost our integrity, so my challenge to the clergy of Anguilla – to the Christian Council and of course hopefully to the Evangelical Association – is that they must find ways to collaborate and speak together in one voice on issues that pertain to our community. Anguilla needs healing and healing has to come not just from one church be it Anglican, Methodist, Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, Seventh-day Adventist, Church of God and so forth. We have to begin to realise that the Church is one body in Christ, and though we have differences of opinion, thinking, theology and relatedness, if we lose sight of our oneness, then we can become shaft to the wind as it were.”

anguillian
By anguillian June 20, 2014 10:17

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