By anguillian May 3, 2016 10:53



The Right Reverend Leroy Errol Brooks, Priest-in-Charge of St. Mary’s Anglican Parish Church, along with St. Augustine’s and St. Andrew’s, has stressed the importance of loving one another and “servant leadership” in the Anguillian context.

His message came at a time when the island is undergoing a period of social and political uneasiness principally due to the banking situation, and Government’s tough decision and action to resolve the matter.
The top Anguillian-born Priest did not, however, make any reference to the above issues or any other issue. He was at the time delivering the sermon at the Sunday morning service at St. Mary’s on April 24, attended by Chief Minister, Mr. Victor Banks and his Cabinet, to mark the first anniversary of the Anguilla United Front Government following the general election on April 22, 2015. His sermon, to the Government leaders and the congregation, was based on Jesus’ new commandment “to love one another…”

The Anglican Church Leader went on: “We are not simply to love other people as we love ourselves. We are to love them as Jesus loves them and us. Jesus’ love is perfect, it is unconditional. Christian love, like Jesus’ love, is unconditional; it is sacrificial. That is the kind of love we ought to have for our neighbour. How can we manifest this kind of love? Jesus gives us the answer in St. Luke’s Gospel chapter 6, verse 27-36, and I will précis it for you. ‘But to you who are listening I say: love your enemies; do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you; pray for those who mistreat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is this to you? But love your enemies; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High…Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.’ This is sound admonition to all of us but especially to those of us who are in leadership.”

He continued: “Leadership is not for the faint-hearted…You have to have a tough hide if you are going to be a leader. As leaders, we must not expect everyone to agree with everything that we do or say. People will be critical. They may even be malicious in their criticism; but we are still called upon to love them. We must not be afraid to be decisive. If you are going to be a good leader, you have to be decisive. Making tough decisions goes with the job of leadership. We need to understand that, in certain situations, difficult and timely decisions require firmness, authority and finality that will not please everyone. In other words, ‘you can’t please all the people all the time.’

“We must always seek to act out of love for everyone. Our motives must be based on the principles of love for God’s people. In our decision-making we must consider the whole picture – not just part of the picture – because so often those who criticise only see one part of the picture. They don’t see the whole thing; and if you are in leadership, you have to have a panoramic view of the whole landscape in making your decision. You must always seek for ways in which you can serve the common good without destroying our integrity and that of our organisation or community. It is therefore important that we listen and take on board what our people are saying. God has given us two ears and one mouth. The implication is that we must listen more than we speak – really and truly… The other thing is that, before we open our mouths, we must put our brain in gear… Think through things. So many people are lazy to think – they don’t go [to the trouble of] thinking, analysing and sifting out things. As soon as somebody says something [they say] ‘that’s it’…

“We have to be concerned about the welfare of all our people if we are really going to take on board this new commandment of our Lord Jesus Christ because, by doing so, we will inspire confidence and reassure those whom we serve – and that is critical. As leaders, we need to practice servant leadership following the One who gave the commandment to love. Jesus became the servant of all and even just before His death the One, who is Master, took a towel, a basin and water, and washed his disciples’ feet – that’s servant leadership.”

Bishop Brooks emphasised the importance for leaders to relate, reach out and communicate to the people taking into account “whatever is true; whatever is honourable; whatever is just; whatever is pure; whatever is pleasing; and whatever is commendable”. He observed that leaders are human and must therefore seek God’s guidance and direction to make the right decisions on behalf of the people.

He added that, as citizens of this community, we must uphold our leaders; ask God to help them to make wise decisions; encourage them because they, too, have struggles and need encouragement; and that “we all ought to encourage each other.”



By anguillian May 3, 2016 10:53


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