HEAL THE NATION: PM Andrew Holness, Bishop Pitkin, Dr. Peter Phillips, and Rev. Stanley Clarke join hands and minds in praying for Jamaica.
CUSTOS OF St. James, Bishop Conrad Pitkin, believes a primary contributing factor behind the country’s alarming crime and violence statistics is a deep-seated aversion to peaceful resolution of conflicts.
“We have a profound lack of ability to find resolution to conflict. We have work to do. I appeal to each of us here and across Jamaica to commit ourselves to pursuing peace,” said Bishop Pitkin, who was delivering the keynote address at Thursday’s 40th renewal of the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.
This year’s theme is “Pursuing the Power of Peace.”
“Let us be willing to resolve our differences through mediation and not through guns and other weapons of violence. There’s been too much bloodshed in this land. It must be stopped,” he told his rapt audience. “We must stop pointing fingers and say It must begin with me… This should be a personal commitment.”
According to Pitkin (who also serves as Chairman of the Jamaica Council of Churches umbrella group), Jamaica has a terrible history of hostility and political tribalism, and it has done significant damage to the social fabric, contributing to the widespread corruption and breakdown of family life. “We have come a long way,” he said. “We have to address these challenges and overcome them. Only then can Jamaica become the place of choice to live, to work, to raise families and do business.”
The huge role our nation’s leaders have to play cannot be understated. “We must put the interest of the nation above personal and partisan interests for the collective good,” Bishop Pitkin emphasized. Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, PM Andrew Holness, Paula Llewellyn and Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange were among those in attendance.
Now in its fourth decade, the NLPB is an annual gathering of Jamaica’s political leaders and the top brass of the religious community with the core purpose of fostering greater unity across the nation.