Georgetown, Guyana - (June 1, 2019) President David Granger, this afternoon, attended the 60th anniversary dedication service of the Eccles Assembly of God Church where he reminded the congregation that the multicultural character of Guyana is an asset, not a liability.
“We are blessed to belong to a country with such diversity,” said President Granger who noted too that social cohesion enhances cooperation among citizens, civil society, institutions and the State by weaving of the various social, economic and political strands in our society into a cohesive whole in which differences are recognized and respected.
The Head of State also said social cohesion encourages greater equality across the boundaries of class, gender, geography and ethnicity; ensures that every group, no matter how small, enjoys a sense of belonging; creates a moral community that is safe and that offers opportunities for uplifting everyone.
“Social cohesion is consistent with the ideal of the Christian vision of promoting harmonious relations in society. Our diversity is evident everywhere - in our schools, in our offices and factories and in this congregation. It is evident in any community where churches, mosques and temples are established side-by-side,” the President said.
The Church, President Granger said, can continue to promote social cohesion by providing spiritual and material relief to those in need and mending the emotional wounds caused by violence; protecting the vulnerable from malice and injustice and by advancing class and ethnic harmony; and promoting non-confrontational ways of settling differences and by becoming a peacemaker.
In congratulating the Eccles Assembly of God Church on the 60th anniversary of its formal establishment, the President commended the body for its religious stewardship to the East Bank Community.
“The Eccles Assembly of God Church has been an instrument of social cohesion from the time of its existence. The Church’s members and leaders embrace persons regardless of their class or ethnicity. This Church through its community engagement – its school-feeding programme, its senior citizens’ and widows’ outreach and its children’s education support – is perpetuating to Jesus’s mission to the infirm, the needy and the poor. The ‘Assembly’ is helping to create a gentler Guyana,” President Granger asserted.
The Eccles Assembly of God’s vision impels it “…to establish the rulership of the Kingdom of God throughout this country and beyond through the faithful proclamation of the gospel in every stratum of human existence,” he said.
This ‘vision’ he said embodies the central tenets of the Christian mission – the proclamation of the Gospel and annunciation of the Kingdom of God.
“It is this Church’s obligation to realise this vision through faithful and perpetual efforts to promote harmony among all men and women,” the President added.
President Granger urged the Church through its ministry, to continue to make its contribution towards the shaping of a society where differences are respected, the weak are assisted and where everyone, regardless of class or ethnicity, feels a sense of belonging.
The Church’s mission, he added, is to make manifest the Kingdom of God – one that is open to all; an inclusive state.
“The virtues of compassion, love and mercy are the means through which we can experience the Kingdom of God. It is written in the Holy Bible (to the Galatians 3: 28) that the apostle Paul laid down a model of cohesion for the early Church. He writes: “…There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither bond nor free; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus,” said the Head of State.
President Granger reminded: “The Christian faith makes no distinction in terms of class or ethnicity. All are equal in the Kingdom of God. The ‘Kingdom of God’ summons the Church to work for a more harmonious society ‘here and now’.”
Upon his arrival, President Granger was greeted by Bishop Dr. John Oswald Smith, CCH, General Bishop of the Assemblies of God in Guyana and Bishop Michael Perreira, Senior Pastor, Eccles Assembly of God.
The remodelled church has a membership of 815 persons and can accommodate approximately 1700 persons.