On Sunday, June 1st, The St. Joseph/Mt. D'or Synod Team hosted its first out of three priorities all in the aim to Regenerate our Moral & Spiritual Values in our Society. For this particular priority, the team welcomed the very dynamic and versatile Preysal Prayer Group as they presented on the topic 'Reverence in the Church'. The event started at around 4PM where a powerful Praise & Worship session got the evening underway, which was followed by dialogue done by two young leaders of the group, a skit which focused on the many bad habits of church-goers, an open discussion and ended with a reverence-themed calypso and praise and worship.
The group presented to an intimate crowd which was very interactive. The skit, which seemed to have captured many's attention portrayed images that we often see occurring in our churches today and which leaves a bad impression. The Preysal Youths showcased images such as parishioners that are ever so faithful to their seat which they have sat in for years and not wanting to surrender it for the sake of another, young ladies dressing in short skirts, altar servers wearing Mohawks and ear rings (particularly the male altar servers), parishioners chewing gum at church and those that are always on their cell phones. Finally, the one image that had everyone shocked was the image of parishioners wearing jeans to attend masses. Following the skit, the congregation was given the opportunity to ask questions, make comments, and give any form of feedback. One of the most popular comments which was brought forth was the biblical reference made from Joel 2:13 , which reads 'Rend your heart and not your garments'. Many people turn to this particular bible verse for some form of consolation towards their church attire. However, when this bible verse was explained in a thorough manner, what was stated was that 'rend' means 'to tear' and so, whenever one does anything that is offensive to themselves and to God, they would tear their hearts in grief, in other words they are encouraged to make a true confession from the sin they have committed. Another, highlighted point was the notion of people wearing jeans to attend mass. One argued that jeans are not terrible once they are neat, however, many others counter-argued in saying that as long as they are coming to church, they are coming to receive a King and so, they are like princes and princesses. As such, they would dress in that manner and this point seemed to have to agreed with almost everyone. Finally, the point of tattoos and ear rings was mentioned. The bible states in Leviticus 19:28, "Do not cut your bodies for the dead or tattoo yourself, I am the Lord". Even though this was featured in the Old Testament readings and the church is not under the Old Testament principle, it raises eyebrows because it leaves people wondering if this particular bible verse is applicable in our New Testament times. Janet Chinnia, the leader of the Preysal Prayer Group, defended this bible verse in saying that, "Even though this bible verse is under the Old Testament principle, we as Christians should be mindful that our bodies are the temple of God and should be kept in a manner of reverence." She also pointed out that many times, during her ministry, she has seen that people fall into a spirit of affliction because of the tattoos they possess. As regards to the ear rings for males, it was noted that ear rings on men insinuate homosexuality and while one would argue that pirates used to wear them in earlier times, it was reminded that pirates were also men who raped, stole and killed and by wearing ear rings, it would mean inviting those types of spirits into them.
The Synod event turned out to be very interesting, engaging and eye-opening and the parish community wishes to thank the Preysal Prayer Group for presenting. God be praised. Some photo highlights can be found after the jump:
-- Brent Durham, 2014