#Nassau, July 23, 2018 – Bahamas –
Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis
36th Annual Convention
Calvary Deliverance Church
“The Year of New Beginnings, Revelations, Declarations & Manifestations – The Year to Live and Not Die”
Calvary Deliverance Church
Sunday, 22 July 2018
11:00 A. M.
- Bishop James Newry & Elder Queenie Newry
- Bishop V.G. Clarke & Elder Beverly Clarke
- Other members of the clergy
It is always a joy and an honor for me to be here at Calvary Deliverance.
I am happy to be with you this morning in worship and praise as you begin your 36th Annual Convention. To begin with, I wish to congratulate Pastor James Newry on his elevation to the Office of Bishop. Please accept my best wishes in your new role.
On behalf of the Government of The Bahamas, and on my own behalf, and that of my wife, Patricia, I bring you prayerful greetings and best wishes for your convention. May these be days of renewal and thanksgiving, and a time for celebration and fellowship.
Your theme for this Convention, “The Year of New Beginnings, Revelations, Declarations & Manifestations – The Year to Live and Not Die!”, has ancient roots in the Psalms, namely, Psalm 118:17-24. But your theme is also timely, evoking the God of New Beginnings. The God of Rebirth and Restoration.
Beginning at Verse 17, the Psalm invites us to choose life in the Lord:
“17I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.
18The LORD has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death.
21I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.
22The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;
23the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”
And in Verse 24, we are invited to rejoice in the goodness of the Lord and to be people of gratitude:
“24The LORD has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.”
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
The late Pope John Paul II often spoke about the Culture of Life and the Culture of Death. He spoke of the need for the Church and the State to collaborate in the promotion of a Culture of Life, and to work together to address the attitudes and practices which give rise to a Culture of Death.
The dignity of every human being, made in the image and likeness of God, must be a shared and fundamental value for both Church and State. When we defend or uphold human dignity we promote a Culture of Life. We are all brothers and sisters and equal in the sight of Almighty God.
This is why the fight and struggle for equality throughout history is essential in promoting and building a Culture of Life. This means equality for all, whether racial or gender equality. There must be equality for all, no matter the circumstances of one’s birth or background.
Discrimination and prejudice fuel a Culture of Death. Equality and Justice are necessary values in the promotion of a Culture of Life.
Brothers and Sisters:
We know all too well that while talent and gifts are broadly distributed among any population; opportunity is not broadly or evenly distributed. My vision and mission as prime minister is to promote a greater Culture of Life by greatly expanding access to opportunity and hope for more Bahamians. I want more of our young people to realize their dreams and to develop their talents. Access to quality education and training are fundamental in building a more prosperous and productive, and a fairer and more just society.
Toward this end, beginning in September, those young people who meet the necessary qualifications will be able to attend BTVI for free. Just imagine what this will mean for scores of young people, who want to lead productive and hope-filled lives as they contribute to better a better Bahamas. And beginning next year September, those young Bahamians who meet the necessary qualifications will be able to attend the University of The Bahamas tuition-free. This is a revolution in education in The Bahamas.
Indeed, it is one of the biggest advancements in education in our history. Scores of young Bahamians who never dreamed they could afford or go to college, will now be able to dream big dreams, and make their dreams come true, if they are ready to work hard and to study hard.
Another dream for many Bahamians is to own their own home. We promote the Culture of Life when we help to improve family life. Greater home ownership is one way of improving family life and the stability of families. This is why the Government is making it easier for Bahamians, in particular young Bahamians, to own their own homes. Scores of qualifying Bahamians will be able to purchase fully serviced-lots from the Government, and to do so at extremely reduced rates. In some cases, the lots will be sold at a value seventy percent less than market value.
This means, from the outset, the land that is acquired will contain equity to facilitate any mortgage that may be required to build. When we say fully serviced-lots, we mean that the lots will already include the infrastructure to start construction, including electricity, water and paved roadways. Once prospective homeowners receive a serviced-lot, they will be able to create their own home design, altering it as they see fit.
Increasing access to home ownership by thousands of Bahamians throughout the country in the years to come will help in the development of a more just and fairer society.
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
We must also address crime and violence, particularly gang violence, which help to fuel a Culture of Death. Crime and violence, are typically symptoms of something deeper and more troubling in a culture or society. While there is always a need to improve policing and to make the criminal justice system more effective and fair, we must also addresses the causes of crime.
Last year, we launched the Citizen Security and Justice Program which is specifically designed to help reduce crime. Through this program we hope to reach hundreds of young at-risk youth, and offenders in the criminal justice system. The objectives of the program are to:
“(i) improve behaviours for non-violent conflict resolution in New Providence;
(ii) increase employability and employment of the at-risk youth population in New Providence;
(iii) strengthen institutional capabilities of justice services;
(iv) reduce the recidivism rate among persons within the juvenile system.”
We want to give hundreds of young people the opportunity to help build a Culture of Life instead of being involved in behaviours which often lead to early deaths. I know many of you have heard of some of the plans by the Government to revitalize Over-the-Hill. I will present more details on the economic empowerment component of this plan this week in the House of Assembly. And in a national address in September I will present more components and details of this plan to help reduce poverty and provide opportunity for more of our fellow-citizens.
Calvary Deliverance, you enjoy a rich legacy and firm foundation given the teachings from your first pastor Reverend Clementina Stubbs. Bishop V.G. Clarke, your second pastor has done much to modernize the church. Bishop Newry, this church under your leadership is well on its way to fulfill its true mandate.
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
I ask for your prayers and your help as we work together to build a country committed to a greater Culture of Life, with more hope and opportunity for more of our people. May God bless your Convention abundantly. And may the God of New Beginnings continue to guide and bless our Bahamaland.
Thank you and good morning.
(BIS Photos/Yontalay Bowe)
Header: Prime Minister, Dr.the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis brings remarks at Calvary Deliverance 36th Annual Convention.
First insert: Bishop James Newry, Senior Pastor (right) welcomes Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis to Calvary Deliverance 36thAnnual Convention.
Second insert: Official photo of Prime Minister, Dr.the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis (left) Bishop James Newry, Senior Pastor of Calvary Deliverance Church and Elder Queenie Newry, wife of Bishop Newry.