Brothers, sisters stand strong for St Paul
Greetings to the St Paul AME family and, by extension, the entire AME family of Bermuda.
Like you, I recall kneeling at the altar of St Paul to partake in communion, learning about the blood and body of Christ that we share as brothers and sisters. Most of us have spent the majority of our lives attending St Paul. Essentially, this is not just our church home; it is our home.
Many of us can recall spending countless Sunday mornings being taught, groomed, schooled and corrected within those walls.
Taught by like likes of Marguerite Place. Groomed by the likes of Fred Ingram. Schooled by the likes of Aurelia Burch. Corrected — and, boy, do I mean corrected, with a capital C — by the likes of Joyce Butterfield.
They are but some of the persons who, while never standing in the pulpit, stood for all what being both AME and Bermudian is truly about. Persons such as Lorraine Fubler and Elise Suber, who instilled in us that we are never to think of ourselves as anything less than worthy of charting our own destinies.
It was their spirits that we saw arise in that very same building this year when others, who remain shameless and nameless, attempted to violate the sanctity of what being AME means to Bermudians.
As a church body, born during the height of slavery and oppression against enslaved Africans, the AME Church has never backed down from any challenge thrown our way. As such, it was foolhardy for anyone to think that they would dictate to us who stands or does not stand in our pulpits.
Again, allow me to quote a bit of scripture.
Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. — Psalm 105:15
With that battle behind us, we now have a war to get back to.
Not just a war for souls, but a war to expand our Christian outreach to every corner of this island.
When I say Christian outreach, I don't mean how many people can we get into churches on Sundays in between Christmas and Easter. Nor do I mean how many times can we pass around the tithing basket.
Our goal must be to follow the walk of Christ to reach out to those in need.
With growing unemployment, antisocial behaviour, depression, diseases and incarceration rates we can see the Book of Revelation being revealed.
Just as Christ commanded, we who are able must become we who are willing.
Willing to go beyond the sacred walls of every AME Church in this island.
Willing to go beyond being a Christian on Sunday at 11am.
Willing to take up our respective crosses and follow wherever the spirit leads us to help our fellow Bermudians. Now for my final scripture of the day.
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. — 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
In closing, to my St Paul family, my AME family and indeed all persons of faith, let me thank each one of you who have prayed for myself, my family and my fellow parliamentarians. Without your prayers and actions over the past five years, the results of July 18, 2017 might not have been what this country needed.
We cannot do it alone, nor should we do it alone. We are your brothers and sisters and we need your help to: guide, nurture and prepare the next generation of Bermudians. Thank you and may God richly bless you.
Your brother in Christ.
•Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him at WhatsApp on 599-0901 or e-mail at email@example.com