Prayer effort launched at packed Cathedral
Christians have kicked off 12 days of worship in a bid to rid the Island of its social ills and unite the community through prayer.
The ‘Awakening A Nation’ initiative was launched after Premier Craig Cannonier met with church leaders and urged them to help lead the country out of crisis.
Last night a Solemn Assembly was held at a packed Anglican Cathedral in which the congregation was asked to offer themselves up to God and repent.
Opening the service, Anglican Bishop Elect Nicholas Dill said the purpose of the event was not intercession, but confession.
“It just thrills my heart to see you all here this evening,” Rev Dill said.
“The question we need to ask is, why are we here?”
Rev Dill said that Premier Cannonier had previously told church leaders that the country was in crisis, and that they should “step up to the mark and reach out to broken and struggling communities”.
“We realised that, while more than 75 percent of us claim to have a connection with a Christ-centred organisation, we are still in a mess,” Rev Dill said.
“But before we can call on God for help, we as a people need to repent.”
Rev Dill added that the Old Testament contained many accounts of crisis meetings being held.
“There have been moments where God’s people have called for similar gatherings to humble ourselves,” he said.
“Sometimes the Lord did not respond because they were empty words not backed up by truly repentant hearts.
“This is not a time to speak out against the sins of the world out there or to hear the word of God preached by anyone. It is a time for solemn reflection and repentance.
“There will be other opportunities for pleading with the Lord, but for now, at this moment we have come recognising that we as God’s people have sinned against God and against one another by what we have thought and said and done and not done.”
Pastors from a number of Christian denominations then gave scripture readings on different types of sin, which were each followed by silent reflection and group prayer.
And the evening culminated in a bonfire after “sin cards” filled out by members of the congregation were burned.
Last night’s assembly was preceded by a similar event for children at the Cathedral Hall. Anglican Youth and Children’s Minister Wayne Hackman urged youngsters to “celebrate the awesomeness of God”, adding that, through the power of prayer, God could “make a difference to all our lives”.
The programme continues this week with a Week of Open Doors throughout the Island’s churches for residents to gather and reflect.
And next Thursday, May 16, church leaders will hold a National Gathering for Prayer at City Hall, culminating in a minute of silence at 3pm.
“The intent is to invite all of Bermuda — all religions, all of government, commerce, international businesses, schools, media, and all citizens — to pause for an hour of that day, and in whatever manner they choose, to acknowledge the ultimate source as an answer for the nation,” a spokesman for the churches said.
“The pastors believe that we are involved in a historic moment, history in the making, and are excited about what God is about to do.
“This will be a powerful demonstration from all sectors — religious, political, commerce, community — praying for the health and well-being of our island at all levels.”