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Church invites everyone to special ‘back-to-school’ service

The New Testament Church of God has extended an open invitation for children and families to attend a special ‘back-to-school' prayer service on Sunday.

The service at the Heritage Worship Centre will be followed by a free luncheon and school supplies will be handed out.

Those supplies include composition books, pens and pencils, rulers, crayons and markers.

“With all that is going on in our community, even the violent incidents that occurred last Friday; to bring back to mind the importance of prayer and praying for our children,” said Bishop Lloyd Duncan.

“If I can use the analogy from football, we plan to kick off the new academic year with prayer, with children being given hope and a motivational message.

“The whole service is going to be dedicated to the children going back to school.

“After the service we're going to pitch a few tents in the back of the church where the children will have lunch, hot dogs, hamburgers, drink and it's all free.

“We're really encouraging parents to make the effort to attend.”

He recalled a time when people used to come to church with their children more often.

“Then we resorted to a stage where we sent our children, now we're at a stage where our children, some, don't go at all,” said Bishop Duncan.

“On Sunday parents and guardians can come with their children to enjoy a wonderful day of the young people being in charge.

“If you want to call it a back to school block party with church before, you can; we're inviting the whole community to come and be a part of this.

“We'll be praying for all of our children as they prepare to return to school, their families and the families affected by the violent crime we saw last Friday.

“People know that this has been an ongoing thing in Bermuda but we will be taking out time to minister to those who have been hurt and affected by violence.

“The troubles and complex issues facing Bermuda will be addressed — come Sunday morning and we'll have a relevant word and prayer,” he said.

His wife, Shanda Duncan noted that an increasing number of families are stressed and struggling with hard times.

“The financial climate in Bermuda is causing a lot of parents to seek other agencies to see who can help with school uniforms, supplies and food for their children to go back to school.

“This has been on the increase especially in the lead up to the new school year and it's really affecting our community.

“We help a lot by giving groceries on a continuous basis and the people in need who call,” said Ms Duncan.

“Quite often they don't feel free to speak because they don't want people to know what they're going through.

“And we've held a number of events at the church to raise funds to assist as many as we can.”

She was also grateful for the support from the private sector. “We have the MarketPlace who have come on board with us again this year to sponsor school supplies.

“They have the Dollar Depot and will be sponsoring supplies and we approached People's Pharmacy to use the space in back of the church for the luncheon.

“We also put a container in our lobby for people to drop off supplies to help.

“This weekend we'll have a team of women come in to package the supplies to hand out on Sunday.

“We would encourage everyone who can, to come out and see the young people in action.”

The church hosted vacation Bible school for children as young as four up to the age of 11 this summer as well. It will be extended again this year to assist parents left with few options for day care right before school reopens on September 6.

Bishop Duncan extended another open invitation for parents to send their children to Sunday school as well.

“We have Sunday school at 9.45am every Sunday for children of all ages.

“And we want parents to know that all children are welcome to come in for spiritual wisdom.”

New Testament Church of God Bishop Lloyd Duncan with his wife Shanda and son Joshua.

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Published August 30, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated August 30, 2013 at 12:37 am)

Church invites everyone to special ‘back-to-school’ service

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