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Reverend Defends Religious Community's Participation in August Festivities

Administrator of the Heritage Month Committee, Reverend Dr. Melvin A. Turnbull lashed back at naysayers who has been criticizing the church’s involvement in the annual August festivities. This comes just shy of three months after church leaders in Virgin Gorda reportedly, declined to perform the task of rending the invocation at the annual Easter Festival.

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According to reports, The Heritage Month Committee plays a vital role in the annual Gospel Fest and Emancipation events such as the Rise and Shine Thanksgiving March and the Sunday Morning Well Service.

However, each year there are Christians within the community that disagree with Christians taking part in the August festival activities. This question was put to Reverend Turnbull during his appearance on the Umoja radio program by host of the programme, Cromwell “Edju En Ka” Smith.

In mentioning the concern that has been publicly stated across various faucets of the Territory, Smith said, “Many religious organizations seem to feel that they should not be a part of the Emancipation celebration.”

In response, Dr. Turnbull said, “It depends on your understanding of who you are. I am very clear about who I am. I have a very secured position in Christ. I understand from his perspective that my mission is to the world. We are the lights of the world, salt of the earth; and I have no problem with that.”

The Clergyman stated that he too has heard the concern and noted that it was stated in context to certain behavior that is displayed at the festivities.

In further defending the religious community’s participation, Reverend Turnbull said, “The reason we are involved, and it’s not just me, it’s a number of other people of like faith and persuasion, it’s because we don’t believe in cursing the darkness, we believe in lighting a candle. And if each one of us light the candle, it'll light up the world.”

The church leader also took a swipe at the critics by suggesting that their position is not Christlike.

In disagreement with statements made by Rev. Turnbull, a local commentator that asked to remain anonymous asked the following questions to ZCCR FM, “Is the church afraid to host a week of Gospel festivities? Why does the body of Christ try to lump the church and the world’s activities together?” The young man followed up with questions like, “Doesn’t the bible state we are in the world but not of the world? Is the church really a light in these August festivities and witness to persons while carnival is going on or handout flyers about God? Why is the reverend trying to justify this?”

The Reverend added that we say we are more than 95 percent Christian in this community. He would like to know, what Jesus the BVI is serving.

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