First Look

32nd Annual National Prayer Breakfast to be first calendar event in Jamaica’s celebration of it’s 50th year of Independence



PROComm | 2012-01-12 10:38:00

The 32nd Annual National Leadership Prayer Breakfast (NLPB) was officially launched this morning during a Press Briefing at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. The Prayer Breakfast which will take place next Thursday, January 19 at 7:30am, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, marks the first major calendar event in Jamaica’s celebration of it’s 50th year of Independence. It will seek to engage the public on milestone issues and challenges in the life of independent Jamaica, for which, we need to seek God’s guidance and intervention.

Announcing the thrust for this year’s Breakfast, Rev. Dr. Peter Garth, NLPB Chairman, pointed out that its theme, “Jamaica 50: Reconcile-Rebuild-Rejoice” is timely and relevant to the nation’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. 
 
Indicating that the Breakfast is of “tremendous importance”, as it comes right after a General Election and in Jamaica’s 50th year of Independence, the NLPB Chairman noted,  “In this year of Jubilee, the Committee looks forward to a Breakfast Meeting that will challenge leaders to have faith in God and to make allowance for God in all spheres of life and our experiences.” 
 
Declaring that Jamaica is abundantly blessed by Almighty God, Rev. Dr. Garth remarked, “Truly, we pray that this year will be a year when we will witness Reconciliation, Rebuilding and Rejoicing! This is the message we want to enter our homes, offices, churches, the National Stadium, Parliament and communities.” He advised that a blessed and favoured nation is one that embraces divine authority and enjoys divine prosperity.
 
When the nation’s leaders meet in prayer at the 32nd Annual NLPB next Thursday, the welfare of the youth of the country will be high on the prayer and philanthropy agenda.  The Glenhope Place of Safety, which recently had some of its buildings razed by fire, will benefit from the proceeds of the NLPB. “Our special offering this year will be given to the Glenhope Place of Safety. The National Leadership Prayer Breakfast Committee was deeply moved by the destruction of the dormitories and we will challenge every Jamaican to be involved,” Rev. Dr. Garth announced. Not only will the NLPB be providing financing to the institution, but it will be mobilizing religious leaders, corporate and civic Jamaica to participate in a workday at the Home. Rev. Dr. Garth stated that already the Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington has given a commitment that members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force will be involved in the workday.
 
Another way in which the nation’s youth will benefit from the NLPB is that during the staging of the NLPB at Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, a group of young emerging leaders from August Town and adjoining communities will be hosted by some members of the NLPB Committee at a satellite ‘Mini-Breakfast’ at the University of the West Indies Mona Visitors Lodge.  Bishop Stanley Clarke, NLPB Secretary, told participants at today’s Press Briefing: “They will watch the proceedings beamed from the Pegasus, and engage in a post Breakfast discussion.  The Ministers’ Fraternal of the August Town Community will be leading the charge and Vice Chairman, Rev Dr. Stevenson Samuels, will be Master of Ceremony. We are hoping to repeat this initiative in partnership with other ministers’ fraternals across the island.”  
 
The Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) has been the sponsor for the NLPB for 27 consecutive years, and the company was commended at today’s Press Briefing for its ongoing support to the venture. Addressing the Press Conference, Mrs. Janice McKenley, VMBS Senior Vice President and Group Chief Financial Officer, expressed her organization’s continued commitment to supporting the annual event.  She congratulated the NLPB Committee for its vision and foresight in spearheading the initiative over three decades and for ensuring that the Breakfast remains relevant to the society.  
 
Mrs. McKenley also underscored the importance of positive, exemplary leadership, which the NLPB seeks to encourage. “Leadership is no easy task,” she said. “It is therefore very important that we seek divine intervention to help us in our decision making and direction, so that we can successfully navigate the challenging times that lie ahead. By gathering and praying together, we draw on the strength of the Almighty and help to bring renewed hope to our land.”
 
The Senior VMBS VP/Chief Financial Officer her company’s endorsement of the theme for the 2012 Breakfast, deeming it fitting for this milestone year in Jamaica’s life. She however cautioned, “While we have much to celebrate, there is still much to be done as we seek to build our nation and create a better society.”  
 
Today’s Press briefing also saw an announcement of the focal points for the 8-days of the Prayer Blitz, which will precede the staging of the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast. The Prayer Blitz schedule was distributed to journalists and will also be published in the print media. Pointing out that the Blitz outlines the aspects of our society which we would like to commit to God in corporate prayer, Bishop Stanley Clarke explained that members of the public could add other areas of need to the list. The eight-day themed prayer programme will begin on Thursday, January 12 and run until Thursday, January 19. Each day, members of the public are asked to pray about the following: 
 
Attitude of Gratitude
o Honouring the Creator for who He is
o The people we have around us
o The provision of our daily needs
 
Right Values and Morals
o Proper perspective on human rights
o Maintenance of the rights of children
 
Men
o Responsibilities as fathers
o Responsibilities as spouses
o Entrepreneurial capacity/Male employment
 
Poverty
o All those living below the poverty line
o Needs of the poor – food, shelter, clothing
o Societal attitudes to the poor, the indigent and the needy
 
Natural Disasters
o Thanksgiving for safety over extended periods
o Taking responsibility for prevention
o Protection from disasters of all types
 
Corruption
o Overcoming the fear of losing favour & power
o Honesty and truth telling even when it is unpopular
o Integrity at all levels of leadership
 
Well-being of People
o Maintenance of a healthy nation
o Educational advancement for all
o Prosperity for the masses
o Emotional stability for each citizen
 
Politicians, Government, Members of Parliament
o Effective constituency governance
o Transparency in leadership
o Unity and collaboration between opposing sides
o Integration of rich and poor communities
 
Patron of the NLPB is Governor General Sir Patrick Allen. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Opposition Leader Andrew Holness are to read the first and second lessons respectively. Other attendees will include business leaders, the security forces, community and labour leaders, the diplomatic and consular corps, and church leaders.
 
The first National Leadership Prayer Breakfast was held in January 1981, following the General Election of October 1980. It arose out of the Church’s concern for peace and justice, reconciliation and unity in the nation.



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