M A G A Z I N E
BOULEVARD BAPTIST CHURCH | MAY 2014 EDITION | ISSUE NO. 19
Abuse in the Pews The Importance of Reading Memorable experience as a teacher
Sexual violence against children: The elephant in the room
Mission Statement: To develop our spiritual lives, evangelize the wider community and influence the world through Christ by organized preaching, public and private worship, Christian education and fellowship, while co-operating with other Christian bodies.
Boulevard Baptist Church
Boulevard Baptist Church 2 Washington Boulevard, Kingston 20 Telephone: 905-2422 Email: email@example.com | Website: www.boulevardbaptist.org.jm Pastor: Rev. Dr. Devon Dick Opportunities For Worship Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday School: 8:00 a.m. â€“ 8:50 a.m. Prayer & Bible Study: Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. â€˘ 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. Prayer and Fasting: 1st Saturdays, 7:00 a.m. Editor-in-Chief: Sophia Williams Editor: Dorrett R Campbell Other Team Members: Hyacinth Brown, Carla Wilson-Redden, Claudette Reid, Duvaughn Dick, Simone Hull-Lloyd, Ricardo Holness, Francine Dallas, Verna Edwards and Emma McCalla.
“ The only source of knowledge is experience.” Albert Einstein
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Christian mothers living by faith in challenging times Brace yourselves It was not the usual Mother’s Day sermon that the President of the Women’s Fe deration, Esmelda McKenzie brought with her to Boulevard on May 11. Her voice was the voice of the prophet Jeremiah warning of impending doom and greater tribulation.
“Brace yourselves! Brace yourselves, for the war is on,” she warned passionately. The devil, recognising that his time was short, had stepped up his attack on the world particularly on families, she noted. Like Jeremiah, McKenzie painted a portrait of a world in gloom and doom, citing recent events such as the kidnapping of nearly 200 girls in Nigeria, the promotion of same sex marriages, the demand of gay couples to raise children and a slew of other social ills that she said were designed to test our faith in God.
According to McKenzie, four things were accomplished on the cross: (1) the conquest of sin; (2) the culmination of prophecy; (3) the curtailment of the law; and (4) the condemnation of death, therefore the Church already had the victory and should not allow any situation to overwhelm it. Mrs McKenzie also encouraged nonChristians to seek God who would be their only comfort in times of tribulation. Tribulation, she reiterated serves to strengthen one’s faith in God, prepares the believer for greater service and draws the saints closer to God. Therefore when you face trials “count it all joy; just use the word of God; plea the blood of Jesus Christ and call upon His name. This is the weapon that will bring Satan down every time,” she concluded.
BUT like Jeremiah, the JBU Women’s Federation President prescribed the remedy. Referencing John 16:33, McKenzie urged Christian mothers to pray unwaveringly and focus on God. She exhorted Christians to remain hopeful, courageous and cheerful because Jesus, through his death, had overcome tribulation and left us a promise of peace.
STREET PASTOR CALLS FOR CHURCH TO CLOSE PARENTING GAP Co-Chair of the Jamaica based Street Pastors’ Ministry, Richard Delisser has called upon the church to make a difference in their communities by interceding and providing parental support to families.
have fathers and mothers. The Street Pastor said that as Christians, we were not called to be selfish but to think about those who experience loneliness outside the family unit and endeavour to fill the void for them.
He was speaking recently at a special family month service held at the Boulevard Baptist Church and guided by the theme, The role of parenting.
Pointing to what he called a significant breakdown of families in Jamaica, Delisser noted that God’s basic unit of a family is man, woman and children, which is God’s ideal platform on which to develop and nurture people.
According to Delisser, the Church could not lose hope and resign itself to the plethora of social problems which were a consequence of poor parenting but must take decisive action.
He urged the Church to rise up and allow God to lead the way for positive change because “God has positioned us to make a difference beyond our immediate boundaries.” The difference, he explained, could be found in the way we support those who did not
“If the home is broken it will affect parenting. The economic situation affects parenting, and our music and culture will affect parenting,“ he added. Delisser insisted that the root of the problem must be addressed and that the remedy lay in the Bible. “God has given us the Bible to live by. We must saturate our lives, families and homes with God’s Word. Parenting is a process of replicating that work that God is doing in us,” he concluded.
Supporting Grieving Children Gary Sewell
Grief is a normal response to the loss of any significant person, object, or opportunity. It is an experience of deprivation and anxiety.
them to hear from someone else. Use simple words because children interpret things differently from the way adults do.
The feeling of grief may be experienced not only through loss of a loved one. There are other losses that can result in grief, such as a divorce, loss of a job, retirement, loss of a limb and losing property.
Be direct, and listen. A significant aspect of counselling is simply listening.
Some of the effects of grief are: • Physical –susceptible to illnesses • Emotional – forgetfulness, loneliness • Social – adjusting to new relationships and how people relate to you • Spiritual – some people get more spiritual, some people blame God Children, are usually the ones forgotten when things happen and as a result they get left out in the process and as such it is important for us to understand that children grieve too and will need our attention. What do we do when children are hurting because of loss?
Show your love by hugging. This offers reassurance. Be patient: children will ask the same questions repeatedly. Always provide answers for their questions. Provide opportunities for the children to express their grief. Engage them in activities such as drawing, colouring and painting. Continue with their regular routine such as school attendance and playing with their friends. Most importantly, look out for signs of trouble. In their feeling of frustration, anger and abandonment they are likely to rebel in order to draw attention to themselves. In this instance, seek counselling.
Talk truthfully to them and do not beat around the bush. You would not want
SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN …the elephant in the room - Dorrett R Campbell There is growing concern about the alarming levels of violence particularly sexual violence - against Jamaica’s most vulnerable – our children and our youth. Regrettably, there is a dearth of empirical evidence on the nature, genesis, extent, causes and impact of this beast, hence the attempts to tame it has not spawned the desired outcomes. Violence against our Region’s children remains unabated. The 2006 United Nations SecretaryGeneral’s Study on Violence against Children is arguably the most telling piece of empirical exposé on the magnitude of the problem in the Caribbean. Its findings point to the disturbing fact that violence does not
discriminate between rich and poor nations and pervades all societies within which children grow up. Sadly, the report notes that violence is part of the economic, cultural and societal norms that make up many children’s environment. Another startling revelation is that violence in all its forms has its roots in issues such as the power relations between men and women, exclusion, absence of a primary care-giver; and in societal norms and values that often disregard the rights of children. According to the Study, other factors contributing towards the unacceptable prevalence of violence against children include drug and alcohol abuse, unemployment and
youth disenfranchisement, crime and a culture of silence and impunity. In addition, the internet is viewed as a new space where children are both abused and exploited by the production of pornography, and are exposed to images of violence and degradation. The World Bank’s Caribbean Youth Development Report (2003) noted that the Caribbean had the earliest age of sexual “debut” in the world with many young people being initiated into sexual behaviour as a consequence of child abuse from as early as 10 years old, and in some cases even earlier. But the most disturbing of these findings common to all the studies is that child sexual abuse in the region is shrouded in secrecy, aided and abetted by cultural ‘taboos’ and practices and in many cases, shame. It is the elephant in the room. Add to that the frightening thought that much of this sexual violence occurs in institutions that were once perceived as safe havens or places of safety in our orphanages, detention centres, in our schools, in our foster homes and in our homes.
and ostensibly enjoy high levels of impunity while the victim – very often cast into the role of villain – experiences irreparable social and psychological damage and is made to suffer in silence. There is an urgent need for “concerted action, at ALL levels of society, to address the increasing challenge of child abuse - particularly sexual abuse.” What we need is an integrated response - a “holistic approach that includes parenting education, public awareness and education, and legislative reforms to protect our children and to deal appropriately, not only with perpetrators, but also with those who support abuse through… nonreporting of incidents.” The Church too must lend its voice and lead the way in breaking the bellowing silence on one of the worst forms of human rights violations in the Caribbean. The Church must challenge decisively and concertedly, the deeply entrenched cultural practices and norms that condone violence and violate the rights of the region’s children. No longer can we ignore the elephant in the room.
Incest and child molestation committed by the familiar “dear friend” and other trusted authority figures is very often deemed a “private family matter” 5.
ONLY 1 IN 10 JAMAICANS REPORT INSTANCES OF CHILD ABUSE
In observance of Child Month, the Mission and Evangelism Committee organised its fourth Sunday evening service around the theme: Conquering Child Abuse, the role of the Church. Presentations were made by Dorrett R Campbell, Chairman of Mission and Evangelism, Corretta ‘Pat’ Phillips, Deacon in the BBC and Cassetta Green acting Deputy Registrar, Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR). In setting the context, Campbell referred to Jeremiah 31:15 to make the point that the inconsolable Rachel represented every mother who has to help her child deal with sexual violence; or bury a child in the prime of youth or whose child is missing. “Who will cry for Jamaica’s Children?” Campbell asked. Campbell added that Rachel was also the metaphor for the church - the Mother of all mothers - who must weep for all the children who had become victims of mental, sexual, emotional and physical abuse. Phillips, guided by the sub-topic, Abuse in the pews, pointed a horrific picture of child abuse by persons who professed to be church leaders, including pastors. She sensitised the church to the many abused children who were in the Sunday School and chronicled the emotional, psychological and social effects of abuse on children. Phillips further outlined signs to look for in an abused child and provided suggestions on how to respond to them. She then urged us to be more alert to abusers and more sensitive to abused children. Green outlined common forms of abuse in Jamaica to include child labour, child trafficking, neglect, physical, sexual and emotional abuse. She pointed to the judicial consequences of abuse under law as well as the provisions and sanctions under the Child Care and Protection Act. Noting that failure to report known abuses would result in imprisonment of six months or a fine of $500, 000, Green added that the Church could help by incorporating appropriate messages in its programs; being acutely alert to children in need of care and protection; and reporting all cases of known or suspected child abuse or missing children to the OCR.
A Memorable Experience as a Teacher Euphemia Wynter | retired Principal
Being a teacher has been rewarding as well as challenging, especially when you feel exhausted and wonder why you are still in the classroom.
behaviour. The last time he was sent to the office, my intention was to give him a few days suspension from school. I gave him a seat, and allowed him to do the talking. He started to cry and instead of telling me what he did, he spoke about the separation of his parents. His mother left him with his father who had a mental break-down because of the situation. This was affecting the child emotionally resulting in aggressive behaviour.
However, to touch oneâ€™s life has a new dimension to the joy of having Godâ€™s children around you. Some of these students are products of hostile, negative environments where they are not taught certain values and tend to mis-behave contrary to social norms.
Our sensitivity and word of encouragement may make the difference to that student or to that person who needs someone to listen, or needs individual guidance and encouragement. Ascertaining the underlying cause of the problem can make a difference in our approach in dealing with the individual and the problem.
I still remember an experience I had with a Grade Five student who was sent to my office very frequently, because of his
The Called Teacher Excerpt from a keynote speech delivered by Dorrett R Campbell to the Annual Teachers’ Symposium of the St Joseph Teachers College under the theme Reach and teach each child: 23 April 2014.
“I thought teaching was a job,” says one teacher. ”And then I thought it was a profession. And now I know that it’s… a noble calling.” Teaching is indeed a calling. The teaching profession is the only one listed among the gifts in the bible (Romans 12: 3-8). James warned: Not many of you should become teachers … because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly: We are held at a higher standard (3:1). To reach our children in order to teach our children we must (1) understand and apply the concept of differentiated instruction; (2) take time out to know and understand them: (3) believe in your students; (4) change the dye and teach the way they learn. More than 20 years ago an educator, Professor Neville George Ying told me: Dorrett, if the children can’t learn the way you teach them, then you must teach them the way they learn. It was that simple statement that prompted my philosophy, Every child can learn; Every child must learn… It lies within the power of the called teacher to help every child understand and learn how to learn. Years later, I realize that Ying was actually pointing me to the concept of differentiation. He was saying to me that best practices in instructional
planning and delivery underscore the basic principles of teaching to individual strengths, while improving identified gaps in competence… Whenever a teacher reaches out to an individual student or small group of students to vary his or her teaching in order to create the best learning experience possible for that child or group of children, that teacher is differentiating instruction. Each child is unique; learns at different and differing paces; has different interests and ability; comes from different backgrounds with different situations and
The Called teacher believes in her student and has high expectations for them. circumstances that shape his or her perspective and personality. All these things impact the way he learns and for differentiated learning to take place in the classroom, the called teacher must be patient and compassionate enough take the time to know his/her student and their needs in order to connect with and inspire them… High expectations will allow us to capitalize on diversity and to make a difference in any child’s life. There really should not be a child sitting expectantly in front of you that you cannot reach and teach. I think part of the challenge in our school system today is that many of our teachers already have pre-conceived notions about our children even before we enter the classroom – pre-conceived notions about how lazy they are; how unimaginative they are; how dangerous they are; how lacking in ambition they are, and yes how slow and uneducable they are.
One educator says: “Kids don’t care how much we know, until they know how much we care.” If they perceive that you are not interested in them – that you don’t care whether they learn or not; that you have already given up on them even before you begin, they are not interested in what you have to teach them. The called teacher knows how to build relationships with each child and to communicate by examples and precepts the extent to which we believe in them… Perhaps the best thing we as teachers can do to help all students achieve is to give them hope – even when family members are not encouraging them. Even on your worst day on the job, in spite of… the called teacher is still some child’s best hope.”
How often have we dampened or killed the enthusiasm of a child by a careless retort, a poor example or a false assumption that they belong to the same class therefore they are all the same and they wear the same labels?
The Importance of Reading
Reading is important in developing the mind, and when the habit is instilled in children from an early age it contributes to high academic performance, good communication skills, increased confidence and creativity. Reading to children is therefore one of the best ways parents can spend time with their young ones. Reading to children creates parent-child bonding and increases communication. It also helps to build listening skills and is a good way of imparting values. Children need books that will hold their interest, stories that are fascinating and relatable. Parents therefore need to select age-appropriate books and be familiar with the books their children read. A highly recommended children’s novel is No Boy Like Amanda, by Jamaican author Hope Barnett. The book is primarily targeted to children between the ages of 8 and 12 years but can be read to younger children. The story is set in rural Jamaica and is about an eight year old girl named Amanda who is the only girl in a family of five children. Amanda tries very hard to fit in with her brothers who always seem to be having fun and excluding her. But Amanda is not a ‘tom boy’ and so her involvement usually ends in disaster. The story takes place over a summer holiday and describes Amanda’s misadventures as she tries to get accepted by the boys. Readers follow Amanda through to her triumph, with a lot of laughter along the way. No Boy Like Amanda has been endorsed by the Ministry of Education as a book suitable for children at the primary level to address themes such as identity, courage, perseverance and ambition. It has also been endorsed by the Children’s Advocate of Jamaica as a novel perfect for children and has won the Book Industry Association of Jamaica (BIAJ) 2013 Publisher’s Award for Best Children’s Chapter Book. It was also selected by the Jamaica Reading Association as the official book for National Reading Week 2013. 10.
Boulevard Baptist Church Scholarship Opportunities The Rewards of Sunday School Attendance The Pearline McPherson Memorial Scholarship was launched in the memory of foundation member of Boulevard Baptist Church, Pearline McPherson. Son, Michael McPherson officially launched two scholarships, to be awarded annually. Awardees must be children of members of the Church, and students of Calabar High School in Grade 8 to 13. Most importantly, the successful student must have achieved a high level of attendance in Sunday School at Boulevard Baptist and be successful in the Sunday School examination. At the launch a cheque in the equivalent of $500, 000 was presented. Emma and Gladstone Hutchinson Scholarship Fund was so named after a couple who are members of the Boulevard Baptist Church. The scholarships will be awarded to students entering Grade 7. They must be children of members of the Church and must have a high level of attendance in Sunday School. Enid Miller Scholarship Fund has benefitted students in Grade 7 to 11 who are children of members of the Church. They should be qualified Boulevard Baptist Sunday School students or students of Norman Manley High School.
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Thanksgiving Service at its Best
(L-R) Greetings: CEO CB Group, Mark Haskins; Songbird, Yanique Simpson and the sweet melodies of Gelissa Daley. Some three hundred employees of the CB Group filled the pews of the Boulevard Baptist Church on Sunday May 18, 2014. Chief Executive Officer, Mark Haskins led the Group as they joined in worship during their Annual Thanksgiving Service. Various participants delivered spectacular performances. Of note were the Boulevard Baptist Junior Choir, Yanique Simpson of the CB Group and Gelissa Daley, JCDC Festival Gold Medal Winner 2014 who received a standing ovation. Sis. Gail Fraser of the Bethel Baptist Church used a participatory approach to delivering her sermon titled, Fashioned for a Purpose. She charged the congregation to choose to be Godâ€™s servant and he would equip them with the tools to accomplish His purpose. The day culminated with refreshment courtesy of the CB Group.
Impressive medley from Junior Choir, Our Guest Preacher Gail Fraser and a CB employee serves meals.
The definition of a Child Every human being below eighteen years, unless majority is attained earlier according to the laws of Jamaica applicable to the child. Expression of opinion The right of the child to express his or her opinion and to have this taken into consideration. Freedom of association The childâ€™s right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly. Highest interests of the child In all actions concerning children, the best interest of the child shall be the major consideration. Non-separation from parents The right of the child to retain contact with his parents in cases of separation. If separation is the result of detention, imprisonment or death the State shall provide the information to the child or parents about the whereabouts of the missing family member. Family reunification Requests to leave or enter country for family reunification shall be dealt with in a human manner. A child has the right to maintain regular contact with both parents when these live in different States. Disabled children The right to benefit from special care and education for a fuller life in society. Freedom of expression and information The right to seek, receive and impart information in various forms, including art, print and writing. http://jamaicansforjustice.org/know-your-rights/childrens-corner-know-your-rights/
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