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Pastoral Letter - 27th June 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

Happy Women’s Lord’s Day to all women. We regret that most of the Women’s Week of activities have had to be cancelled or postponed in light of the pandemic. However, we commend our women for their continued witness in our various communities and wish you strength in your determination to fulfill your mandate.

As you celebrate, the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is experiencing a recent surge of cases of COVID-19 infections, called community spread. We are currently in the second week of what started out as a partial lock down but has since been changed to a state of emergency.

How has thus impacted us? As a result, we are unable to live our lives and carry out our daily activities in the usual way. Essential workers have to work under more difficult and stressful circumstances at greater risk of contracting the virus which threatens their lives. Some are unable to go to work or are forced to work from home. Others have lost their jobs, while others are subjected to a two-week quarantine.

Those infected with the virus have been isolated from loved ones. Even more concerning, some have lost family, friends and loved ones through death by the COVID-19 virus. Many are living in fear of contracting the virus or its negative impact on their lives and livelihood. We have been forced to worship virtually rather than physically. We have to follow the protocols by wearing masks, sanitizing our hands frequently and maintaining a six feet distance from each other. We are prohibited to express our love to each other with the usual courtesies such as hugs and kisses. This situation has resulted in an increase in domestic violence, crime and mental illnesses, among other things.

How can we respond to the situation as Christians and as a church? First let us do all we can to save our lives and the lives of those we love. Life is precious. Let us not be distracted or discouraged by the circumstances but continue to be fervent in prayer. Let us be encouraged by James Montgomery in verse 5 of his hymn MHB#533 and #285VIP which says:

Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath

The Christian’s native air,

His watchword at the gates of death;

He enters heaven with prayer.

Therefore, let us resolve to pray without ceasing (1 Thess.5:17), to ask God for wisdom (James 1:5) and when we receive it, to act in wisdom towards each other and in our decision- making. Let us be faithful to our God until death so that if death comes to us by the virus, we may receive the crown of life (Revelation (2:10). May we continue to place your trust in our faithful God as you celebrate, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Women, do enjoy your day and we pray for God’s intervention in this chaotic time.

Love and best wishes to your family, from my wife Jean and our daughters, Jerone and Jacinth and myself.

Yours in Christ

Tyrone Hunkins

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