To our sister church in Trinidad and Tobago, my fellow Ministers, brothers and sisters here in New York and the Caribbean, My beloved Patriarch McGillvary and the Queen Abbess in London, England I send you peace and the Grace of God this season of Christmas. I bring you joy and peace that passeth all understanding this time of year.
Christmas gives us a space when we can consider the things that we value most – family, friends and fellowship. It is a time for being hopeful for the coming year and to reflect on the one that has passed.
Looking back, 2014 has been a year when our country pulled together to overcome the challenges we face. The Mystical Order of Spiritual Baptist have overcome many challenges, but we stuck together as a single unit. Together we have made real progress on strengthening our church and with Starlight of Israel Healing School we are a greater force to face the new challenges in 2015. The world economy slowed down and as diseases surfaced creating a threat to the very existence of human life. Our scientists are baffled at the alarming rate and spread of these diseases and looking for cures are very challenging.
Our churches continue to strengthen our society – being good neighbours, running schools and voluntary associations, playing their part in countless small ways to help build what I call the ‘big society’. Many of these people are Christians who live out to the letter that verse in Acts, that “it is more blessed to give than to receive”. These people put their faith into action and we can all be grateful for what they do.
2014 was a significant year for the Christian faith – a year that welcomed The Reverend Hilary Lynch and Michael Harris as the new Bishops of The Mystical Order of Spiritual Baptist in Association with Starlight of Israel Healing School, and saw Her Beatitude Hon. Janet McClean robbed and seated in the Church as Matriarch. They have come in with exciting plans to help rejuvenate the church, which should inspire Christians in our communities.
For me, this season is also a time to think about the meaning of Christmas – the birth of Jesus Christ and the hope that gives to millions. In the Book of the Prophet Isaiah 9:6 we read: “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
With peace in mind, I would like to say “thank you” to our brave men and women of the armed forced of the United Stated and nearer to my heart Trinidad and Tobago who are helping bring peace here and around the world; to their families who cannot be with them; and to all the dedicated men and women in the emergency and caring services who are working hard to support those in need this Christmas. I cannot close without mentioning my Archbishop Sir Godfrey Gregg who has been working overtime to keep this ministry and making us proud of our achievements. May God bless us all and may your Christmas be bright and filled with cheers.
Have a peaceful Christmas – and a very happy New Year.
Sir Darrindel Hoyte-Johnson
Patriarch and Chief Apostle
Bishop of Starlight of Israel Healing School