Jamaican Anglicans launch new project to promote lasting change
Anglicans in Jamaica are pioneering a new approach to mission that is enabling local churches and groups to pool their efforts and share their skills.
The Anglican Togetherness Group (ATG) is bringing together the 'little efforts' of churches so that they can achieve more collectively.
The initiative started four years ago when six churches in the Mona Valley of Kingston – representing 8,000 people from all parts of the community – held community walks to raise awareness of local issues.
The walks were a success, leading to the launch of ATG, which aims to applaud what churches are already doing while enabling them to achieve more by learning from each other and sharing skills and resources.
One of these 'little efforts' is an initiative that is teaching children how to play the steel pans.
ATG co-ordinator the Revd Garth Minott explained: ‘The aim is to bring together all those “little efforts” which are already up and running and which have been giving people hope.
‘By bringing people together, we can share a vision and share knowledge so that, united, we can have an even bigger impact in terms of long-lasting and sustainable positive change.
‘ATG’s mission is to see congregations working and worshiping together to fulfil the great commission and facilitate change in the Mona Valley area and some surrounding areas.
‘We want to see communities to grow emotionally, spiritually and physically through harnessing the gifts, talents and resources of local communities, including the training of new potential leaders.’
USPG programme adviser Eve Vernon said: 'USPG has worked with churches in the West Indies for nearly 300 years. So we are happy to join with the Diocese of Jamaica as they explore new contextual ways of community engagement.
‘USPG has funded training for ATG in methods of community engagement, also bringing together development workers from USPG-supported programmes in Ghana, India, Lesotho and South Africa.’