Zone of Special Appreciation
The Washington Gardens Seventh-Day Adventist Church honoured the men and women behind the JCF badges in a memorable Appreciation Service on Sabbath, April 7, 2018.
Over 100 Police Officers from various ranks, converged at 41 Headley Avenue, not in response to a distress call, not as participants in a Special Zone of Operation or State of Emergency; they were there to worship and enjoy the accolades that were given to them by the leaders and members of the church.
The events of the much anticipated day began at precisely 9:00 am. With Sergeant Tedroy Clarke, an elder in his home church, who coordinated the Sabbath School Program. Participants include retired Sergeant of Police Brendalyn Chisolm who prayed, Retired Detective Sergeant of Police Wayne McKenzie who gave a moving testimony and Retired Superintendent Sam Campbell who did the Sabbath School lesson review. The Police choir and band added their typical panache to the morning’s programme and got even better throughout the day.
The host of the Divine worship service, Retired Superintendent of Police, Ionie Ramsay-Nelson, who along with DSP Derrick Richards were the main organizers of the day's service, extended warm welcome to all who were present.
Special mention was made of Dr. Eric Nathan, President of the East Jamaica Conference; ACP Steve McGregor, who represented the Commissioner of Police; Mr. Fitz Jackson, Opposition spokesman on National Security and the recently appointed Minster of National Security, Dr Horace Chang. A brief greeting was given by each of the officials. Important issues were raised such as the effect of the Noise Abatement Act on night services of the church, the need for greater trust to be established between the citizens and police and the importance of the members of the force being ready to respond to challenges. The overall message however, was the importance of the tremendous outpouring of appreciation to the Jamaica Constabulary Force by the WGSDA church and the ripple effect that it is likely to produce.
A solemn mood was evoked as the JCF Chaplain, ACP Dr. Gary Buddoo Fletcher prayed. Musical renditions by the JCF choir and the Church’s Sanctuary Choir set the tone for the power packed message which was delivered by renowned preacher, Pastor Glen Samuels, president of the West Jamaica Conference. The relatively short message which was extracted from the book of Ezra challenged officers, visitors and members alike to fulfil their God-given mission as they grow stronger and reach higher in their day to day walk with God. Pastor Samuels urged the waiting congregation not to become weary in well doing but rather "when you think you’ve done enough, do more".
The appreciation shown to the members of the force not only included the worship component of the day. Time was taken to recognize the outstanding service being given to the nation as plaques were presented to the force in recognition of its service for over 150 years by host Pastor, Glenville Carr and to the band on the occasion of its sixtieth anniversary, by Elder Dale Flynn and Dr. Carol Nathan. The group was also hosted at a luncheon during which the members were able to interact in an informal way with participating members.
The final segment of the day saw the members of the Police Choir and band ministering in fine style. The pieces ranged from high-tempo Negro spirituals and Caribbean songs like ‘Roll Jordan, Roll’ and ‘If I had the Wings of a Dove’ to the soothing, reflective and heart-warming melodies such as ‘God and God Alone’ and ‘Jerusalem’. The saxophonist’s rendition of ‘Jesus Take the Wheel and ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ was particularly well received.
The sentiments of every one was accurately expressed in the words of one member, “The day was great from start to finish. It was a true blessing. ” As the church celebrates its sixtieth anniversary, it is expected that there will be many other high days, some of which were highlighted by Elder Marston Thomas, chairman of the sixtieth Anniversary committee. Police Appreciation day will be etched in the memory of all who were present or watched it on social media.