Antiguans launch Clergy Council of North America

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer has welcomed the official launch of the Antigua and Barbuda Clergy Council of North America (ABCCNA), saying it is “a calling from God to be of service to the nation.”

Spencer, who arrived in New York over the weekend primarily to attend the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Debate, lauded the efforts by the Antiguan and Barbudan clergy in coming together, according to an Antigua and Barbuda government statement issued in New York.

The official launch of the Antigua and Barbuda Clergy Council took place on Sunday at the St. Mary’s Anglican Church in the Bronx.

The Antiguan leader also urged the clergy to “work together in helping to address the social ills that are affecting our nation,” the statement said.

Chairman of the Council, Bishop Dr. Lester Bradford, expressed his appreciation to Spencer and his delegation for “making a special effort to participate in the first annual Diaspora Worship and Prayer service,” urging Antiguans in the New York metropolitan area to “came in their numbers to continue praying for the nation of Antigua and Barbuda.”

With a mandate to bring Antigua and Barbuda Clergy members together in spiritual fellowship, the ABCCNA will also “seek to give spiritual guidance to the leaders of the nation of Antigua and Barbuda, instruct the people in Godliness and righteousness, and support the nation by addressing social, cultural and spiritual issues,” the statement said.

Other members of the Board of Directors are: The Revs. Dr. Belgrave Pelle, Dr. Lennox Piggott, Dr. Cheryl White-Lewis and Fitzgerald Henry.

Also in attendance at the launch ceremony were: Dr. Errol Cort, minister of National Security and Labor; Sen. Shawn Nicholas, parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Finance, the Economy, Public Administration and Broadcasting; Amb. Anthony Liverpool and Omyma David, deputy counsel general of Antigua and Barbuda in New York.

Antigua and Barbuda was expected to be the first Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to address the week-long 68th Session of the U.N. General Assembly Debate, which got underway on Tuesday, according to the U.N.’s provisional list of speakers.

Spencer, who was among eight CARICOM leaders addressing the Assembly, made his contribution on Wednesday morning.

The leaders of Guyana, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, Dominica and the Bahamas were expected to address the General Assembly from Thursday through Saturday.

The deputy prime minister of St. Lucia and the foreign ministers of Belize, Barbados, Suriname and Grenada are scheduled to participate in the debate from Saturday through next Tuesday.

Antigua and Barbuda’s United Nations Ambassador Dr. John Ashe has been elected president of the 68th Session of the U.N. General Assembly.

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