Rose Hudson-Wilkin

Rose Hudson-Wilkin

Whether you are Jamaican by birth or through association it was easy to appreciate the high praise offered at the “Service of Thanksgiving” at the True United Church. At the house of worship at 6201 Old York Road and where Bishop Shawn Bartley is the lead pastor, a 57th anniversary celebration of the island’s independence unfolded Aug. 6 under the theme of “One Nation One People.” An outpouring of praise, worship and song was highlighted as people donned in the black, green and gold colors of the Jamaican flag came prepared to “tek something and wave.” Three stalwarts in the Caribbean community were honored for their service and dedication to the diaspora and others: Dr. Trevor Sewell, Bishop Jabez Barrett and Dr. Charles Hart. Award presenters were Dr. Harold Mignott; David Barrett, the bishop’s son; and Josha Veeraraj, a grandson of Hart. “It’s a blessing that these honorable men are here to receive their awards,” said Donohue Bailey, chairman of the Jamaican Diaspora in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and co-chair of the event along with Pastor Christopher Neilson. “I am proud of the fact that the committee agreed to include women on the program this year,” Bailey said in thanking the participants. The combined praise dance groups from True United and Bryn Mawr Avenue churches were phenomenal, not to mention the awesome message, titled “Forgiveness in the Age of Rage,” given by Pastor Brian Grant of Germantown Christian Assembly. The first full week of August was filled with a series of events marking Jamaica’s independence from the United Kingdom on Aug. 6, 1962. In true Team Jamaica Bickle spirits, TJB celebrated 25 years of volunteerism and the 57th year of independence at the Hilton Hotel Philadelphia on City Avenue on Aug. 10. Honors were given to Andre Blake, the goalkeeper for the Philadelphia Union and for the Reggae Boyz, the Jamaican national team; and Nicola Thompson-Wiener, a Bickle Athlete alumnus. Blake was recognized for being Jamaica’s No. 1 goalkeeper and for earning 42 caps for the Reggae Boyz. He was a first round pick by the Philadelphia Union in the MLS Super Draft in 2014. Thompson-Wiener attended Manning High School in Jamaica and ran the 800- and 1,500 meter races, along with the occasional 4X800 and 4X400 relays. She represented her high school at the Penn Relays in 1995 and 1997. In 1997 she received a scholarship to Iowa Wesleyan College and then transferred to Eastern Michigan University, graduating in 2001 with a degree in psychology. At both schools, she was key to them winning numerous track and field championships. To add to her list of accomplishments, she also received a Master’s Degree in Gerentology and a second Masters from Temple in Social Work. To top off the evening, the distinguished guest speaker was Rose Hudson-Wilkin, a Church of England priest who is chaplain to both Queen Elizabeth II and the speaker of the House of Commons. “I never dreamt, as a little girl living an ordinary life in Montego Bay, that I would have been called to be chaplain to her Majesty the Queen,” said the Jamaican-born priest who this year was appointed the church’s first Black female bishop. “That is proof that all things are possible,” said Hudson-Wilkin, who became an ordained deacon in 1991, a priest in 1994 and chaplain to the quest in 2007. As the 79th and first female chaplain to the House of Commons, she leads the daily prayers in the chamber and has pastoral care of the staff and others at the Palace of Westminister. Those duties started with her appointment in 2010. In 2014, she became the priest-in-charge of the St. Mary-at-Hill in London. She represented the Church of England at the World Council of Churches conventions in Zimbabwe and Brazil. She is also a fellow in public theology at Virginia Theological Seminary in the United States. What a list of accomplishments for a little “ordinary girl” from Montego Bay, Jamaica. Christopher Chaplain, the honorary consul for Jamaica, read a message from the Prime Minister Andrew Holness. What stood out for was his statement that Jamaica will see greater achievements and improvements. “At 57 we are still a young nation,” said Holness. “We have achieved much but there is still much more to be done, Hardships there are but the land is green and the sun shineth upon us as one nation, one people increasing in beauty, fellowship and prosperity.” We look forward to what the 58th Independence Day observance will bring in 2020.

Whether you are Jamaican by birth or through association it was easy to appreciate the high praise offered at the “Service of Thanksgiving” at the True United Church.

At the house of worship at 6201 Old York Road and where Bishop Shawn Bartley is the lead pastor, a 57th anniversary celebration of the island’s independence unfolded Aug. 6 under the theme of “One Nation One People.” An outpouring of praise, worship and song was highlighted as people donned in the black, green and gold colors of the Jamaican flag came prepared to “tek something and wave.”

Three stalwarts in the Caribbean community were honored for their service and dedication to the diaspora and others: Dr. Trevor Sewell, Bishop Jabez Barrett and Dr. Charles Hart. Award presenters were Dr. Harold Mignott; David Barrett, the bishop’s son; and Josha Veeraraj, a grandson of Hart.

“It’s a blessing that these honorable men are here to receive their awards,” said Donohue Bailey, chairman of the Jamaican Diaspora in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and co-chair of the event along with Pastor Christopher Neilson.

“I am proud of the fact that the committee agreed to include women on the program this year,” Bailey said in thanking the participants.

The combined praise dance groups from True United and Bryn Mawr Avenue churches were phenomenal, not to mention the awesome message, titled “Forgiveness in the Age of Rage,” given by Pastor Brian Grant of Germantown Christian Assembly.

The first full week of August was filled with a series of events marking Jamaica’s independence from the United Kingdom on Aug. 6, 1962.

In true Team Jamaica Bickle spirits, TJB celebrated 25 years of volunteerism and the 57th year of independence at the Hilton Hotel Philadelphia on City Avenue on Aug. 10. Honors were given to Andre Blake, the goalkeeper for the Philadelphia Union and for the Reggae Boyz, the Jamaican national team; and Nicola Thompson-Wiener, a Bickle Athlete alumnus.

Blake was recognized for being Jamaica’s No. 1 goalkeeper and for earning 42 caps for the Reggae Boyz. He was a first round pick by the Philadelphia Union in the MLS Super Draft in 2014.

Thompson-Wiener attended Manning High School in Jamaica and ran the 800- and 1,500 meter races, along with the occasional 4X800 and 4X400 relays. She represented her high school at the Penn Relays in 1995 and 1997.

In 1997 she received a scholarship to Iowa Wesleyan College and then transferred to Eastern Michigan University, graduating in 2001 with a degree in psychology. At both schools, she was key to them winning numerous track and field championships.

To add to her list of accomplishments, she also received a Master’s Degree in Gerentology and a second Masters from Temple in Social Work.

To top off the evening, the distinguished guest speaker was Rose Hudson-Wilkin, a Church of England priest who is chaplain to both Queen Elizabeth II and the speaker of the House of Commons.

“I never dreamt, as a little girl living an ordinary life in Montego Bay, that I would have been called to be chaplain to her Majesty the Queen,” said the Jamaican-born priest who this year was appointed the church’s first Black female bishop.

“That is proof that all things are possible,” said Hudson-Wilkin, who became an ordained deacon in 1991, a priest in 1994 and chaplain to the quest in 2007.

As the 79th and first female chaplain to the House of Commons, she leads the daily prayers in the chamber and has pastoral care of the staff and others at the Palace of Westminister. Those duties started with her appointment in 2010.

In 2014, she became the priest-in-charge of the St. Mary-at-Hill in London. She represented the Church of England at the World Council of Churches conventions in Zimbabwe and Brazil. She is also a fellow in public theology at Virginia Theological Seminary in the United States.

What a list of accomplishments for a little “ordinary girl” from Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Christopher Chaplain, the honorary consul for Jamaica, read a message from the Prime Minister Andrew Holness. What stood out for was his statement that Jamaica will see greater achievements and improvements.

“At 57 we are still a young nation,” said Holness. “We have achieved much but there is still much more to be done, Hardships there are but the land is green and the sun shineth upon us as one nation, one people increasing in beauty, fellowship and prosperity.”

We look forward to what the 58th Independence Day observance will bring in 2020.

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