Members of Susamachar Presbyterian Church in San Fernando perform a Liturgical dance during the Old Years night service on Thursday.

Archbishop Jason Gordon wants T&T to develop a culture of love and care which he believes is lacking in society.

Speaking at the New Year’s Eve mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in San Fernando on Thursday night, Gordon said it is evident by the way people speak and treat children, migrants and each other.

“The same care that Mary gave to Jesus is the same care we are called to give to our family. One of the things that is really challenging in T&T is the way we understand love and care because you know sometimes we are most brutal with the people we are closest too.

“We tease people as a sign of love, sometimes until (they) cry. We expose them in front of the aunties and uncles for little pieces of foolishness that they do. We do to the children, sometimes, things that do not allow them to feel at home in their own skin because of the names we use for them and the derogatory ways that we refer to them they don’t represent care, love and affection and so we bring up a generation that could never feel at home in its own skin.

“Building a culture of care is the single most important thing we can do in T&T today and it must start in our families. It has to start in our families because we are bringing up generations who are not at home in their skin because of the culture of fatigue, the culture of fun, the culture of name-calling the culture of exposition that we have right now in the Caribbean family and our family in T&T that wound and hurt our children.”

Archbishop Gordon believes that this type of behaviour is rooted in the ancient pain from slavery and indentureship which has not yet healed.

“And because of our ancient pain, we have not found a reconciliation to be at home in our own skin and to welcome each other as a child of God.

Until we can build a culture of care in our families we can’t have a better nation…”

Drawing reference to the way prisoners are treated, he said some of them spend a longer time in remand yard awaiting trial than the actual jail sentence for their crimes. Also noting an increase in xenophobia in the country, he said one just has to listen to the conversation about migrants.

He also made reference to the racial and derogatory remarks during and after the general elections last year.

On the other hand, however, he said T&T can be incredibly generous saying the nation has always risen to the occasion when people are in need.

“I have been blown by the generosity of Trinidad and Tobago around the pandemic. We fed 74,000 families during the pandemic in a four-month period and every parish jumped into action…”

He also pointed to the numerous times T&T assisted its Caribbean family in their time of need.

Delivering the New Year’s Sermon at the Susumachar Presbyterian Church in San Fernando, Rev Letra Jacob reflected on how COVID-19 would have affected each of them in one way or the other.

She advised worshippers, however, to continue to keep their eye on Jesus and hold on to their faith as they enter 2021.