Sergeant Rochell McGib­bon: Em­brac­ing Chris­tian­ity

Jamaica Gleaner - - FAMILY & RELIGION - Orantes Moore fam­ilyan­dreli­gion@glean­erjm.com

SERGEANT ROCHELL McGib­bon grew up in a Rasta­far­ian house­hold Max­field Av­enue in Kingston but con­verted to Chris­tian­ity 2009 and was bap­tised two years ago.

As the po­lice of­fi­cer in charge of the Com­mu­nity Safety and Se­cu­rity (CSS) Branch in St Mary, McGib­bon works closely with church lead­ers of all de­nom­i­na­tions and be­lieves that ev­ery in­di­vid­ual has the right to de­cided how, where, why, and when they want to serve God.

Speak­ing to Fam­ily and Re­li­gion ear­lier this week, she said that hav­ing the free­dom to re­search and find one’s own spir­i­tu­al­ity is es­sen­tial for the de­vel­op­ment of all hu­man be­ings, ir­re­spec­tive of one’s back­ground or re­li­gion.

EX­PLOR­ING LIFE

McGib­bon, who at­tends the Emanuel Apos­tolic Church in Port Maria, said: “I think what you are taught and grow up with is all you re­ally know un­til you’re an adult and get to ex­plore other ar­eas of life, and Chris­tian­ity is one such area that I ex­plored.

“Be­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer gives me the op­por­tu­nity to be around a lot of churches. We visit them ev­ery day of the week be­cause we con­sider the church com­mu­nity to be part of what we do. Reach­ing out to them is im­por­tant to CSS be­cause it might be a case where we can’t re­ally get cer­tain peo­ple to come to a meet­ing, but if you go to church, they will be there.

“Rasta­far­i­an­ism and Chris­tian­ity are sim­i­lar be­cause they are both re­li­gions that be­lieve in the Bi­ble, but the doc­trines and be­lief sys­tems are dif­fer­ent. I think Rasta­far­i­ans skew their con­ver­sa­tions to par­tic­u­lar as­pects of the Bi­ble. Per­son­ally, I feel more com­fort­able be­ing a Chris­tian, and it’s the com­fort that comes from within that causes me to feel that way.”

De­spite her love for Chris­tian­ity, there are some is­sues McGib­bon is un­happy with, most no­tably the be­hav­iour of those who should know bet­ter.

She ex­plained: “Of­ten­times, it feels like some peo­ple go to church just for the sta­tus it gives them and be­cause it forms part of their au­to­bi­og­ra­phy. Some­times these peo­ple are part of the so­ci­ety, so they want a po­si­tion in the Church, which they hold on to for dear life if they get.

“I think this can take away from the main fo­cus of what church should be about: sav­ing souls and speak­ing the doc­trine. The Church needs to find its place back in so­ci­ety be­cause it has a so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity to as­sist in al­le­vi­at­ing the so­cial ills that are hap­pen­ing around us ev­ery day.

“Rather than just be­ing a build­ing, church can be kept any­where in a com­mu­nity, even un­der a tree, and it’s through those medi­ums that you can reach out to peo­ple and their souls. I re­ally think the Church needs to be seen as more of an out­reach min­istry be­cause that is re­ally what it ought to be.”

McCalla: De­spite em­brac­ing Chris­tian­ity, there are some el­e­ments of the re­li­gion she is un­happy with, most no­tably the be­hav­iour of those who should know bet­ter.

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