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Dec 31, 2001

Looking for a New Year’s nightspot? Try church

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It’s New Year’s eve, that one night of the year when Belizeans get dressed up for a late night rendezvous at their favourite nightspot. We’re talking about church of course, and Ann-Marie has a preview of what to expect.

Ann-Marie Williams, Reporting

“When the bells toll tonight for the traditional watch-night service or midnight mass, many Belizeans will find themselves in a familiar or nor so familiar place…the church.”

Rev’d Linda Moguel, St. Mark’s Church

“People see this as the start of a very important time in their life, when they seek to deepen their faith and become attuned to God in their life. They see it as a night of emancipation, they can put the old year behind them and try to think of the things that they did not do that they would like to do for the new year, and try to keep with them the memories of what was good for them in the old year.”

Fr. Lazarus Augustine, Chancellor, RC Diocese

“It’s very important because it will be marking the beginning of a new year and I’ve always believed that God is the source of everything, and so he should be given first place. And when we gather for service, we are giving God glory, honour, and praise. I believe that if we think about God and honour God, then God will be there for us, especially at times when we will need him most. So people must be encouraged to understand that God is first and will always be first.”

Priest in charge at St. Mark’s Church in Hattieville, Reverend Linda Moguel is celebrating watch-night service at St. John’s Cathedral at 10:30 p.m.. She contends that the new year brings with it renewed hope. The kind of hope carried by Belizeans who have never been regulars at church.

Rev’d Linda Moguel

“On watch-night you expect all those persons who have not had the time, as they see it, to come to church. Again, it is for them drawing nearer to Christ. Jesus came on earth for sinners, he came for the poor, the maimed, the neglected, the rejected. So he will be very happy to have such people come to church. It could be the beginning of a closer relationship for them with God, one that they may have wanted to do in the old year that’s going out, but for many reasons could not do it. And so they make some kind of a projection coming forth that they will make this year a better year in their lives and serve their God.”

The reverend David Goff, who will be conducting services at Ebenezer Methodist, is hoping that as a people we would tonight resolve to serve God.

Rev’d David Goff, President, Methodist Church

“I do hope folks will, despite whatever else may be happening, will give priority to come tonight to worship in whatever church they do desire. And to make sure that among their New Year’s resolutions, they make a firm pledge and commitment to God to be regular in the year 2002. We have had a very interesting year, and in terms of natural disasters that have come our way, the hurricane and other things that have happened, we need to be there to say to God how much we have appreciated his presence and his guidance, his protection. And then to seek his grace as we move forward into the New Year.”

And a good way to usher in the New Year is to attend the church of your choice. Ann-Marie Williams for News 5.

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