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OUTSIDE THE PULPIT: In the business of the dead

Reverend Errington Massiah

OUTSIDE THE PULPIT: In the business of the dead

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On Sunday, February 19, I attended a thanksgiving service at Vauxhall Methodist Church, Vauxhall, Christ Church, but it was one with a difference. It was held for the E. Pamela Small Funeral Home. A funeral home?
E. Pamela Small was celebrating 28 years in the funeral business and the launch of her own funeral home at “The Lawn”,?Vauxhall, Christ Church.
Miss Small must be complimented for she is a very shrewd businesswoman and this is evident through her decision to choose the well populated area of Vauxhall, which can be seen as a catchment area for her business, as the location of her funeral home.
It must be noted that she did not hold the thanksgiving service at the Chapman Street Church of God, where her father is the minister and where she is a member, but at the Vauxhall Methodist Church, which to me was her way of introducing herself and the business to the people of that area.
It was a very interesting service and the young organist was great. I got more than I bargained for; I was one of the guests and yet had to take part and play a leading role in the service, which shows that a priest or minister of the Gospel is never off duty but always there to do the work of God.
The minister in charge of Vauxhall Methodist Church, Rev. Henry Bourne, invited Rev Keith Marshall, father of Member of Parliament Dale Marshall, and me to join the platform party. For that, I thank you, Rev. Bourne.
It was during that service that my whole ministry was put to the test since I had to pray for the “team” (workers) and the success of the business.
I had no problem with praying for the “team” (workers), but I did have a great problem with praying for the success of the funeral business.
It is, after all, a funeral business, not an ordinary business. And in order for Miss Small’s funeral business and the other funeral homes to be successful, people have to die. What was I praying for?
I still ask myself: did I do the right thing in praying for the success of the funeral business?
While awaiting the answer, I must congratulate E. Pamela Small and wish her success in all her endeavours!