The new moderator of the Synod of the Presbyterian Church of TT (PCTT), the Rev Daniel Chance, has identified "key areas of ministry" he intends to tackle in his new role, saying they "require our attention as we embark upon the shepherd model of leadership."
The need exists today for in-depth pastoral care where the emphasis would be placed upon those who are on the margins or fringes of society," Chance said in his maiden speech on Sunday evening.
The installation ceremony was held at the Susamachar Presbyterian Church at Coffee Street in San Fernando. His term runs until 2025.
Chance said leaders need to be empowered with the resources necessary so that they can empower others. "In other words, we need caring pastors. I will forever be Pastor Chance to people from Rio Claro, Fyzabad, Claxton Bay, Point Fortin, Nariva, Mayaro, Tableland, etc.
We need to care for our people."As God's people, we must care for all in a loving and kind way,"
Chance told the congregation."There must be a place for everyone within the community of believers where all our members would feel that sense of belonging, where needs are made known, and where those needs are met. The church must continue to reflect and make real the love and compassion of Christ."
He praised his late parents, saying as children, he and his siblings benefited from their devotion. Chance thanked his wife Calpurina, their daughter, extended family, and colleagues in the ministry for their love, care, and support.
He told the congregation the work of God's people continues. He also expressed his gratitude to all those who participated in Sunday's "worship experience." Terrence Warde, the synod's general secretary, recalled the synod was inaugurated in 1961. This year, Chance was elected the 18th moderator since the synod was set up 63 years ago.
Before Chance, three female moderators served consecutively for 12 years, from 2011 to 2023. They were his predecessor, the Rev Joy Abdul-Mohan, the Rev Brenda Bullock and Rev Dr Annabell Lalla-Ramkelawan.
Warde said Chance served as a lay pastor from 1991 to 2009. Warde added, "The synod extends best wishes to Chance as he embraces his role. Your compassion and humility will be assets as your work evolves."
Representatives of the three presbyteries of the church – northern, south-central and southeastern – attended and gave remarks.Abdul-Mohan said, "This call to the administrative ministry is a blessing and a great responsibility. It recognises the gifts of an ordained minister to work among us, with us, and on our behalf."
She also prayed for Chance's life and work to be a "gift of grace" to the church. On behalf of the church, Abdul-Mohan told Chance: "We thank you and challenge you to offer your best to God and all God's people."
Rev Manan Deo told the gathering that the moderator is not the only leader of the church as others like the elders or synod officers carry "some measure of leader responsibility in the church."
He said leadership is not easy.
"Leadership requires us to be self-aware of our performance starting with our visions, plans, our accomplishment along the way and also the way it is done," Deo said.
He said if leaders refuse to evaluate themselves or to have that evaluation done of their stewardship, the people would scrutinise and evaluate their work. He added that people would have their say whether the leaders like it or not.
Quoting biblical scriptures and citing the experiences of Joshua and Paul, Deo charged that leaders must emulate their leadership style in doing God's will. Deo said when some people attain leadership roles, sometimes they use their influence and power for personal gains, and the people's interests take second place. He called on the moderator to use his title to serve and manifest God.