Citizens and residents gather for State Service of Prayer, Praise and Thanksgiving in celebration of Independence 36. SKNIS Photo.

Hundreds of citizens and residents took part in the traditional gathering for the annual State Service in celebration of St. Kitts and Nevis’ 36th Anniversary of Independence where they engaged in prayer, praise and thanksgiving Sunday at the Charlestown Methodist Church.

The congregation listened attentively to scripture readings, were entertained by the liturgical dance, observed reverent silence for the moments of prayer and sang lustily throughout the service.

“Today my brothers and sisters, we pause to give thanks to God for the many blessings He has bestowed upon us as nation. We can say with assurance, truly we have come this far by faith leaning on the Lord,” the Reverend Bonny Byron, Superintendent of Methodist Church-Nevis Circuit, said in his sermon. “Today, as citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis, we look back at where we have come from and we look forward to where we are going as a nation. Many would say that God has been mighty good to us…”

Reverend Bonny Byron reflected on the theme for this years’ Independence celebrations: Unify, Transform, Enrich: Uplifting Communities for Independence 36”.

“…We speak in our nation of unity, transformation and enrichment for our nation. And as we look around us it is true that there is much to unite us. At times like this, this grand celebration, we come together to recognize that we are one nation unified under God or we should be,” she said. “We have made progress in many areas of life and for this we are truly thankful to God. We are thankful for public servants and all who labour diligently for the good and upliftment of our people. But God says to us my friends that there is room for improvement in many areas…”

A moment of silence was observed in honour of the passing of Kenrick Georges, followed shortly after by the singing of the National Anthem. Mr. Georges, who wrote and composed St. Kitts and Nevis’ National Anthem, passed away on August 26.

The state service for the anniversary celebrations of Independence in St. Kitts and Nevis was held on the sister-island of Nevis for the first time in 2015, and then again in 2017.