[WASHINGTON, DC] – Jamaicans in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) which comprises the Washington, DC metropolitan area, will celebrate the 59th anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence with an entirely live-streamed thanksgiving service on Sunday, August 1, 2021, beginning at 11:00 a.m.
The service is being organized by the Embassy of Jamaica and the Jamaican community of Washington, DC. This is the second time that such an event – which traditionally brings together Jamaicans from the DMV area and beyond, to mark the Jamaican independence milestone – will be held on-line.
This change is in keeping with restrictions on in-person gatherings stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Spirit of Independence
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States Her Excellency Audrey P. Marks said, “it was customary for independence celebrations to be marked with family gatherings, balls, and parades as we celebrate the achievements of our country”.
Regrettably, this year, we are again called upon to celebrate in our own unique ways. Even as we continue to celebrate apart. Nevertheless, this need not mean we have to diminish the flair of our festivities. As touted by the Independence theme, I invite you to ‘rally around the flag” and ‘Come Let Us Celebrate Online.”
Ambassador Marks pointed out, that “as was the case last year, the spirit of Independence, albeit in the virtual space, remains alive and is illuminated through our individual actions. I therefore encourage us all to participate in the online activities being hosted both at home as well as here in the Diaspora.”
The Washington, D.C., Service of Thanksgiving will feature pre-recorded Independence messages from Governor General Sir Patrick Allen and Prime Minister the Most Honourable Andrew Holness. While Ambassador Marks will give the welcome address.
The featured sermon will be delivered by the Senior Pastor of the Webster Memorial United Church, the Rev Mr. Astor Carlyle. Along with Biblical Language Literature Professor of Howard University School of Divinity, Dr. Bertram Melbourne, serving as moderator for the service. He will be assisted by the Dean of the Howard Graduate School, the Rev. Sylvia McDonald Kaufman, and Canon Kortright Davis.
Independence Thanksgiving Service – Baltimore
On Sunday, August 15, the Jamaican Association of Maryland (JAM) will host an Independence Thanksgiving Service. Services will be held at the Baltimore Central New Testament Church of God. Beginning at 5 pm, it will mark Jamaica’s 59th anniversary of independence. The sermon will be delivered by the Rev. Mr. Stanley Murray.
Independence Thanksgiving Service – Philadelphia
In Philadelphia, the Independence milestone will be celebrated with two activities. Including a flag raising ceremony at the City Hall on Independence Day, August 6, 2021.
Jamaica’s Flag will fly over the Philadelphia City Hall building’s North Apron. A ceremony is scheduled to begin at 1 pm and hosted by Jamaica’s Honorary Consul, Christopher Chaplin.
Jamaican and Caribbean leaders as well as the leadership of City’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Chair of the Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs will take part in the ceremony.
Independence Thanksgiving Service – Pennsylvania
On August 8th, at 4:00 p.m., there will be an Independence Thanksgiving service Hosted by the Jamaican Pastors of the great State of Pennsylvania. Held in collaboration with the Jamaica Diaspora Northeast Region. Scheduled at the New Testament Church of God with Bishop Cecil Mullings of the Mt. Bethel Church of God will deliver the sermon.