MIWC Jamaica Takes Part in Reggae Month Symposium
MIWC Jamaica Director Jo-Ann Richards Goffe took her Crew 40:4 ministry to an historic symposium in February, Caribbean Theology and the Church's Mission, put on by the Jamaica Theological Seminary's Music and Media Department.
Held in conjunction with Reggae Month in Jamaica, Dr. Garnett Roper, the head of the seminary told The Jamaican Gleaner newspaper that while reggae and jazz are among the music genres that have their own cultural identity, within the Jamaican evangelical church, sacred music has typically been associated with European styles.
"The symposium is like a crossroads, trying to catch up with the rest of the world," Roper told the paper.
The symposium sought to discuss the increase in both the creation and acceptance of reggae in Christian music. Besides Roper, panel participants included theology students, as well Bertram Gayle, who leads the translation team for the Jamaican New Testament.
According to MIWC's Richards Goffe, the day was split into five segments: cultural perspective – examining the history and use of reggae in and by the church; theological perspective – looking at the incarnational approach to sharing the gospel; pastoral approach – listening to pastors about their views on the use of reggae by the church; arts and music perspective – hearing from some top influencers; and global perspective – hearing from Richards Goffe (shown at left) and Wycliffe Caribbean Director John Roomes.
Special music was performed by panelist and gospel artist Carlene Davis as well as the Crew 40:4 team.
"People came and went throughout the day," said Richards Goffe, "and the general consensus was that it was a very rich, fulfilling and challenging experience."
For more from the symposium, watch the panel discussion on Vimeo here.