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Borough of Queens Gets Its First Independence Anniversary Church Service – July 29, 2007, New York

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The Borough of Queens, the most ethnically diverse locale in the United States and home to the second highest concentration of Jamaicans in the country, will play host to the kick-off event celebrating Jamaica’s 45th Anniversary as an independent nation.

The New Jerusalem Baptist Church at 122-05 Smith Street, on the corner of Baisley Boulevard in the South Jamaica/Rochdale Village section of Queens, was the unanimous choice among committee members to host this year’s Thanksgiving Church Service, set for Sunday, July 29, 2007 at 4:00 pm.

The Annual Thanksgiving Church Service will again serve as the kick-off event for an expanded three week Independence schedule which culminates with the Grand Independence Ball on Saturday, August 18, 2007 at the New York Hilton & Towers Hotel, 1335 Sixth Avenue @ 53rd Street, Manhattan, at 6:30 pm.

Rev. Canon Ernle Gordon, Rector of the St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church in Kingston, Jamaica, will deliver the special Independence sermon. Rev. Dr. Calvin Rice, the Senior Pastor at the New Jerusalem Baptist Church, will welcome the more than 1,000 Jamaican nationals and well-wishers expected to attend the service, which be officiated by Rev. Canon Calvin McIntyre of the Good Shepherd Church of the Bronx.

The service will follow a set liturgy with hymns of praise and thanksgiving led by the 50 voice ecumenical choir under the direction of Lloyd Chung. Community leaders and elected officials will offer prayers for the Diaspora and the nation, especially at this time on the eve of general elections.

Ambassador Dr. Basil K. Bryan, Consul General of Jamaica in New York and chair of the Jamaica Independence Anniversary Committee (JIAC), said that the order of service was done to once again reflect the many faces and facets of the Jamaican Diaspora.

Book-ended by the Thanksgiving Church Service and the Grand Independence Ball, the 2007 Independence Anniversary schedule also includes; 2 book signing sessions, a youth symposium and an Art Exhibition at the Jamaican Consulate, 767 Third Avenue, Manhattan; flag-raising ceremonies at Bowling Green Plaza, lower Manhattan; Borough Hall in Brooklyn and City Hall in Orange, New Jersey.

The full calendar of events can be viewed at the Consulate General of Jamaica’s website; www.congenjamaica-ny.org

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Written by Staff Writer