Christians celebrate ‘Jesus in the City’

By RON FANFAIR

It’s getting bigger and better. That was the general consensus after more than 21 float sections and nearly 30 church denominations took part in the 10th annual Jesus in the City parade in downtown Toronto last Saturday.

Prior to the parade, participants took part in a massive cultural presentation at Queen’s Park that featured music and dance.

The event is the brainchild of Rev. Ayanna Solomon who has ministered in a number of Caribbean countries, including Belize and St. Kitts where she set up the World Impact Bible Institute on the Eastern Caribbean island and worked as a missionary for three years.

“This is great, but we would still like to get more churches involved,” she said. “As a religious group, our purpose is to spread the gospel and what better way to do it on the streets rather than in the safe confines of our churches.

“Why not come out and worship on the streets and bring out the message of the gospel in a creative and musical way?”

Six sections took part in the first parade in 1999.

Representatives from a faith group in Buffalo and the Chicago-based Brothers and Sisters United for Christ (BSUC) took part in this year’s Toronto parade.

“We have had a parade similar to this in Chicago for the past three years and the idea came from what you are doing here in this city,” said the BSUC founding president, Everett Gutierrez. “This is a fantastic event and I hope that those churches that are not here today will come out next year after learning of this wonderful experience in very good weather.”

Banners of the books of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation were raised as participants wearing colourful parade T-shirts sang and danced to lively upbeat music while spreading “hope, love, peace and joy”.

Among the performing groups were the Kingdom Covenant Ministry Tambourine troupe and the Living Water Assembly dance team.

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