SAPS gets spiritual

Rhema Bible Church held a special worship service yesterday dedicated to the South African Police Service (SAPS).

The yearly event now in its third year is part of a joint initiative between Rhema and SAPS' Spiritual Services to combat crime and seed communities with positive programmes.

"This collaboration seeks to utilise the strengths of both organisations - with the police weeding out crime and Rhema planting a positive seed through its various interventions," says the head of Rhema Ministries Pastor Ray McCauley.

The men and women in blue came to church fully clad in their uniform and decorated in their rank epaulettes.

"We thank God for blessing us with men and women of profound nobility and indomitable spirit like our police who are dedicated to defending our lives and keeping our communities safe," said McCauley.

Speaking on behalf of SAPS, Deputy National Police Commissioner Magda Stander said: "The SAPS takes spirituality and partnering with the different faith communities seriously. We believe that the best police officer is a spiritually empowered one. Such police officers can positively affect the way citizens view their country and their society," she says.

"We welcome this initiative by McCauley and his congregation and look forward to continuing our partnership with them."

Central to the initiative is that crime affects us all and that blame is an obstacle to progress, says McCauley.

The overall collaborative effort suggests an alternative to blame: that different groups within the community, with different experiences and perspectives, share much more in common than they do not, and can work together on common goals and solve the problem of crime together.