Missions and Mission Opportunities
"I know of no two things that can change your life like God and education. Both transform you from the inside out."
These words, ascribed to Mr. John Fountain (a reporter for the New York Times when quoted in Guideposts Magazine), could perhaps sum up the views and vision of our Church’s founding fathers. Today education remains our single largest mission beside the direct proclamation of the Gospel. Below is a brief synopsis of the main missions currently undertaken or supported by the United Church in the Cayman Islands as well as in Jamaica and internationally. If you would like to help with any of these missions in any way, or would like to learn if we are involved in another mission field that you are particularly interested in, please do contact our Council Office or any of our ministers.
Bethesda Counselling Centre
– This counselling centre was started in late 2007 in response to growing need for counselling in a rapidly changing Cayman, where it was felt that an emphasis on Christian values and perspectives in professional, therapeutic healing and strengthening of the whole person would better address the core problems being experienced by many in our modern society. Persons who serve as counsellors (both full-time and part-time) are professionally qualified to provide the wide range of counselling offered, for adults and children, including marriage, pre-marital and other couples counselling, crisis, serious illness, grief and family counselling. (The Centre does not, however, provide Mental Health Serrvices or Medical Services.)
The Centre is located in its own separate offices at: Unit 4, 68 Mary Street in George Town
in order to provide privacy and convenience of access for the many persons working and attending schools in George Town. It has been outfitted to provide a feeling of peace and comfort for those who visit (see video link here
). From Monday through Friday, flexible hours are maintained for the convenience of clients; all sessions are by appointment. The Centre is largely subsidised by the Church so that all who need someone to talk to professionally on such issues can avail themselves of the service, but those who can afford to are asked to make a donation to help ensure the long term availability of the facility as it is separate from the pastoral counselling which the Church has always provided free of cost through its congregational Ministers.
For a brochure or more information:
Contact the Bethesda Counselling Centre at 946-6575 (or 924-4676)
Cayman Prep and High School
Since 1949 the Cayman Prep and High School has been educating residents of Grand Cayman to the finest international standards. The School uses the English educational system, offering Cambridge IGCSE examinations, ‘AS’ and ‘A’ Levels. Results in all of these examinations have been exemplary, with multiple passes at the top grades. Not only are these examinations, particularly the A Levels, one of the main qualifications to gain acceptance at the top UK and other Commonwealth universities, but the Cambridge International Examinations Centre has advised that “Cambridge qualifications are recognised and accepted by over 450 universities in the US, including all Ivy League Universities, MIT and Stanford”.
Please contact the School or view its website for further details.
International University of the Caribbean
559 Walkers Road
P. O. Box 10013
Grand Cayman KY1 - 1001
Telephone: 949 – 9115
Fax: 949 – 9811
Infants and Junior Department
242 Smith Road
P. O. Box 10013
Grand Cayman KY1 - 1001
Telephone: 949 5932
Fax: 949 5535
In 2004 the Church took the decision to register the International University of the Caribbean ("IUC")
in Jamaica with the intention initially of combining its three institutions offering tertiary level education (Knox Community College -
though this was deferred, Mel Nathan Institute and ITLD
) under this umbrella. A key feature of the University is its distance learning centre (named in honour of the late Caymanian Educator and stalwart of the United Church, Mrs. Hyacinth Conolly), which will greatly facilitate the delivery of accredited degrees and other educational programmes outside of physical classrooms and across borders. The University does however have a number of campuses spread around Jamaica. The IUC was officially launched on 24th November 2005.
Other major missions in Grand Cayman
After School Programmes
- With most parents (and grandparents) not able to structure their work schedules to be home much before 6pm or later, there is a dangerous gap after the normal school day ends around 3pm, when care and supervision can be problematic, or non-existent, for many of the Island's children. The United Church in Cayman a number of years ago recognised that not only were children at risk because of the lack of supervision, and that this risk multiplied when the children reached adolescence, but many children were not reaching their true academic potential. Discussions with teachers suggested that this latter problem could well be due to the lack of time and attention being devoted to homework and study, or, for younger children, the lateness of the hour when working parents can turn to this. We sought to respond to this need because we knew that Jesus would do so, and we were determined to ensure that at least some of the child's homework would be completed while under our care, though we were conscious of not attempting to take away completely this important part of parents' responsibility to their children. Our Congregations also have other Youth activities in the afternoons and evenings which have much to offer to all children. We currently operate two After School Programmes in West Bay
. Volunteer help or assistance with food and funding will always be welcomed - and needed!
Senior Citizens Programmes
- all of our Congregations have programmes for the Senior Citizens in their District; these are for all residents of the area and are not confined to our members. We also conduct services at the Pines Retirement Home in George Town, the Golden Age Home in West Bay and Sunrise Cottage in East End.
Adult Education, training and literacy programmes
- Some of our Congregations (e.g. East End United Church
and Savannah United Church)
offer training in computer literacy, reading and other literacy skills.
Assistance for those in need
- Each Congregation responds to persons in their communities who need assistance in various ways. These include food baskets/pantries, transportation to clinics, etc., and other care. Our Congregations are also involved in outreach to the prisons and other institutional facilities, such as homes of care or rehabilitation for youth, and assist with substance abuse agencies.
- Our ministers spend much of their time providing counselling on a wide range of matters on a private, pastoral, basis to persons within and without the Church, and will make referrals to Bethesda Counselling Centre
or other specialist agencies as considered appropriate. Our Youth Workers also work in this way with young people and their parents.
- Worship the Lord can be heard every Sunday morning 7:45 - 8 on Radio Cayman (some of which are carried on our "Sermons" page). Our West Bay Congregation presents "Consider This" Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at approximately 7:40 a.m. on Radio Cayman One, 89.9FM.
- our Congregation in West Bay owns and operates a wheelchair van, which is used for the benefit of the community, as we share God's love in this way. Please contact them
if we can help you with this service.
Other Major Missions Internationally
In Jamaica, the United Church owns and operates two Children’s Homes
and also provides a full range of educational, vocational training and job creation opportunities in the Kingston inner city area, providing hope and opportunity to residents from kindergarten through adulthood. These are tremendous opportunities through which to make a difference in the lives of orphans, other children and young people, and if you would like to assist in any way, please contact the Synod office directly or, in Cayman, the Council Office or one of our Congregations. The Church in Jamaica also operates a Senior Citizens Home and a Rehabilitation Centre for aging prisoners.
Internationally, we sponsor a nurse at a clinic in Haiti
, who is a missionary from our Church in Jamaica. In addition to providing medical services and training community nurses, she operates feeding programmes, particularly for children. Our Congregations, particularly Elmslie, also undertake other missions to Haiti, Mexico and other countries and have relationships with partner Churches and other agencies providing various kinds of assistance to children and others in need. As a member Church of the Council for World Mission
(CWM), we are also able to assist fellow Christians and other persons around the world through international assistance programmes and in times of national emergencies, famine, etc. Both our Church in Jamaica and other fellow member Churches of CWM are also active in relation to HIV/AIDS and persons suffering in this way, and we can provide assistance through any of them.
If you prefer your assistance to others to be in a more businesslike form, perhaps because of concerns about creating a dependency on giving, you may be interested in investing in Oikocredit
, which has been in the microfinance business for over 30 years - before microfinance became the popular lending business it is today. The UCJCI is a member of Oikocredit, thanks to CWM. Through loans provided by (and duly repaid to) Oikocredit, coupled with their hard work and integrity, the lives of many people in the poorest countries of the world have been transferred by being able to start and successfully carry on a sustainable business. For further details go to: www.oikocredit.org
If you would like the opportunity to help with or in any of these missions, please contact the Council Office or the Minister of one of our Congregations.
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress …
" James: 1: 27 (a)