United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands

CIRMC Weekly

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Find Us Faithful by Mrs. Katherine Jackson

Wednesday Aug 10, 2022
 
Please read Hebrews 11:1-16
First, let us see how faith is defined by Hebrews 11:1 and 3.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for, and assurance
about what we do not see. 3 By faith we understand that the
universe was formed at God’s command so that what is seen
was not made out of what was visible.”
The writer then begins his walk through the various chambers
of the Faith Hall of Fame, naming some of the Heroes of Faith:
Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph,
Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, and
Samuel.
So, what about us? Are we living by faith? Can we look
through our families and name the generations? Can we look
through our Churches and name the families?
At John Gray Memorial here are the surnames of some of the
stalwart families there: Gray, Ebanks, Bodden, Bothwell,
Hydes, Henning, Jackson, Farrington, Banks, Dilbert, Bush,
Rivers, Glidden, Robinson, Parsons, Bonner, Elliott, Gordon,
McDermot, Thompson, Burke, McLaughlin, Wright, Kandler,
Smith, Anglin, Powery, Welds, Powell, Dixon, Pouchie,
Rankine, Voaden… and this list could go on and on.

please click here for more information (PDF file)


The World Council of Churches 11th Assembly -“Christ's love moves the world to reconciliation and unity”

Wednesday Aug 03, 2022
 
“Christ's love moves the world to reconciliation and unity”
is the theme of the 11th Assembly of the World Council of
Churches which will take place in Karlsruhe, Germany, from
31 August to 8 September 2022. This is the first time the assembly gathers in Europe since 1968 when the meeting was
held in Uppsala, Sweden.
“The WCC Assembly is the highest governing body of the
World Council of Churches (WCC), and normally meets every
eight years. It is the only time when the entire fellowship of
member churches comes together in one place for prayer and
celebration.”

please click here for more information (PDF file)


New Perspectives & New Priorities by Rev. Otto Menko

Wednesday Jul 27, 2022
 
Please read Luke 12:13-21
The subject of today’s reading is our attitude to material things
such as money and other assets that we regard in high esteem
and also something that is absolutely necessary in our earthly
life.
Someone in the crowd asked Jesus to act as a mediator in a
family dispute of financial nature. “Teacher, - the man said -
tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” (v.13)
It may seem strange to our modern, Western way of thinking
that someone is asking a spiritual leader (in this case, Jesus) to
act as a judge and officiate in a dispute, but it was and still is
the custom in Judaism. Jewish men and women always seek the
ruling of their rabbi and go to a secular court only as a last
resort. The Torah, or Law, has extensive and often detailed
instructions for almost every aspect of life, what is permitted,
what is not, what course of action is to be followed, and so forth.
Rabbis were and still are the professional guides and judges not
only in spiritual but also in practical matters.
This man’s complaint was not that he didn’t receive his rightful
portion of his inheritance but that his older brother was still in
charge of his share. The words, “tell my brother to divide the
inheritance” indicates that this man was a younger brother and
although after the death of their father his share of the estate
was allocated to him, he still didn’t have access to it. He didn’t
accuse his brother of misusing, mishandling the inheritance; he
just wanted to take charge of his share now. He wanted to be
independent of his brother, he wanted to have complete control
over his assets. Obviously, this matter has become a matter of
contention between them and maybe even strained their sibling
relationship.

please click here for more information (PDF file)


Vacation Bible School - John Gray Memorial and Savannah United

Wednesday Jul 20, 2022
 
John Gray Memorial VBS by Alikie Kandler
The John Gray Memorial United
Church VBS was held from July 4-8,
2022, with an average of 20 kids
attending and a total of 15 volunteers
for the week. This year’s theme was
Jerusalem Marketplace focusing
on learning about the week and the
stories leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection. Leaders and
kids alike were able to travel back in time to Jerusalem by
visiting Synagogue School, Marketplace Shops, and the Village
Playground.

Savannah United VBS by Camile Watt
The week of July 4-8, 2022, was filled
with excitement as children walked into
a whole new world of Adventure as the
Savannah United Church Sanctuary,
Hall and Sunday School Classrooms
were transformed to reflect the theme:
Discovering Adventure Island

please click here for more information (PDF file)


There’s A Choice to Be Made by Mr. Bryan Bothwell

Wednesday Jul 13, 2022
 
Please read Amos 8:1-12 and Luke 10:38 – 42

The theme developed for us to grapple with this week is
“There’s A Choice to Be Made” in responding to ‘God Who so
loves the world’. Scholars assure us, though, that that “choice”
is not between “being” versus “doing”, as some may have
interpreted that Gospel Scripture - they remain inseparable!
Though clearly, Jesus did say that the way in which Mary had
prioritized His presence, having taken the posture of a then
student focused raptly on being shaped by a Rabbi, was “better”
than Martha letting herself be, as the Divine Jesus sensed,
“worried and upset about many things”. We don’t know what
those were. Luke says that one thing that “distracted” her was
all that had to be done to prepare the meal for Jesus, and the
disciples travelling with Him, which was an important element
of caring for one’s neighbour in those days. And we could
speculate from what Martha said that she was also “upset” that
Mary was not helping her. And we probably all know how that
feeling of “why is it always me having to do everything?”
indeed distracts us from Godly thoughts! But we do not have to
speculate on the details; Christ knew, and Christ has spoken.
Though we should learn from the caring voice in which He
“corrected” Martha. 

please click here for more information (PDF file)


Mission Trip to Ruvuma, Tanzania by the Tanzania Mission Team

Wednesday Jul 06, 2022
 
The team which travelled to Tanzania consisted of Bishop PJ
Lawrence, Mr Andrew Rollins, Mrs Debreca Rollins, and Mr.
Michael Bowerman. It left Cayman on 18th May for a ten-day
mission trip. 
The journey was long and tedious – about 36 hours. They left
Grand Cayman for Miami, then to Istanbul, on to Dar es Salaam
and finally to Songea, the capital city of the District of Ruvuma
in southern Tanzania.
The team was hosted by the Anglican Diocese of Ruvuma under
the leadership of Bishop Raphael Haule, the diocesan bishop.
They found the people of Ruvuma warm, friendly, and
appreciative of their visit. During the formal introduction at the
Ruvuma diocesan office, they were welcomed by the bishop
and the diocesan leadership and by singing and dancing by the
Mothers' Union - something which accompanied them in all the
places they visited.

please click here for more information (PDF file)


The CIRMC’s Response to the Ukraine Crisis

Wednesday Jun 29, 2022
 
The Congregations in the Cayman Islands Regional Mission
Council received financial donations from Members and
Adherents from March to May 2022 to provide relief in war-torn Ukraine.
On Wednesday, June 29, 2022, the Regional Deputy General
Secretary, Rev Dr Yvette Noble-Bloomfield, presented CI $
7,782.40 to the Cayman Islands Red Cross. Mrs Samantha
White-Smith, the CIRC Volunteer and Resources Manager,
accepted the cheque on behalf of the CIRC. The CIRC will send
the funds to the Ukraine Red Cross to support the continuing
relief effort.
We remain in prayer for the people of Ukraine.

please click here for more information (PDF file)


Resilient: The Cost of Discipleship (or The Cost of Following Jesus) By Mr. Noel Wallace Music Minister, Savannah United Church

Wednesday Jun 22, 2022
 
Please read Luke 9:57-62
As Jesus travelled during His earthly ministry, He encountered
a number of ‘would-be’ followers. They made a show of
wanting to be His disciples… to impress Jesus, or better yet, to
impress the crowds that followed Jesus. Well, who is a disciple?
A disciple of Christ is one who follows the teachings, life, and
lifestyle of Christ. The aim is to become like Christ in
everything and every way.
Jesus made it quite clear that in deciding to follow Him we must
count the cost. Salvation is a free gift of God. Jesus died on the
cross for our sins. All we need to do is open our hearts and
accept God’s forgiveness. However, God’s goal is not merely
salvation but discipleship. God does not want us to merely show
up at church on Sundays, He wants us to be a visible, verbal
follower of Jesus daily.
Today’s Church in general suffers from the fact that only 10%
of the congregation do 90% of the work. Why? Excuses!
Excuses! We find so many excuses for not following Christ, for
not attending church (or even attending regularly), and for not
participating in the church’s mission. Excuses represent the
choices we make by justifying the reasons behind our actions.
To be fair, not all excuses are bad. Some can be, let’s say,
reasonable. In Luke 9:57-62, we are faced with the dilemma of
how reasonable excuses are challenged by Jesus for their
superficial nature because they mask what’s happening deep
inside our hearts.

please click here for more information (PDF file)


Resilience amid Doubt and Depression by Rev. Euthman Wray

Wednesday Jun 15, 2022
 
Please read: 1 Kings 19: 1 – 15
“What are you doing here, Elijah?” This was the question asked
of the prophet in 1 Kings 19, as he found himself in a particular
“place”, literally on the run, in a desert, being clearly doubtful,
desolate, depressed, and even inviting death. In verse 4, we hear
the extent of his pain, “I have had enough, Lord. Take my life,”
and rolled over to die.
Elijah wasn’t always “here”. This was the person through
whom many miracles were wrought, as seen between chapters
17 and 18 of 1 Kings: no rains for over three years (17:2 & 18:
41); the miraculous increase in the small provisions of a widow
and her son (17: 16); the resurrection of the widow’s son (17: 7
– 24); culminating with the miraculous calling down of fire
from heaven as proof of the true God (18: 16 – 39).
He was “there” in the know, the active, the victories, the
fulfillment of purposeful life and witness. But now, alone,
leaving his servant behind intentionally, preferring to be by
himself, he embarked on a 40-day journey into his wilderness
of deep doubt and depression. So, from “there”, “here” he was.
Yet, the troubling question, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 

please click here for more information (PDF file)


‘God in Three Persons, Blessed Trinity’ By Rev. Otto Menko

Wednesday Jun 08, 2022
 
In the Church’s Liturgical Calendar, Pentecost Sunday is
followed by Trinity Sunday, inviting us to celebrate the mystery
of the three Persons of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Spirit, and to consider the relevance of this mystery in our life.
We all are familiar with the tenet of our Christian faith that there
is one God only and that this One God has been revealed to us
as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. One divine being, and yet three
distinct and identifiable divine persons.
To some of us, this may seem to be a contradiction. How is it
possible that God is one and three at the same time? What are
we supposed to make of this?
Well, this mystery – in a way- reminds us that when it comes to
knowing and understanding God, we must acknowledge our
limitations and boundaries. Our human intellect and language
are completely inadequate to fully understand and express who
God is. God is a mystery we cannot ever fathom or comprehend.
Understanding and knowing God to a certain degree is possible
only because of God’s self-revelation. With infinite love and
mercy, God reached out to us and partially lifted the veil, so to
speak, so that we might have a glimpse of the One who is
beyond our human comprehension. Most of what we know and
understand of God is coming from the Holy Scriptures, from
the records of God’s self-revelation through events and persons,
but in its fulness, through Jesus Christ. The Scriptures are the
primary sources for gaining some degree of knowledge of who
God is.

please click here for more information (PDF file)


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United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands