United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands

CIRMC Weekly

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Return to Your Roots Mr. Herman Wilson

Wednesday Feb 01, 2023
 
The call to return to the Christian roots is a call for believers to
fervently seek to know our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ better
each day. He is our life, the author and perfector of our faith,
and with whom we enjoy a mystical union, He is the one who
enables us to become deeply aware of the glory, mystery,
holiness, perfection, wisdom and goodness of God the Father
through the power of the Holy Spirit. This is what we were
created for.
The call is for us by faith to maintain an eternal perspective on
life, and to frequently remind ourselves of who we are in Christ
Jesus. We are a new creation in Christ, a new humanity created
after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
(See John 1:12-13; Eph. 4:24.) We are the Church, partakers of
the divine nature in Christ, to be an expression of the light of
Christ in the world, and the temple in which God lives by His
Spirit. All believers in Christ have been chosen by God before
the creation of the world. (See Ephesians 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13-14;
1 Peter 1:2) We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in
Christ in the heavenly places, the realm of an invisible reality.
(Ephesians 1:3) There must be a change in our worldview, a
new way of life inspired by God who gives us the ability to have
a deeper awareness of the eternal compared with the temporal.
Our union with Christ Jesus is by virtue of the indwelling of the
Holy Spirit and is the essence of what it means to be a Christian.
It is a spiritual reality that transcends our finite minds. It is
supernatural and mysterious. (See 1 Cor. 6:17; 12:13; Eph.
5:31-32.) This union was revealed by Christ Jesus in His high
priestly prayer shortly before His crucifixion. He prayed as
follows for all believers.

UCJCI Women’s Fellowship Week January 22-28, 2023

Wednesday Jan 25, 2023
 
MODERATOR’S MESSAGE
Sisters of the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman
Islands, I greet you warmly on behalf of the Synod. Even
though we are drawing close to the end of the first month in the
year, I wish for you a Happy New Year and pray God’s
blessings upon your Ministry throughout the rest of 2023.
As a church, we thank God for you; for your service and the
various ways through which you contribute to Christ’s Ministry
and Mission in your local congregations, and at the Regional
and Synodical level of the church. We cannot begin to imagine
what the state of the church would be in Cayman and Jamaica,
were it not for our women. This is true for many other
denominations as well. May God continue to bless you, even as
we pray and work towards having more of our men coming on
board, because the partnership is critical.
Careful note has been taken of your Theme: “Women Rooted
in Christ: Bearing Fruit.” It’s a given that any physical tree that
is so purposed to bear fruit, must be rooted; properly anchored
in soil and receiving the required nutrients. Except for when it
is manipulated by human beings, in its natural state, the fruit
that is borne on a tree, is consistent with the type of tree. As
Christians; as Christian women, Christ Jesus has purposed you
to bear fruit. You then must remain anchored in Christ; rooted
in Him and drawing from His Spirit in order to bear fruit. It is a
given, if you are rooted in Christ; drawing sustenance from
Christ, then your fruit must reflect your connectedness; your
rootedness; your Christlike nature. You can therefore
appreciate why Jesus in Matthew 7: 16-20would say,
“By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes
from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good
tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good
tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good
fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down
and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will
recognize them.”

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Everything New! by Ms. Katherine Jackson (Cert. Hon.)

Wednesday Jan 18, 2023
 
Please read Isaiah 43:15-16 and 19-21

When I was a little girl growing up on Elizabeth Street in West
Bay, I would be so delighted if, when I was getting ready for
school, my mother would say, “see, I’ve made you a new pair
of garters”. My mother was an excellent seamstress and when
the tops of my socks would get all stretched up, and Daddy
hadn’t returned home from his turtling voyages to Key West,
Florida when he would bring new clothes, socks, shoes, small
bicycles, and some of everything for us, Mommy would make
me a pair of garters so that my socks could stay up on my
spindly little legs. Garters were simply a length of elastic with
its two ends sewn together, and then you’d slip them over the
socks and then turn down the tops of your socks so that no one
could see how really stretched up they were! New garters were
a hot item and you felt like a princess when you wore them to
school. It was the same when you got a new school uniform at
the start of the term, or a new dress, frilly socks and patent
leather shoes to wear to the Christmas programme! All things
new …
In these Bible verses from Isaiah 43, “the LORD, the Holy One”
is saying, “Forget the former things … do not dwell on the past”
– in other words, don’t park yourself there … See, I am doing
a new thing! now it springs up; do you not recognize it? Don’t
you understand? I am making a way in the wilderness (a place
that no one wants to get lost) … and streams in the wasteland –
a hot and harsh desert !”

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Let the Redeemed Return by Mr Mike Bowerman

Wednesday Jan 11, 2023
 
It was December 8th, 1963. Nineteen-year-old Frank Sinatra Jr.
was relaxing and enjoying an evening with a friend in a Lake
Tahoe hotel in Nevada prior to going on tour as he was, like his
father, a musician. There was a knock on the door and, on
opening it, two men pushed their way in, one aiming a gun at
Frankie while the other tied up his friend.
Barry Keenan and Joe Amsler then drove Frankie, blindfolded,
to an apartment in the suburbs of Los Angeles where a third
man, John Irwin, called Frank Sinatra Sr. demanding a ransom
of $240,000. Frankie’s friend had meanwhile managed to free
himself and call the police who were already on the search.
They, however, advised Sinatra Sr. to pay the ransom and they
would then follow up. It took only a few days for the three men
to be caught, Frankie to be freed and the majority of the ransom
money retrieved.
The key to young Frankie being freed was the payment of a
ransom. A ransom, by definition, is something paid or
demanded for the release of someone or something from
captivity. In his case it was $240,000. We might describe it as
the redemption price.
In the Greek language used in the New Testament, the words
ransom, and redemption have the same root. It is ‘lutron.’
‘Lutron’ has to do with deliverance and freedom won and
purchased at a price.

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RETURN with Assurance by Rev. Dr. Yvette Noble-Bloomfield RDGS-CIRMC

Wednesday Jan 04, 2023
 
SYNODICAL FOCUS
The theme chosen for the next Synodical period (2023-2025) is
Rooted, Resilient: Re-ignited by the Spirit. Four words are
connected to the theme which offers a strategic direction,
Return, Reconnect, Realign, Re-ignite. These four words
currently reflect the ongoing strategic direction for each of the
four Regional Mission Councils. Return-NERMC, ReconnectWRMC, Realign-CIRMC and Re-ignite-SRMC.
This approach allows for continuity and alignment in the
direction of the church, which is then supported and reinforced
in our worship and study spaces at Synodical, Regional and
congregational levels.
Each quarter of 2023 will have a focus on one of the strategic
words for use in our worship and study ministries. It is our
conviction that this season of the church’s ministry and mission
should continue to focus on a needs-meeting ministry and
mission, which includes but is not limited to, the ministry to
Children and Youth, witness and evangelism, worship and
stewardship as we seek to flesh out our VISION of “Touching
Lives, Nurturing Disciples, Seeking Transformation through
Christ.”
Between January and March, our focus will be on the word
RETURN.

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Christmas Message 2022 from Rev Rohan Forrester -Chair of Council

Wednesday Dec 21, 2022
   
Jesus Christ Our LIVING Hope

Please read Isaiah 62:1-12; Psalm 97; Luke 2:1-20

Our waiting is over! We’ve been waiting since
the start of Advent, preparing ourselves in
anticipation of this day. Amid all that is still
wrong in the world, today we proclaim that God
comes to us in the Christ child. Each week of the Advent season
led us closer to the ever-brightening path to the manger of the
Christ Child. As a people of hope we have waited, not in despair
or dejection. We waited with joy, because we know that even
though the end was not in sight until a day like today, the end
of our waiting would come to pass. What a wonderful feeling
to know the One who is the reason for this season. Let us
rejoice, praise and give thanks to God!
At the birth of Jesus, we receive living hope. We have
tremendous possibilities as a result of this birth; possibilities
that didn’t exist in the Old Covenant. Christ is indeed our living
hope. However, there is a major difference between the way a
believer and an unbeliever define the word hope. When the
world speaks of hope you’ll hear something like this, “I hope I
win the lottery.” But what do they mean by that? The chance of
people involved in a game of chance actually winning the
lottery is very small, but we often hear another expression, “I
just wish I would get lucky.”

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Advent 4 – LOVE

Wednesday Dec 14, 2022
 
During the first three Sundays, -and weeks- of Advent,
Christians around the world focused on the themes of Hope,
Peace, and Joy as essential aspects of our faith. Now that we
have arrived at the final week of this season, we complete our
spiritual journey and preparation for Christmas by focusing on
Love.
The miracle of Christmas is the wonderful love of God which
was poured out into this world and into every heart that is ready
to receive Jesus. He is the love of God in human form, the Love
Incarnate, the embodiment of God’s love.
The love of God, Jesus, breathes life into the deepest part of our
broken and wayward hearts. It changes and transforms us into
a new being, a new creation.
How comforting and empowering to know, embrace, and be
embraced by this amazing love. Amid our loneliness,
confusion, pain, grief, hopelessness, and disillusionment He
comes and in Him, we find acceptance, understanding, healing,
hope, peace, and joy. Jesus is, indeed, the greatest gift of all!
The priceless gift, the gift that is freely given, the gift that is so
much needed!

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A Life of Significance by Rev. Otto Menko

Wednesday Dec 07, 2022
 
Please read: Luke 1:26-38
Every one of us plays a unique role in God’s universal plan. But
what is that role? What is it that only we can do and no one else?
In the case of Mary, it is obvious. She was chosen to carry Jesus
in her womb, to give birth and nurture Him into adulthood. It is
as unique as it can possibly be.
So how about us? What is our unique role in God’s plan?
Perhaps at some point in our life, we dreamt of becoming a
popular evangelist like the late Billy Graham, able to reach out
to millions around the world. Or maybe we dreamt about
becoming a famous gospel singer who captivates the hearts,
brings people to tears and is in constant demand. Or maybe, we
dreamt of becoming a renowned theologian, an internationally
recognized Church leader, or a successful pastor of a
megachurch. Or again, maybe, we don’t dream of such things
because we ‘know’ that we are not fit for these roles or because
we are fully content and satisfied with what we do where we
are. In our simple way, we wish to live a quiet, hidden life of
faith in the company of our loved ones and friends, safely
tucked away in the Congregation we attend

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Just Jesus – God’s Anointed Hope Rev. Euthman Wray

Wednesday Nov 30, 2022
 
Please read: Isaiah 11:1-10 & Luke 4:14-22a
The familiar lines from one of our favorite carols (O Holy
Night!), exclaim: “A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, for
yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!!” Finally, the
fulfilment of a hope that was long expressed, for the Promised
Messiah who was expected to come and offer liberation and
salvation to God’s chosen. This was the sign of His birth and
the fulfilment of hope!! Israel had been waiting for a weary
world to rejoice. And then, over yonder, breaks a new and
glorious morn. Many of the early witnesses and participants
responded with much anticipation. He of whom the prophets
spoke was here! It was a thrilling hope!
One Gospel writer, much earlier, echoed similar sentiments in
reference to this Jesus as the fulfilment of that hope:
“14 Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee,
and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region…
18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed
Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal
the broken-hearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And
recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are
oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the
Lord." …21 And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture
is fulfilled in your hearing." (Luke 4: 14 & 18 – 19, 21)
Here, the text points out that Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed
One. The Greek word Christ is the same as the Hebrew word
Messiah, the Anointed One.

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Get Ready for Jesus, Our Soon Coming Hope by Rev. Donovan Myers

Wednesday Nov 23, 2022
 
Please read Matthew 25:1-13
We tend to think of Advent (coming) as a time of preparation
for Christmas (the coming of Jesus into the world as a baby),
and it is indeed. Advent is, however, also a reminder of the
promise of Christ that He will come again. His second coming
is a time of great anticipation for most believers. It is what we
live for.
The second coming of Christ, [also called the Parousia], is a
taught fact in the Bible. It is a complex reality that is told in
simple terms and, therefore, can cause significant confusion.
Paul wrote this little section in his first letter to the
Thessalonians so that his readers would not be ignorant of the
state of those who have died. In verse 13 he
indicates, “Brothers and sisters, we want you to know what
happens to those who die. We do not want you to mourn, as
other people do. They mourn because they do not have any
hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13 NIRV)

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United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands