United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands

CIRMC Weekly

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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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The Official Renaming of the Prospect Youth Centre to Olive Miller Memorial Building

Wednesday Nov 16, 2022
 
Close to eighty people gathered on Monday, November 14,
2022, at the Prospect Youth Centre to celebrate its renaming to
‘Olive Miller Memorial Building’. The initiative came from the
Cayman Islands Girls Brigade to honor its founder, former
President, and Patron. Those present included Girls’ Brigade
Companies from every corner of the Island, family members of
the late Ms. Olive, members of the clergy and the Cayman
United Church Corporation, and others.

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Sing A Song of Hope in God’s Victory by Mr. Denver Bloomfield

Wednesday Nov 09, 2022
 
Throughout the centuries, humanity has been wrought by
disaster and conflict, including the threat of nuclear war,
problems related to biological and chemical weapons, climate
change, famine, monetary failure, overpopulation, asteroid
strikes, and disease epidemics. The recent bout with the
COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing conflict between Russia
and Ukraine are stark reminders of the unsettling moments of
life’s journey.
Periods of turbulence also attend us in our local communities,
places of work, neighborhoods, schools, churches, families, and
personal relationships.
As the Church, ecclesia, the called-out people of God, we are
commissioned to comprehend the complexity of human life and
proclaim the doctrine of salvation. The Book of Psalms is
referenced as a description of the basic spiritual conduct,
occasional movements, and thoughts of human life, where
nothing to be found in this human life is omitted. Dietrich
Bonhoeffer (Life Together, p. 44) posits that “nothing is
wanting which relates to the knowledge of eternal salvation.”
The Psalter, Book of Songs, “might well be called a little
Bible”, as Martin Luther (Luther’s Works, 35:254) describes it. 

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From Former to Future Glory by Mr. Herman Wilson

Wednesday Nov 02, 2022
 
Every believer in Christ Jesus has been sealed with the Holy
Spirit for the day of redemption, and lives in the hope of the
future glory of God.
Through the life and times of Israel, God by God’s providence,
invariably demonstrates that the choices of humanity apart from
God, will, result in hopelessness. This is because we have all
fallen short of God’s glory.
Because of the disobedience of the Israelites, the Babylonians
in 597 B.C., destroyed first temple built by King Solomon This
temple was glorious because the Ark of the Covenant was there.
However, that glory eventually faded, and the Israelites were
exiles in Babylon for seventy years as punishment for their
hardheartedness.
Upon their return to the Promised Land, the Israelites undertook
the rebuilding the temple. However, due to objections from the
people who had occupied the land during their absence, they
ceased from the work and became complacent.

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Lessons from Habakkuk Rev. Norbert Stephens – General Secretary (UCJCI)

Wednesday Oct 26, 2022
 
Please read Habakkuk 1:1-4
At some time or the other all of us have engaged in sightseeing.
Some of us in faraway places others of us within these shores.
Indeed, some of us are seasoned tourists who have seen and
experienced many, some or a few of the great sights and
wonders of this world. Often for every visit we tend to ask two
pertinent questions, “why?” and “how long?”
You see there are basically two ways to engage in sightseeing,
the first is as a tourist, the second is with a mission in mind.
When you are a tourist, your sightseeing has intent without
long-term investment. Your interest is to be informed and or
inspired but the sight is merely one on your bucket list and while
you might ask the questions of why and how long, once done,
you are moving on to another sight. Intent without long-term
investment.
When you sightsee with a missional focus in mind you have
intent with long-term investment. This is not merely a place or
issue on your bucket list; indeed, it is the bucket on your list.
You are no longer a tourist, you become vested. For the location
or issue requires both your ongoing presence and participation.
Intent with long-term investment.
Truth be told, you cannot truly engage in mission without
sightseeing. One enables the other… it’s the act of sightseeing,
which generates the mission, which in turn seeks to address the
why and how long questions.

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Abundant Hope by Rev. Louis-Herard Sully

Wednesday Oct 19, 2022
 
Please read Luke 18:9-14
Being hopeful is a confident expectancy. Many of us hope for
things and are waiting for them to come or to happen. It is a
wonderful thing to have hope. The Bible teaches that hope
stands for both the act of hoping and the things hope for. In
1Cor. 9:10, when the plowman plows and the thresher, threshes,
they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. In
1Peter 1:3, Peter writes to the elect stating, “Praise be to God
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His great mercy He has
given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection
of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Considering God's word, hope does not arise from an individual
desires or wishes, but from God, who is the believer's hope.
Genuine hope is not wishful thinking, but a firm assurance.
The parable in St. Luke 18, speaks of the Pharisees who trust in
their own righteousness. Such confidence in one's inherent
righteousness is a foolish hope. The Pharisees fall short of the
Divine standard. The word of God constantly teaches us that
sinners are justified when God's perfect righteousness is
imputed to their account, and it was only on that basis that the
tax collector and anyone else could be saved. The Pharisee by
exalting his own works revealed that his entire hope lay in his
not being as bad as someone else, and therefore, lacked any
sense of his own unworthiness and sin.

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Cayman Prep and High School Celebrations!

Wednesday Oct 12, 2022
 
The Annual Service of Appreciation for the Staff of the Cayman
Prep and High School (CPHS) was held on Sunday, October 9,
2022, at the Savannah United Church at 9:00 am. In addition to
the congregants, over 100 staff members (administrative,
academic, and ancillary) and their families attended the event.
During Rev Forrester’s Greetings as the Chair of Council, he
invited congregants to observe a moment of silence in
remembrance of Mrs. M. Janilee Clifford,
who passed away at the age of 90 on
Thursday, October 6, 2022. Mrs. Clifford
was an educator at CPHS for 31 years and an
Elder of the Robert Young Memorial Church
(George Town). By her unselfish and
dedicated service in several ecclesiastical
and civic organizations Mrs. Clifford made
an indelible impact on our Church and the
wider community.

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Radical Hope in the Face of Suffering by Rev. Dr. Yvette Noble-Bloomfield and Dr. Elizabeth McLaughlin

Wednesday Oct 05, 2022
 
Please read Luke 17:11-19
Jesus throughout His ministry encountered and healed people who were
suffering from various diseases. Sickness and ill health had not only
physical realities for the body but engaged the mind and the spirit. In the
context of the 1st century, there were also cultural and sociological
implications when someone was diagnosed with a particular disease. The
sick were often criticized, condemned, isolated, and ostracized by the
healthy in society. Financial instability, loss of livelihood,
impoverished living conditions and being labelled as an outcast,
accompanied the sick and less abled in society. The life of the sick
was one of trauma as the expected support systems were non-existent.
The support expected from one’s religious and theological base was
insufficient at best and in most cases, blatantly absent. To be ill was very
often linked to ancestral sin and personal sin and the need for
forgiveness. The issue of the cause of the particular illness was the theme
of the theological enquiry and the social gossip. Blame would be
distributed without consideration of the pain being inflicted on those who
were already suffering from the physical reality of the illness.

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UCJCI October – December 2022 Focus Jesus Christ: Our Living Hope

Wednesday Sep 28, 2022
 
In this final quarter of the year, much of our readings come from
the prophets, as they seek to foster Hope in the lives of God’s
people in trying times. We have cause to reflect on their
unwavering Hope as the world faces so many things that
challenge our own Hope in God. If Faith is Hope in action, what
is Hope?
Some of us see Hope as prayerful anticipation, as that which
sustains and keeps. It is also the beginning of a concrete reality,
not yet come to pass. Of course, Hope is neither incidental nor
accidental. It comes from a vision (not always clear to others),
nurtured by action and plans.
Within the context of Scripture, two Hebrew words qawa and
batah speak to Hope, rooted in trust. As we move through
Heritage Week, Reformation Sunday, Pirates’ Week and into
Advent and Christmas, our focus shifts to Jesus and His role in
our lives of Faith. We seek to understand our Hope in Jesus
Christ, unmoving and very much alive, through the lens of
Health, Opportunities, Peace, and Evangelism and in the
realities of our countries in this season. May we find Jesus to be
our Living Hope in good and bad times.

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Giving is a Grace from God by Rev Donovan Myers

Wednesday Sep 21, 2022
 
Please read 2 Corinthians 8:1-15
For many people, giving represents an appeal to altruistic
feelings. We give because it’s the human thing to do. If others
are in need, our duty is to ‘help out’ where we can. But also,
many see giving as a necessary outpouring of their excess. I
have more than I need, so I should share. While those two
motivations might be reasonable, the letter from Paul to the
Corinthians speaks about giving in a way that challenges some
commonly held assumptions. On the one hand, for him, giving
fundamentally challenges the concept of ownership, the right
we have to possess ‘stuff’. It asserts that what we think is ours,
is only ours on loan. We are not really owners but rightly
managers. Giving, then is an outworking of the responsibility
of our management of those resources. We don’t lay claim to
things in a way that ties us to them and them to us. On the other
hand, when Paul wrote in the way that he did about the giving
of the Macedonian Christians, he was challenging the Greco Roman worldview that wealth was the result or sign of divine
approval. That somehow, it is in having a lot of stuff that we
demonstrate out strong connection to God or that God likes us.
Both people who have a lot and people who have a little are
blessed by God.

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United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands