United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands

CIRMC Weekly

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Rescued by God’s Grace and Mercy by Rev. Rohan Forrester (Chair of Council - CIRMC)

Wednesday Sep 07, 2022
 
Please read Luke 15:1-10
The month of September in the Cayman Islands Regional Mission
Council is a time for remembering, renewing of our commitment to
Christ and celebrating our mission in these islands. The Cayman Islands
Regional Mission Council of the United Church in Jamaica and The
Cayman Islands celebrates on September 11, 176 years of unbroken
mission and partnership that led to the establishment and expansion of
the church in the Cayman Islands. It all started in 1845 when the
Presbyterian Church of Jamaica decided to send Missionaries to preach
the Gospel in Africa. It was also in 1845 when the missionaries set out
for Calabar in Nigeria, they did not get beyond the Cayman Islands as
their ship was wrecked on the reef at East End and thereby noticed the
spiritual situation among the locals. However, early in the springof1846,
Rev. William Niven, a Scottish Presbyterian Missionary who was at the
time serving in Jamaica, also passed through Grand Cayman while on
his way to England and observed the situation firsthand. Later in July
1846 on his return from England Rev. Niven placed the matter before
the Presbytery of Jamaica for consideration. A decision was then made
at the Synod meeting at Goshen in St. Mary, Jamaica, that someone
should go to the Cayman Islands.

please click here for more information (PDF file)


Responding with Complete Surrender by Rev. Otto Menko

Wednesday Aug 31, 2022
 
Please read Luke 14:25-33
There are many ways our Christian faith can get derailed, go
wrong, taking us on a path of a fruitless, self-absorbed existence
and consequently discrediting the message of the Gospel.
The statistics of late clearly indicate the decline of the Church
globally and church membership in general, and this has
become the trend and not just an anomaly due to the recent
pandemic. But what is behind this worrisome development?
There are some who point to the failure of the Church (and there
are many for sure), while others blame Christians and their
wishy-washy, lukewarm faith and life or the hostility - and at
the same time - attraction of the postmodern world we live in.
The truth is most likely a combination of all these.
There are efforts of all sorts worldwide by Christian leaders and
institutions to address this issue and chart a way out of this
problem, and only time will tell if the ‘solutions’ indeed take us
back on track or not. In the meantime, there is something we all
can do to become part of the solution and not part of the
problem.

please click here for more information (PDF file)


Responding With Humility & Generosity by Rev. Dr. Yvette Noble-Bloomfield

Wednesday Aug 24, 2022
 
Please read Hebrews 13:1-8
We are invited to reflect on the sub-theme, ‘Responding With
Humility and Generosity’ as we continue to journey with the
Synodical theme ‘Rooted, Resilient: Responding in Hope.’
As a denomination, constantly we remind ourselves that God
expects that our response to humanity must always be
characterized by humility. We should never see ourselves as
being “above” others. A humble church, which is generous with
God’s gifts and respectful of others, is what God expects us to
be.
This pericope in Hebrews 13 is a timely reminder to the Church
and us as individuals of the required Christian attitude and
practices that need to be followed and displayed in the world. It
provides a comprehensive list for us to adhere to as we share in
the faith. The list includes the following: Love for each other
and those in the world, hospitality, care for the incarcerated,
support for those who suffer in body, the importance of
marriage and family, and avoidance of the lust and lure of
money.
Humility and Generosity in the Church
Love for each other in the Church ought to come from an
understanding of what it means to be humble and generous.
Humility is the recognition that we are equal to the other in our
dependence on God and God’s sustaining grace. It is the
capacity to see the image of God in each person we meet and to
treat each person with dignity and respect. It is also at times the
ability to place the need of the other above one’s own needs.
Generosity is being able to respond to the needs of others
beyond the minimum requirement. It requires being willing and
able to do so without complaint or resentment. These capacities
of humility and generosity are high callings and can best be
achieved when we are truly engaged in our commitment to
Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord.

please click here for more information (PDF file)


Responding in Righteousness and Justice by Ms. Camile Watt

Wednesday Aug 17, 2022
 
Please read Matthew 5:17-20
Righteousness by definition is the quality of being righteous
and righteous means acting according to divine or moral
law. It means to be free from guilt or sin.
Justice or to be just is often used in conjunction with the word
righteous as it refers to the quality of being fair and responsible.
Other words that could be used to describe being Just are
soundness, validity, or legitimacy.
The Biblical definition of righteousness is seen in the New
Testament Greek text, which is used in Matthew 5:20 as “being
righteous before others”. This conveys the same meaning of
conforming to moral law. But interestingly in this text Jesus,
in the Sermon on the Mount said to His followers, “For I tell
you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the
Pharisees and teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter
the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Jesus in His sermon referred to the imperfections of the law. He
emphasized that He did not come to destroy the law; hence
giving credit to the importance of the law, however, further
stated that He has come to fulfil the law.

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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.

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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)


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United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands