United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands

CIRMC Weekly

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Vacation Bible School - A Brief History by Rev Otto Menko

Wednesday Jul 14, 2021
 
When preparing for their annual plan, most Congregations
include an old-time favorite, Vacation Bible School. For many
of us, it is almost impossible to imagine summer without this
staple of the church year. The acronym VBS conjures a rich
mixture of fond memories in our minds; days filled with Bible
stories, singing songs, making various crafts, playing games,
and having a lot of fun. Interestingly, it is as much anticipated
and enjoyed by volunteering grown-ups serving in various
capacities as by participating children.
VBS offers a very special opportunity to congregations to
engage the children of the church and community in a more
intense, more focused, more impactful way. Besides being
exposed to the message of the Bible day after day in various
activities, they also learn to ‘connect’ to the church
environment and its people, forming positive impressions in
their hearts and minds. Through our daily interactions with
them they begin to see the church as a big family with an open
heart, with love that welcomes, embraces, appreciates, and
eager to journey through life with them.
VBS in progress at the John Gray Memorial UC July 12, 2021
The real benefit of VBS and indeed, the key to our ‘success’ as
The church lies not in what we are able to ‘drill’ into them about
God in a short week (or during the weekly Church/Sunday
School and other activities), but in the quality of relationships,
we can develop. No amount of religious teaching or fancy
programs can match the power of being exposed to persons who
are living examples of faith, who through their attitude,
behavior and actions display genuine and au

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Summer 2021! by Rev Otto Menko

Wednesday Jul 07, 2021
 
Summer is that special time of the year most of us –regardless
of our age- look forward to with great anticipation. Whether we
have a two months break from school or just a week or two of
a family vacation, it is the time that promises lots of fun, offers
opportunities to recharge, explore, and make memories that
often last a lifetime.
Then in 2020 came the coronavirus pandemic and we – like
most people around the world- were forced into a temporary
albeit prolonged isolation and were severely restricted in our
movements. Very quickly we had to adapt and adjust to a new
way of living, working, interacting, and fellowshipping. For the
most part, life, as we knew it, has changed for everyone,
including institutions, organizations, workplaces, and the
Church. Consequently, in 2020 we had to cancel all the usual
summer-time activities such as the children and youth camps,
VBS, and Sunday Schools in our congregations and shift most
of our ministries to be conducted online.

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A Call to Peace by the Moderator- Rt. Rev. Gary Harriott

Wednesday Jun 30, 2021
 
Our Church, the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands,
in response to all that has been going on in our societies of Cayman, Jamaica and
the global community, on account of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and other 
challenges, has determined to focus on the theme, 'Rooted, Resilient;Responding in HOPE, 
-HOPE being an acronym for Health, Opportunities,Peace and Evangelism.

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Times of Healing by Rev Otto Menko

Wednesday Jun 23, 2021
 
Please read Mark 5:21-43 (Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals
a Sick Woman)
One cannot help but stand in awe and wonder witnessing not
only the divine power of Jesus in full display but more so His
deep love and concern for others, especially for those deemed
less important by the social convention of His time, such as
women and children. In this reading we see Jesus responding
with understanding and compassion to the anguish of a father
and a woman, as they were both seeking desperately Jesus’
help.
The unnamed woman has been suffering for twelve years with
hemorrhage. This condition was bad enough in itself but what
made it even more unbearable was the social and religious
stigma of ritual uncleanness associated with her condition. She
was an outcast, an outsider, who didn’t count or belong. After
trying for years everything possible without avail, she saw in
Jesus her last chance. Cloaked in the anonymity of the crowd
she touched Jesus’ garment, fully aware that she was forbidden
to do so.

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Facing Transitions by Mrs Sonia Wallace

Wednesday Jun 16, 2021
 
Please read 1 Samuel 17:1- 23, 32-49

This week the focus is on transitioning through life’s seasons.
I take this opportunity to honour the memory of my father as
we will celebrate Fathers’ Day on June 20, 2021. I recall many
precious times with him. Throughout my early years, he
certainly helped me to set the parameters that would guide my
future relationships and eventually my choice of a husband.
These were periods of transition for me. We all transition from
childhood through stages of young adulthood, to middle age
and senior years. We also transition through successes and
failures, disappointments and circumstances, some of which we
have no control. These periods can be stormy or peaceful and
especially as a child or youth, the influence or lack of influence
of a father figure can have a life-long impact.

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The Growth That You Can’t See

Wednesday Jun 09, 2021
 
The man of God was discouraged. He was being hunted down
by King Ahab and his wife Jezebel to take his life because he
had warned the people of God not to worship the idol, Baal.
That man of God was ELIJAH, a name which means ‘Yahweh
is my God, the LORD alone. Elijah went to hide in a cave. He
was certain that the Temple of God would be completely
deserted. It was he who had miraculously helped the poor
widow of Zarephath when she thought she had only enough
food left for one day for herself and her son. And then they
would die. Yet the man of God was asking her for food and
water. Now the wicked king of Israel and his wife were
threatening Elijah. So the man of God was afraid and fled for
his life, hiding. He complained to God, “Lord God, I have
always served you—you alone. But the people of Israel have
broken their covenant with you; they have torn down your
altars, and killed all your prophets. I am the only one left, and
they are trying to kill me!”

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United in Purpose By Mr. Noel Wallace

Wednesday Jun 02, 2021
 
Please read Acts 4:32-34

We are in the season of Pentecost when we commemorate and
celebrate the birth of the Church as recorded in the book of Acts
in the Bible. Following Jesus’ instructions, some 120 disciples
remained in Jerusalem, and while they were gathered together
in the Upper Room, the Holy Spirit fell on each of them. And
why 120? In the bible days, this number was required to form a
new community. So what was God saying to us? God was doing
a ‘new thing’. The Church came into being; a Church that would
later be comprised of people from all nations, tribes, tongues,
and cultures. As the Church spread in numbers and
geographical location, the Holy Spirit’s presence was not only
evident in the upper room but also in the living rooms as
Christians met in their homes for worship and fellowship.

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Crisis Preparedness and Response Capability Guidelines for Congregations and Council

Wednesday May 26, 2021
 
Another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season
is predicted by the NOAA’s Climate Prediction
Center (noaa.gov) for 2021, and although we
hope and pray that we will be spared once again,
it is time for all of us and our congregations to
make the necessary steps to be ready for all
eventualities. In addition to the annual,
government-issued hurricane preparedness
guidelines to aid us, we also have the ‘Crisis Preparedness
and Response Capability Guidelines for Congregations and
Council’ document prepared by the UCJCI to assist us in this
process. The leadership and membership of the CIRMC are
strongly encouraged to make every effort necessary in their
local context to satisfy the requirements outlined in the
document. For easy reference we make it available once again
– in two parts, beginning in this issue.

please click here for more information (PDF file)


What Are We Filled with?

Wednesday May 19, 2021
 
What are we filled with? Being filled with something means
that our hearts and minds are being dominated by certain
emotions or thoughts. It can be good or bad. It can be a
momentary, short-lived experience or something that stays with
us day after day, leaving a deep mark or impression on our
being, on our behavior, on our interactions with others, and our
view and perspective on life. Let it be resentment, anger, envy,
greed, worry, fear, uncertainty, or a dream, an enticing goal, a
grand project - when they take hold of our life, it is usually not
for the better. We suffer and as collateral damage, others suffer
as well.

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Youth Role Models

Wednesday May 12, 2021
 
Regardless of our age, role models play an essential part in our
lives, in our personal development. They inspire and motivate
us to reach beyond ourselves and emulate those positive
qualities we see them exemplifying in their lives.
It gives us great pleasure to introduce two of our very own,
Chloe McClymont and Jelani Hanson, both still in their youth,
who fall into the category of positive role models, especially for
their generation.
Chloe McClymon attends the Webster Memorial United
Church (Bodden Town) and she is the Head Girl of the Clifton
Hunter High School. A member of the Savannah United
Church, Jelani Hanson is the Head Boy of the John Gray
High School. As a church community, we are very proud of
them both and wish God’s continuing blessing on their life and
example.

please click here for more information (PDF file)


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United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands