United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands

CIRMC Weekly

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Mother's Day Messsage - by Ms. Angela Martins

Friday May 08, 2020
 
During these weeks of being locked down it has been a different time for us as mothers. Nothing seems the same as we knew it. We
have struggled to find balance at times. We are mothers working from home, mothers homeschooling our children, women who just
became a mother, mothers with young children and without our helpers, mothers who are daughters caring for elderly parents, mothers who are sisters
who can only see parents and siblings on video chat, mothers without enough money to buy food, mothers with no transportation, mothers needing to find another place to live.
Mothers with nothing but prayer in these dark days of Covid-19.

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Hope in Isolation

Wednesday Apr 29, 2020
 
The coronavirus has made a huge impact on all our lives.
Lockdown and self-isolation are the words of the moment. We
are all trying to adjust to different ways of doing just about
everything from work to shopping, from school to church. We
are all struggling with the reality of being physically confined
and cut off from family and friends.
In many ways this new experience gives us a window into the
regular experience of persecuted Christians, especially
those who are in prison because of their faith. Hebrews 13:3
tells us to remember those in prison as if we were with them.
And I think our present lockdown situation gives us a real
opportunity to do that.
(This  article was written by James Fraser and it
appeared on the website of Release International)

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EASTER MESSAGE FROM THE WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES

Wednesday Apr 22, 2020
 
Dear sisters and brothers in the Crucified and Risen Lord,

As the days of celebrating Easter approach, we would like to convey to you the traditional Christian greeting, which affirms the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and its powerful liberating message, bringing joy and hope to the world, overcoming fear and uncertainty—
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! 

CANAAC CHARTS COURSE FOR FUTURE
After a year-long effort from members, the Caribbean and North American Area Council (CANAAC) has finalized their strategic plan document, “Moving Forward towards 2022: Living Faithfully, Building Relationships as a Communion” which will guide the region’s work together.
“We felt it was necessary for us to produce this document as the standard bearer which reflects the main challenges impacting the church across our North-South spaces,” said Angela Martins, convener of the CANAAC Steering Committee. “It is our hope that this document establishes a legacy platform upon which the much-needed ecumenical work of CANAAC can be carried out in a sustainable manner into the future.” 

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Dealing with Doubts and Fears

Thursday Apr 16, 2020
 
There is a CERTAINTY OF POWER & PURPOSE about the narrative in the Gospel of John 20: 19-31. (Please read this text quietly to yourself)
(The POWER of that event is tied up in the person of that event – Jesus. It was his obedience that brought about the event. The PURPOSE is that we may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God). 
But this certainty of power and purpose are often undermined and challenged by DOUBTS and FEARS. Doubts and fears are what sometimes keep people out of the Church. Doubts and fears test our faith. Doubts and fears can also make faith stronger.
 

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LIFE Has the Last Word!

Wednesday Apr 08, 2020
 
Please join us as the UCJCI celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ together via an online Synodical Easter Sunday Service
on April 12, 2020. Speaker and communion celebrant will be the Moderator, Rt. Rev. Dr. Gordon Cowans. The service will
be streamed live from Webster Memorial United Church (Jamaica) at 8 a.m. Those who can not join in at that time will
be able to participate in the service at 11 a.m. via WhatsApp.

The Cost of Discipleship
It may be fully justified to call 2020 the ‘Year of Covid-19’, for it will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on everything, from
our personal lives to world history; nevertheless, we must bring  back into focus our collective and personal mandate, namely,
that the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands  (UCJCI) has declared 2020 the Year of Evangelism!
Although the global Covid-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented disruptions and drastic changes to our normal
daily life, evangelism is still at the core of the Regional Mission Councils’ and Congregations’ activities for 2020.

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PALM SUNDAY IN THE MIDST OF COVID 19

Wednesday Apr 01, 2020
 
On this Palm Sunday, we are drawn again to reflect on Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem which was interpreted in different ways by those who were present at the scene over two thousand years.  For some it was a spectacle, for others it raised the hope of political transformation, yet for others it was the opportunity for religious reform which would no doubt pose a threat to the temple-based theology of Judaism. 
 

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Thoughts for These Uncharted Time

Wednesday Mar 25, 2020
 
The words from the hymn ‘Dear Lord and Father of Mankind’ written by John G. Whittier in 1872 are very appropriate for these uncharted times. This sense of calm eluded by the hymn writer must be regarded as the antidote to the frenzy that some have adopted in response to COVID 19. 

As we listen to the world’s news and as we read and interpret COVID- 19 in the local context it is easy to become overwhelmed. There are many voices speaking at the same time and persons are passing on via social media every little titbit that they receive. The ears are attuned to the noises and the tongues and fingers send the information along in rapid speed. There are rumors mingled with fear and many are trying to cope with the new normal. 
 

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An Ever-Present Help in Trouble

Wednesday Mar 18, 2020
 
Less than three weeks ago we entered into the season of Lent which invites us to contemplate on our mortality and on our need to repent and reconcile with God. Strangely enough the sudden appearance of Covid-19 on our shores has turned this notion not only into a poignant and powerful reminder of the above mentioned truth but has also made it a real and frightening reality to everyone.

Last Friday afternoon the Government of the Cayman Islands has announced a series of island-wide restrictions to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in our communities. One of the drastic but necessary emergency measures was the restrictions on public gatherings of 50 people or more which includes participation in church services and activities, too. 

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2020 World Day of Prayer Zimbabwe

Wednesday Mar 11, 2020
 
The 2020 World Day of Prayer service focusing on Zimbabwe was held last week Friday at the Elmslie Memorial United Church from 12:00-1:00pm. 
The theme of the service was based on Jesus’ encounter with a person who, although positioned for healing, had not acted upon the opportunities given. “Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk,” said Jesus. We are empowered to take up our mats. No more waiting powerlessly on the mat. This is the time for change

Operation Andrew
In the June 2019 meeting of the Cayman Islands Regional Mission Council the decision was made to use as an evangelistic tool an outreach idea called ‘Operation Andrew’ which was employed by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in its crusades for many years with great effectiveness. 

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Ash Wednesday Gathering -CIRMC

Wednesday Mar 04, 2020
 
On February 26, 2020 just over 100 persons gathered from our congregations at the Savannah United Church for the annual Ash Wednesday Gathering focusing on the theme ‘Evangelism: The Heartbeat of the Church’.  
The day began at 7:30 am with quiet meditation and reflection, followed by group discussions, worship service and communion, ending at 11:15 am. 

Rev. L. Christopher Mason, reflecting on the theme of evangelism in his message introduced ‘Operation Andrew’, a friendship oriented method in helping those we know come to experience a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. 

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United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands