United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands

CIRMC Weekly

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New Year Reflection

Monday Dec 30, 2019
 
By the Rev. Dr. Yvette Noble-Bloomfield
Deputy Regional Secretary
Cayman Islands Regional Mission Council

As we reflect on 2019, the stark recognition that this year also ends the second decade of the 21st  century must come to mind. The world has undergone tremendous changes in these twenty (20) years inclusive of the impact of 9/11, the advent and spread of social media, post-post modernity and the declining influence of religion, increase in the level of cultural and religious intolerance, the subtleness yet increasing levels of discrimination and hate speech inter-alia.

In the Cayman Islands, the changes in these two decades have been significant. These include the new Constitution, the introduction of the Bill of Rights, change in the nomenclature of government leaders, the birth of a unity government, the topographical changes, the creation of Camana Bay, engineering feats in buildings and road networks, population growth, work permits increasing in numbers, the Status Grants and the need for the preservation…

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Christmas Reflection; Children and Youth Christmas at Webster Memorial, Robert Young Memorial and Savannah United

Monday Dec 23, 2019
 
By the Rev. Dr. Yvette Noble-Bloomfield
Deputy Regional Secretary
Cayman Islands Regional Mission Council

We are invited by the Spirit to pause from the busyness – ‘the state or condition of having a great deal to do’  and from the business – ‘trade considered in terms of its volume or profitability’  of Christmas and to reflect for a moment on the heart and artistry of Christmas.  There is the tendency each year for us to pledge not to get trapped in the hyper activities and commerce of Christmas. We vow to do less, spend less, shop less, eat less but at last, sometimes the very pledges we make are broken even before the bells begin to ring and the carols fill the air and the cakes emerge from the ovens.

The heart  of Christmas is found in the profound presence of God in Jesus Christ - Immanuel  – God with us. It is the recognition of the tremendous love of God for humanity…

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4th Sunday of Advent: LOVE

Wednesday Dec 18, 2019
 
4th Sunday of Advent: LOVE

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 to 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.

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3rd Sunday of Advent: JOY

Wednesday Dec 11, 2019
 
3rd Sunday of Advent: JOY

The season of Advent reminds us of the importance of spiritual preparedness, of the readying of our hearts and minds for the life transforming presence of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

On the 1st Sunday in Advent we lit the candle of Hope in our churches as a reminder that as followers of Jesus Christ we are the people of hope.

On the 2nd Sunday in Advent we lit the candle of Peace as a reminder that we are the people of a special kind of peace, one that transcends all understanding.

The 3rd candle today reminds us that we are also the people of joy. Joy is fundamentally different from happiness. Happiness is a temporary feeling dependent on favorable circumstances and events that seldom last and can change quickly.

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GIRLS’ BRIGADE CHRISTMAS CAROL SERVICE

Wednesday Dec 04, 2019
 
WHAT CAN WE GIVE? 
Over one hundred girls and officers of the Girls’ Brigade in the Cayman Islands gathered at the Savannah United Church for their Christmas Carol Service on Sunday, December 1, 2019.
All five Companies were represented and participated in response to the theme for the Service ‘What can we give?’ 
2nd Sunday of Advent: PEACE

The Second Sunday of Advent: PEACE
The season of Advent reminds us of the importance of spiritual preparedness, of the readying of our hearts and minds for the life transforming presence of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  

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Reflection on the Season of Advent

Wednesday Nov 27, 2019
 
With the season of Advent, the Church begins another Liturgical year. The Liturgical or Church year is an annual cycle of seasons focusing on the fundamental tenets of our Christian faith through the usage of scriptural readings, colors and vestments.
The seasons of the Church year – in order – are: 
• Advent - the time of preparation for the birth of Jesus   • Christmas - the celebration of the birth of Jesus
• Epiphany - the baptism of Jesus and also his manifestation to the world
• Lent – the time of preparation and fasting leading to Easter
• Easter – the commemoration of Jesus’ sacrifice and the celebration of his resurrection
• Pentecost – the celebration of the presence and work of Jesus through the Holy Spirit
December signals the coming of Christmas and so our preparations begin. There are gifts to buy, cards to send, menus to plan for, people to see. Advent reminds us of the importance of the spiritual aspect of this preparation, the readying of our hearts and minds. 
CHILD CARE AND PROTECTION POLICY PROVISIONS 15-17
15. In general, activities involving children are to be organized and implemented to minimize the risk of harm. The appropriate mechanisms for monitoring, sanitation and maintenance of Church premises will be observed to ensure child safety for all ages. This includes securing adequate liability insurance and other legal requirements as well as removing objects in the environment that may be harmful to children at various ages.

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Disciples in Mission

Wednesday Nov 20, 2019
 
Matthew 10:5-8 'These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.'
Reflection: All of us are engaged in some kind of mission, the contrast though depends on whose mission we are engaged in. As disciples of Christ, we should be engaged in the mission of God. How often though the church universal takes a detour route by not giving priority to Christ’s ideal mission. We become so busy doing church work that we sometimes neglect to do the works of the church.  

CHILD CARE AND PROTECTION POLICY PROVISIONS 11-14
11. First Aid training and kits will be made available in all Churches with a view to the likely First Aid needs of children. Attendance is compulsory for Sunday School Superintendents. 
12. Written parental consent will be obtained prior to Church excursions involving children and child attendance during excursions will be taken. 

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MINISTRY PROGRAMS

Wednesday Nov 13, 2019
 
Jesus engaged people of all kinds, people of every possible social background and standing, but he was very deliberate and intentional about reaching out to the vulnerable, hurt, weak and misunderstood and to those who suffered as the result of either their own actions or because of human neglect, wickedness, societal prejudice or injustice.
The Church, the community of believers, is called to follow in the footsteps of its Lord and Master, to define its existence and purpose by sharing the good news, by allowing the risen and living Jesus himself to come close to and meet those living in every age and everywhere, including our time and our immediate and wider community.

CHILD CARE AND PROTECTION POLICY PROVISIONS 8-10
8. Training will be delivered to the Minister, Elders and other leaders - including Sunday School Teachers, Superintendents, Workers and others involved in leadership with children to ensure there is clear understanding of the legal requirements for the safety and protection of children and the United Church’s Child Protection Policy. Training will include principles of safeguarding of children as well as requirements to report suspicions of all forms of abuse – including physical, verbal and sexual abuse, bullying and human trafficking.

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MISSION AUDIT AND STRATEGIC PLANNING TRAINING IN CIRMC

Friday Nov 08, 2019
 
From November 1-4 , 2019 , the Council for World Mission (CWM) through its Caribbean Office facilitated  training in Mission Audit and Strategic Planning in the Cayman Islands Regional Mission Council. Twenty-one  participants from five  Congregations were led in the process by Mrs. Karen Francis, CWM Mission Secretary for the Caribbean, Rev. Dr. Henroy Samuels – RDGS -North Eastern Regional Mission Council and Mrs. Vickeisha King Burke Programme Associate (CWM). 

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THE CHILD CARE AND PROTECTION POLICY

Thursday Oct 31, 2019
 
(Extract from the Preamble of the Policy Document)
At the Synod of 2015 the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands passed a resolution to develop a Child Care and Protection Policy for the whole church. A policy that would not only protect our children but would protect our leaders most of whom are volunteers. For the United Church this is more than just writing a statement or for guidelines, this is a powerful commitment – a totally new strategy of engagement – a church that values its children and young people above rubies.

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United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands