United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands

Core Beliefs

The basics of our Core Beliefs
(Further details of what we believe, and the Theological reasons for our beliefs, are found in our book, My Church; we also subscribe to the internationally known Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed.)

1. There is a God, one God only.

2. God has chosen to be revealed to humanity as God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit, the Three in One.

3. God created all there is, was or ever will be. (We do not believe there is any inherent conflict with science in this belief. Science is in the details of how God created the universe and all that is in it. Science does not, however, disprove the Christian belief in creation by God.)

4. God is Holy; the only perfectly holy being. This refers to the majesty and purity of God and the transcendental separateness and apartness of the Divine from the creature. In this holiness, God has established that which is morally right and good, which God actively promotes while steadfastly opposing moral evil.

5. Sin is rebellion against God and God’s righteous ways, in all the forms that such rebellion (disobedience) exists in our world.

6. Humanity was created in the image of God, who has a special love for us, and we are blessed with an empowering need to love, worship and obediently serve God in a relationship which would make us complete.

7. Humanity, by the abuse of the freewill which God has endowed us with, disobeyed God (as related in the story of Adam and Eve, in the book of Genesis in the Bible). Sin has existed ever since and humans have no longer been able to live without sinning.

8. Sin is an offence against God. It follows that humanity stands guilty, condemned before God. In order to be rescued from the fatal penalty for such condemnation, eternal separation from God, we must each be pardoned, redeemed and reconciled to God. This was accomplished finally by God becoming incarnate amongst us, sending Jesus Christ to be born of a human mother (“the Virgin Birth”), to live a perfect, sinless life, then to die a human death, taking on the sins of all humanity so that we could have the means to be redeemed and our empowering relationship with God restored. Then Jesus rose from the dead to conquer death and so provide the means for us to live in eternity with God.

9. God by grace initiates the act of redemption for each of us; it is not something we can do by ourselves, for no matter how ‘good’ we may be, not one of us will ever be perfect, sinless. If we accept God’s invitation, confess our sins and repent of those ways, ask to be forgiven and truly receive Jesus Christ as the Son of God and our Lord and Saviour, we will be redeemed and inherit eternal life in Heaven with God. There is no other way we can be redeemed.

10. This salvation and the faith that it demands, requires us to continue to grow in the Holy Spirit, spread the good news of Christ and reflect God’s unconditional love for all others. In so doing, we also discover the right way to a fulfilling life here on earth.

11. The Bible is the final, authoritative Word of God.

12. We observe the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion as a means for those who believe to express their faith and grow in Christ by the work of the Holy Spirit.

13. All believers are equal. Both women and men may be called to become ordained ministers and may serve in all offices of the Church, whether within the Clergy or the laity.

Doctrines and beliefs in respect of specific issues
As a result of our Core Beliefs, we believe that everyone needs Christ and a personal relationship with Him. Consequently, we believe also that the Church is open to all. Jesus made the point on more than one occasion that the main reason He had come to earth incarnate was “for sinners” – i.e. all of us (see our Core Beliefs preceding – and also below re “communicant membership”).

We do believe, however, that all who have genuinely accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour must make every effort to live the way God calls us to live and improve in that effort daily, that is, to seek to continually “grow in Christ” by the strength which He will make available to us to do so. Consequently, there are certain activities that we do not regard as in keeping with God’s will for us, because of His love for all and His concept of merciful justice for everyone. (Similarly, there are many things we believe that Christians should be doing in obedience to God, which all of us fail to do at all times, but must keep trying to do better). This differentiation is sometimes commonly referred to in Christian circles in catchy phrases such as “hate the sin but love the sinner” and variations on this. To people outside the Church (and, often, to Christians ourselves) this differentiation can be difficult to understand when seen in practice, leading to charges of “hypocritical” against the Church or individual churches and to misconceptions as to who should be worshipping in our churches, etc. God alone will make the judgement call on who will or will not enter the gates of Heaven. By the same token, God’s unconditional love and forgiving nature should never be mistaken as a license to deliberately continue sinning. Jesus Himself clearly forewarned us that there will come a time when “the door (is) shut” – Mat. 25: 10 NIV – and none of us knows when that time will come for us.

For details on becoming a communicant member of a congregation, please see "Membership & Structure."

If you have any questions about where the UCJCI stands on any given issue, please contact one of our ministers for a discussion. We think it would be an injustice to try to list our ‘position’ on the many complex issues in relation to faith and morals.

The doctrines of the UCJCI are tightly regulated and our Synod has created a Constitution and Doctrine Committee that has been delegated the sole authority for promulgating doctrine of our Church.

Where position papers have been issued by our Church (a limited number), such as on gambling, these may be obtained from the Council office or any minister.

Our Logo
The logo of the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands evolved out of three logos of the antecedent denominations. The elements of the logo represent the symbols that are of significance to the doctrine and beliefs of the respective antecedent denominations.

The Cross - that which unites the antecedent denominations, Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church

The Open Bible - represents the centrality of the Word of the God. This was a significant feature in the logo of the former Congregational church.

The Chalice - represents Christ's death and resurrection; the symbol used by the former Disciples of Christ.

The Burning Bush - 'burnt but not consumed' the perpetual flame of the gospel. A symbol of Presbyterianism.

The Sea - symbolic of a church in two nations, the witness across the Caribbean sea as well as a witness not confined to the boundaries of the shores of the Caribbean.
logo - United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands
United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands