United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands

UCJCI Update

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WOMEN ON THE MARCH FOR CHRIST

Wednesday Jan 20, 2021
 
While we face the continued uncertainties of the day,
we are constantly assured of God’s everlasting love
and faithfulness to us. God reminds us in
Deuteronomy 31, verse 6: “Be strong and
courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave
you or forsake you”. What a tremendous promise! God did not
promise that we would never have challenges in our lives, but the
assurance is that God will remain with us, no matter what we are
going through.
BEYOND THE PULPIT-The Abortion Debate
Throughout the centuries there have always been
different life issues that have generated dialogue and
debate. Most recently across the world, and currently
in Jamaica, the topic of abortion has sparked heated
debates between the Church and society. 

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TRANSFORMING THE WORLD THROUGH THE FAMILY - BUILDING THE FAMILY ALTAR

Wednesday Jan 13, 2021
 
The work to provide material for worship and Christian education in
households emphasizes UCJCI’s conviction to seek transformation of the
world through Christ. 
Each week, a liturgy, or order of worship, is prepared by the House Liturgy Team. The material
follows the worship themes set out by the Synod for use in congregations. The liturgy is adaptable
to different home settings— living room, around the dining table, the verandah, the garden or
yard. It is interactive and contains elements for different age groups. It fosters discussion and
activity to facilitate deeper understanding. There are object lessons which incorporate items in the
home to explain concepts. 

JANUARY IS WOMEN’S FELLOWSHIP MONTH 
The United Church Women’s Fellowship will launch their activities
for 2021 with Fellowship Week, Sunday, January 24 to 30,2021.
All congregations are encouraged to focus on the Women’s Fellowship on that Sunday.
During Fellowship Week, the ladies will be engaged in a range
of activities throughout Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

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FACING THE NEW YEAR WITH RESILIENCE— FI WI GOD GREAT FI TRUE!

Wednesday Jan 06, 2021
 
God’s Word had been clear and continues to be clear as to how
people ought to live to promote health, wellbeing and fulfillment in the whole
human race. The Prophet Micah in chapter 6:8, declares it as succinctly as ever, what does the Lord require
of you but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. To make this New
Year truly new and different, the church and every Christian, every person must hear
and heed this call to justice, mercy and humility. You and I have it within us to help to
usher in a new normal in which our neighbour’s wellbeing is as important to us as
our own. A new normal in which all our childrenbecome increasing safe
because we play our role in that village that it takes to raise a child.

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THE MIRACLE OF CHRISTMAS

Wednesday Dec 23, 2020
 
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. How comforting and empowering to know,
to embrace, and be embraced by this amazing love.

THE UCJCI ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM
CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS-
Consider Your Response

The Synod Administrative team paused to
celebrate the Christmas season in a 
celebration planned by the Human and
Mission Resource Unit, which combined a
carol service, candle lighting, Christmas
games, affirmations and lunch. All Regional
offices joined in virtually and so did some
members of staff from the central office in
order to ensure physical distancing protocols
could be observed. 

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YOUTUBE CHRISTMAS PRODUCTION FEATURES THE WORK OF REV. H. EARL THAMES

Wednesday Dec 16, 2020
 
The Unspeakable Gift is a production of the United Church
in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands which features the creative work of Rev.
H. Earl Thames, the House Church writing team and the Performing Arts
Ministry of the United Church. Rev. Thames, known as a fierce advocate
for youth, was a prolific writer. His work, ‘Zachariah and the Gift with the String’ was
penned in the 90‘s. This work has been paired with the liturgy for worship at home
which has been prepared for Christmas Day. The liturgy was written by Dr. Jane
Dodman, a member of the House Church Writing task group. Both written materials
will now be translated into film and will be available on the United Church You Tube
channel on Christmas Day at 6 p.m.
BRYCE UNITED CALLS FOR ACTION-Support Education for Empowerment and Liberation
The call for help for students facing
difficulty accessing education has not
fallen on deaf ears. At his induction
service to the Bryce charge of churches
on September 27, 2020, Rev. Gary
Harriott, appealed to the community and
two months later a member responded by
donating 12 tablets.

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CAN FAITH SURVIVE COVID 19?

Wednesday Dec 09, 2020
 
Can faith withstand a crisis such as
COVID 19? The United Church
responded with a resounding, ‘Yes!’ and
took steps to provide members with the
tools to build resilient faith through a
series of Learning Opportunities in
October and November 2020.
BREAKING NEW GROUND -The United Church Appoints Performing Arts Minister
The United Church in Jamaica and the
Cayman Islands has appointed a
Minister for the Visual and Performing
Arts. He is Rev. Kevin Calvert. This is
the first time such an appointment has is
being made by UCJCI.
Recognizing the changing nature of the
ministry landscape, and the need to
strategically employ non-traditional,
creative and innovative ways to engage
multi-generations in worship; the leadership of UCJCI deployed personnel to lead
in utilizing communication technology and
art forms in a needs– specific manner to
reach the unchurched and churched in
both virtual and non-virtual spaces.

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UCJCI NEARS RELIEF RESPONSE TARGET

Wednesday Dec 02, 2020
 
Members of the United Church have given J$230,658 as we move
towards the target of J$250,000 in donations in response to the plea for
help for communities in Bloxburgh and Bito in east rural St. Andrew in Jamaica
In November, Jamaica experienced heavy rains which caused significant damage to homes,
roads and the natural environment. Rev. Carlington Douglas, minister of Harbour View
Charge which is located in these communities, reported that persons were marooned and without food.
In response, the United Church leadership decided to purchase foodstuff on credit
so help could be provided as quickly as possible and then invited the United Church
membership to donate funds to pay for the goods which had been secured. 

BEYOND THE PULPIT-Providing a space for leadership discussion of issues of faith in community
Christian economics begins with the theological premise that ultimately it is a
good and loving God who supplies all our needs and ends with questions of who is
my neighbour and what can we do so that all may have life in abundance? This
premise precludes any idea that legitimizes ill-gotten gain or the hoarding of goods

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CELEBRATING LESLEY - Faith and Diligence

Wednesday Nov 25, 2020
 
Dilligence and faith —are hallmarks of the
legacy of Lesley Hare, Communication and Information Technology
Coordinator, UCJCI, whose sojourn in this life ended on Wednesday November
18, 2020. As expressions of sorrow and shock at Lesley’s passing poured in through the
communication channels of UCJCI, notably they were sterling tributes to the life of
this young woman.

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TRUSTING GOD

Wednesday Nov 18, 2020
 
2 Chronicles 20: 1-7
What do you do and to whomdo you turn when life throws you one
problem after another?
Worry and fear are two options chosen by many. However, God presents us with
an alternative…trust. You
see, worry and fear are crippling emotions. Trust and
faith are centers of confidence, conviction and hope.

LEADERSHIP CORNER -What’s the Purpose of Pastors?
(Part 2)
What the Bible Says About Pastors?
The Bible assures us that pastors
exist to shepherd God’s people
in local churches until Christ returns (1 Peter 5:1-5). The calling
of the pastor is inextricably tied
to the biblical metaphor of a
shepherd tending to his flock of
sheep. Alexander Strauch says,
“If we want to understand Christian elders and their work, we
must understand the biblical imagery of shepherding. As keepers
of sheep, New Testament elders
are to protect, feed, lead and care
for the flock’s many practical
needs.”

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“FAITH IN ACTION”

Wednesday Nov 11, 2020
 
What makes us human beings among
other things is our inability to effectively and
efficiently read the unfolding of our times and
our seasons. Our short sightedness is oftentimes manifested
through our failure to adequately respond and
handle issues and experiences that catch us by surprise. 

UTCWI Appoints New Chairman
At it recent sitting, the Board of Governors of
the United Theological College of the West Indies
(UTCWI), appointed Dr. Beverley Pereira, as its Chairman for
the period 2020-2021. She holds the distinction of being the first
woman to hold this position since the founding of the College
in 1966.

LEADERSHIP CORNER-What’s the Purpose of Pastors?
The Bible knows nothing of lone Christians, of believers who are
willfully independent from a local church. Rather, Christians gather
in communities to worship together and serve one another. And as God
commands his people to gather in community, he also commands them
to be led—led by men called and qualified as pastors or elders (terms the
Bible uses interchangeably). As we progress through a series of questions
about things we as Christians often take for granted, we now come to the
question of church leadership and ask, “What’s the purpose of pastors?”

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United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands