United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands

UCJCI Update

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The Value of Unrelenting Faith

Wednesday May 20, 2020
“ In this most difficult time of living with, and surviving the impact of the coronavirus, we are left
to wonder and to ponder: “How do we give of our best  in this time?” “How do I serve God, and in serving 
God, serve my fellow human beings?” “What is the most precious thing that I can offer to God and my fellow human
beings at this time?”

LEADERSHIP CORNER  - Avoid Office Politics

A politician arrived late for a speaking engagement where he was scheduled as the keynote speaker. Usually he did his
homework on the area and the organization, but because of his busy schedule, he had not been able to do it. He was rushed in as the attendees were 
finishing their dessert and taken immediately to the podium without having the chance to speak to anyone. When he was introduced to the
crowd, there was nothing he could do but dive in. With the bright lights shining in his eyes, he immediately launched into one of the main issues
of the campaign and spoke at length. When he paused for a moment, the gentleman who had introduced him whispered that the group to whom he
was speaking was on the opposite side of the issue. 

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Synodical Family Service

Wednesday May 13, 2020
As a response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands will
host an online Synodical Family Service on Sunday, May 17, 2020, at 9 a.m., under the theme, “Building Strong Families for a Post COVID19 Society”!
To be streamed from Webster Memorial United Church in Grand Cayman, the service, being held in Child Month, will offer inspiring praise and worship, children’s
time, prayers and a sermon that will be helpful for building and re-building family life in both nations.

LEADERSHIP CORNER : Place People in their Strength Zones

The number one reason people don’t like their jobs is that they are not working in the area of their strengths. When team members are continually asked to
perform in an area of weakness, they become demoralized, they are less productive, and they eventually burn out. Successful people find their own
strength zones. Successful leaders find the strength zones of the people they lead. Individuals may seek a job with a particular organization,
but they generally don’t place themselves in their positions at work. For the most part, their leaders are the ones who do that.

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Navigating the Storms of Life

Wednesday May 06, 2020
In our text this morning, we learn much about the storms of life. We learn that: a) There will be storms b) Reaction is everything c) Realization is key.
Matthew 8:23-27 reads, “Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on  the sea, so that the
boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marvelled,
saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

LEADERSHIP CORNER-  Leadershift from Career to Calling (PART 3)
Our calling is the gift we give to the world while we are still alive. Our legacy is our gift to the world after we die.
We discussed in the previous two (2) weeks some characteristics of a calling. Here we recap them and share more. Your calling matches who you are. Your
calling taps into your passion. Your calling is important to you, but it’s not about you. Your calling is bigger than you. Your calling changes your perspective.

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LIFE Has the Last Word! (Part 2)

Wednesday Apr 29, 2020
In his Easter Sunday message, the Moderator of the UCJCI, Rt.Rev. Dr. Gordon Cowans,zeroed in on the impact of the Resurrection news
brought by the disciples, broken and cloistered in fear and despondency. It is news powerful enough to challenge us in a time of unprecedented pandemic. His
conclusion follows: The Resurrection of Jesus Christ cannot and must not be taken lightly. It is no light  matter. It is the news of Resurrection that energized the disciples
to leave that cold, dreary narrow room to confront life again with vigour.

LEADERSHIP CORNER -Leadershift from Career to Calling (PART 2)
A calling lifts our hearts and expands our options. It can make even the mundane meaningful. Here is how to understand your calling so that you can find yours, if you
haven’t already done so. YOUR CALLING MATCHES WHO YOU ARE. No one has ever been called to do something that he or she wasn’t suited for. Calling always
matches who you are. For that reason, it’s important for you to be self-aware as you stay attentive to finding your calling. 

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LIFE Has the Last Word!!

Wednesday Apr 22, 2020
The Gospel of Mark’s account of that first Easter Morning tells us that it was to Mary Magdalene whom our Lord first appeared, when she and others had attended at His tomb to anoint a dead body.  As far as she and those other faithful women were concerned, the horrible experience of the preceding Friday which had ended in Jesus’ death was the end of the matter. They could only now honor Him by ensuring that all the appropriate death rites were observed. He was dead, and death had had the last word. 

LEADERSHIP CORNER -Leadershift from Career to Calling (PART 1)

“Some wake up to an alarm. Some wake up to a calling.” (Unknown) 

How do you currently think about what you do for a living? Think about which best describes you.
YOU DO A JOB. When you have a  job, your main goal is often to earn a living and support your family. You may not think beyond the time you spend on the clock. You may do your work with excellence or you may simply mark time, but either way, when you finish your day or your shift, you walk away and don’t think about it. Satisfaction and fulfilment for people who may have a job-only mind-set comes from activities outside of work. And while people in this group may hope to advance, they don’t think in terms of a strategy of career building.

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Children’s House Worship

Wednesday Apr 15, 2020
The COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic has created a new normal for all persons and institutions, including the Church. Included in the new normal is the heroism of some parents who create a balancing act between the difficult combined tasks of working from home, home schooling and engaging their children in activities geared towards their spiritual development.

LEADERSHIP CORNER -Develop Each Team Member as a Person 
How do you give your team an edge, helping the B players to perform at their highest level and helping the A players to elevate their game even further? You develop them. 
There’s a lot more to good leadership than just getting the job done. Getting the job done makes you a success. Getting the job done through others makes you a leader. But developing the people while helping them get the job done at the highest level makes you an exceptional leader.
There is a difference between equipping people and developing them. When you equip people, you teach them how to do a job. If you show someone how to use a machine or some other device, that’s equipping. If you teach someone how to make a sale, that’s equipping. If you train them in departmental procedures, that’s equipping. You should already be providing training to your people so that they know how to do their jobs. Equipping should be a given (although not all leaders do this well

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Synodical Easter Sunday Service

Thursday Apr 09, 2020
Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures, indeed. As such, the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, in further response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, will host an online Synodical Easter Sunday Service on April 12, 2020 for all of our congregations, under the theme, “ Life Has the Last Word!
God Specializes in Rescue Missions 
Hear is the message that we are able to glean from Isaiah 50:4-9 to the captives and indeed to us who are held captive by COVID-19, God specializes in rescue missions. Remember the rescue missions of the Israelites in the wilderness?  On one occasion they were at the Red Sea, at a standstill; for there was the sea in front of them, the mountains on both sides and Pharaoh’s army behind. But God said to Moses, “Stretch out your rod over the sea.” Moses obeyed and the waters rolled back and provided a way. And what seemed impossible was made possible when Moses obeyed God.  

LEADERSHIP CORNER -Leadershift from Trained Leader to Transformational Leader 
There is a huge difference between trained leaders and leaders who are transformational. The impact shift from trained leaders to transformational leaders will bring the greatest change to your life and the lives of those around you.
If your actions inspire people to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then you are a transformational leader. You influence people to think, speak, and act in ways that make a positive difference in their lives and the lives of others. That kind of leadership can change the world!

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The Church Outside the Walls

Wednesday Apr 01, 2020
On March 28, 2020, approximately forty-five (45) persons from across all four (4) regions of the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands engaged in an online social media training programme, hosted by the United Church Young Adults Action M o v e m e n t (UCYAAM)! An initiative for the times, it was, even as the doors of our sanctuaries have temporarily closed, but the people have been scattered to minister in their homes, online communities and by telephone. 

LEADERSHIP CORNER-Leadershift from Positional Authority to Moral Authority 
Moral authority is truly the highest level of leadership influence. It comes from possessing good values. It adds value to others. It inspires people. It helps the leader to make the right decisions for the right reasons. It marks a life of words and actions that line up. We know when we are in the presence of someone who has moral authority, and we want to follow them!

Chuck Olson said, “People follow people, not positions. Your business card may say you’re a leader and in-charge, but if your bank account of moral authority is overdrawn, you will be forced to rely on extrinsic factors to rally your followers. No amount of skill, wealth, personality, education, or accomplishment can compensate for the absence of moral authority. Perks and pay checks are the currency required to enlist people in a project, but moral authority is the currency required to enlist people in a movement. Andy Stanley in his book, ‘Next Generation Leader’, observes, ‘Your position will prompt people in your organization to lend you their hands...But your moral authority will inspire them to lend you their hearts’”. 

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Being the House Church

Wednesday Mar 25, 2020
The United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, along with other Christian churches in  the two islands, has had to face up to the changing medical landscape in being the church, because of the impact of the global Coronavirus pandemic known as COVID-19.  The past two weeks have seen churches going virtual and increasingly offering online worship services. However appealing this model of being church may be, I wish to argue that the church has not done sufficient reflections on being church during a time of global and national pandemic.  

LEADERSHIP CORNER -Don’t Pretend You’re Perfect 
One of the worst things leaders can do is to expend energy trying to make others think they’re perfect. 
Since nobody is perfect—not you, not your peers, not your boss—we need to quit pretending. People who are real, who are genuine concerning their weaknesses as well as their strengths, draw others to them. They engender trust. They are approachable. And they are a breath of fresh air in an environment where others are scrambling to reach the top by trying to look good.
Here’s how I recommend you approach “getting real” to become a more effective leader: 

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Synodical Ash Wednesday Convocation (WRMC) Renews

Wednesday Mar 18, 2020
Celebration marked the mood of the 1,087 persons gathered at the Synodical Ash Wednesday Convocation held in the Western Regional Mission Council (WRMC) on February 26, 2020. Held at the West Jamaica Seventh Day Adventist Conference Centre, Mt. Salem, St. James, under the theme: “ # Evangelism:The Heartbeat of
the Church” , the event was hailed by attendees as the best gathering of the Region in one place! 

LEADERSHIP CORNER  Leadershift from Team Uniformity to Team Diversity
A great definition of team in the Harvard Business Review states, “A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves accountable.” This definition assumes that there is a variety of skills. That implies diversity.
Our differences really can make a difference in our teams, our organizations, and our individual lives. Once we find common ground and commit to bringing the best out of people who are diverse, good things will begin to happen. 

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United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands