United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands

UCJCI Update

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UCJCI Works In Partnership Within Council For World Mission

Wednesday Jun 16, 2021
 
The Council for World Mission is a partnership of
Christian churches with thirty-two members across the
world representing some 21 million Christians in 40
countries. Together, these members commit to sharing their
resources of money, people, skills and insights globally to carry
out God’s mission in local spaces. The nexus of partnership sharing is the mission of God. The
aspirations of this family of churches is captured
in the vision statement, “ Life-flourishing
communities, living out God’s promise of a New
Heaven and a New Earth.”
The history of CWM is combined in the endeavours
of the London Missionary Society, the Commonwealth Missionary Society and the (English)
Presbyterian Board of Mission which were
incorporated into CWM in 1977.

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UCJCI Works In Partnership

Wednesday Jun 09, 2021
 
UCJCI works in partnership as we participate in God’s
mission in this world. Human beings were created for
community and there is much common cause and
concern between organisations, churches, countries
and communities. Pooled resources — people, ideas,
finances and other materials — can accomplish more
exponentially than unilateral action. Over the next few
weeks Update will feature some of the partnerships in
which UCJCI participates. In this issue, the focus is on
CANACOM.


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Ministry With Children- The Sequel

Wednesday Jun 02, 2021
 
Uniformed Groups—Girls’ and Boys’ Brigade

Girls' Brigade Cayman Islands

Girls’ Brigade in the Cayman Islands Regional
Mission Council has been active for 74 years and
offers girls a safe, secure environment, which is
supervised by adult leaders who lead within a Christian framework. This international, interdenominational Christian youth
organization holds the aim ‘to help girls to become followers
of the Lord Jesus Christ and through self-control, reverence
and a sense of responsibility to find true enrichment of life.’
There are five companies operating in the congregations of
the UCJCI in the Cayman Islands.
Similar to the international movement, the programme of GB
in Cayman focuses on the development of girls spiritually,
physically, socially and educationally and, is
designed to be challenging, interactive, relevant and
exciting.

The Boys' Brigade- Jamaica

At a time when criminal and in other ways dysfunctional
activities of males have been in the news, there has
also been much discussion about interventions which
will aid in the nurture of boys into honourable men. The Boys’
Brigade is a movement which provides opportunities for
children and young people to learn, grow and discover in a
safe, fun and caring environment rooted in the Christian faith.
The movement’s partnership with churches to engage
generations of children and young people with messages of
hope rooted in Jesus is deliberate and one which UCJCI has
taken seriously for many years.

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Ministry With Children

Wednesday May 26, 2021
 
Uniformed groups are a part of UCJCI’s ministry
with children. The Girls’ and Boys’ Brigades
are both international non-denominational
organisations with companies located within some UCJCI
congregations. In this issue Update features the Girls’
Brigade in Jamaica.
UCJCI Company, the first outside of Europe
Girls’ Brigade—Girls Lives Transformed, God’s World
Enriched.
Founded in 1893 in Ireland by Margaret Lyttle, Girls’ Brigade
is described as ‘a relational, relevant and
responsive worldwide movement focused on working amongst
girls and women’. The empowerment of girls, children and
young women is the goal and they are encouraged to ‘be
themselves, to develop and use their gifts and skills and to
discover what it means to have life in full in their generation’.
https://gbworldwide.org/)
The first company formed outside of
Europe was at Brownsville Presbyterian (now United) Church in 1923. The
organization was actually Girl’s Guildry
as the movement was named in Scotland. The company in Jamaica was
founded by Mrs. Brooks, wife of the Rev. Phillip Brooks, a Scottish Minister
who came to Jamaica to work . In 1949 the Rev. Madge Saunders
(then Miss Madge Saunders) returned to Jamaica from the United Kingdom
and took over the Girls Guildry in Jamaica as Organizing Training
Officer. International Vice-President for Caribbean and the Americas,
Quindell Ferguson, member of St. Andrew’s Scots Kirk,
recalls learning mottos, doing Bible study, drilling, playing
games as she went up the ranks. She started the 6th
Kingston company at Scots Kirk.

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A Ministry of Healing-UCJCI Children's Homes

Wednesday May 19, 2021
 
For 99 years, UCJCI has been providing shelter,
protection, spiritual and physical nurture and
socialization for children who are wards of the
State. UCJCI operates two Children’s Homes—the Mount
Olivet Boys’ Home in Manchester, and the Pringle Home
for Girls in St. Mary.
Pringle Home for Girls is a grand lady of 99 years,
established by Rev. and Mrs. James Mc Nee and their
daughter Kathie. Money to construct the building was
donated by the then Custos, Dr. John Pringle, hence the
name of the Home.
Mount Olivet Boys’ Home is of younger vintage at 54
years old and between both institutions 65 children are currently
embraced in UCJCI’s arms of ministry with children.
According to Jeanette Rose Bryan, Director, Pringle Home,
“Sometimes families are unable to function effectively and
sometimes the development of the children is affected
negatively. When this happens, the Child Protection and
Family Services Agency intervenes. There is a legal process
through the courts that determines the outcome of each case.
Our children come to us through this system as Children in
Need of Care and Protection.”

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Spotlight on Church School Ministry

Wednesday May 12, 2021
 
Perhaps the most familiar expression of ministry
with children for most persons is Sunday School.
During this time the Christian education and
nurture of children take place either while the worship
service is attended by the adults or in the afternoon on a
Sunday. Many Jamaicans and Caymanians were sent to
Sunday School even if parents did not go.
This means of engaging children remains at the heart of
children’s ministry in the United Church. Although the
name transitioned to ‘Church’ School instead of ‘Sunday’
School the purpose is the same—nurturing the church in
the Christian faith, especially the children.

UNITED CHURCH STRATEGIC PRIORITIES
2021

What has the United Church targeted for action in 2021 arising
from the 42nd Synod?
Synodical priorities are the areas of focus which have been
identified from the leading of the Holy Spirit through reflection
on the reports tendered at the Pre-Synod Consultations in
regions, the deliberations in groups and plenary during
Synod, discerned through worship, prayer, bible study and
sermon challenges during the week of Synod, all impacted by
the contextual realities of Cayman, Jamaica and the wider
world. 

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Keeping Children Safe

Wednesday May 05, 2021
 
The United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands
launched a Child Care and Protection Policy in May 2016. The
policy establishes basic provisions for the protection and safety
of children — infants, children up to 12 years of age and young
persons, (‘teenagers’) under the age of 18— who are under the
care and responsibility of the United Church in Jamaica and the
Cayman Islands.
Scope
The Child Protection Policy takes into account the need for
directives surrounding the general safety and care-giving of
children as well as physical and interpersonal conduct within
the church: on its grounds, within its congregations and in all
church-related activities including church services, Sunday or
Church School, summer camps and church excursions. 

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Our Ministries With Children

Wednesday Apr 28, 2021
 
‘But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to
me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as
these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” ‘
(Matthew 19:14)
The United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands (UCJCI)
values the presence and participation of children in the life of the
church and recognizes that ministry with children is vital to the
advancement of the kingdom of God. UCJCI ministries are therefore targeted towards the nurture of children and involves meeting
their needs in ways that are age specific.
UCJCI is committed to facilitating tangible means of helping
children to have a personal knowledge of the Lord Jesus and to
understand and implement the principles of Christian living in their
lives. As part of the body of Christ our heart’s desire for our
children is for them to have a love and passion for the Jesus
Christ and a love that overflows into a love for humankind. 

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Taking A Stand Against Violence

Wednesday Apr 21, 2021
 
”Speaking alone will not work; we must also be prepared to act.”
Recent reports in Jamaica of increasing violence,
especially violence against women, were highlighted
for action by the newly inducted UCJCI Moderator, Rt. Rev.
Gary Harriott, in his first address to the church after
induction. “In the Jamaican context, there is a thick cloud of
darkness hovering; a dark cloud of violence; gender-based
violence; violence against our women and girls and the abuse
of our children. There is deeper concern regarding what is
happening with some of our boys and men; what’s going on
in their minds and heart. There are voices reaching out to the
church for help in this crisis and clearly, we are not immune
to these troubling realities. We are a people committed to
justice and peace, so let us get ready to roll up our sleeves;
step into the social murky waters and be God’s agents of
hope and transformation; God’s salt and light. He invited the
Synod to wear black on Thursday in the week
of the Synod and all other Thursdays to join
the worldwide movement inspired by the
World Council of Churches, dubbed,
“Thursdays in Black.” 

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HISTORIC UCJCI VIRTUAL SYNOD OPENING SERVICE

Wednesday Apr 14, 2021
 
Sunday April 11, 2021 has taken its place in the annals
of The United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman
Islands as the day when the first ever virtual Synod
Opening Service took place.
The pomp and pageantry which normally attend the
ceremonial opening of Synod were not evident in the
Opening Service on the afternoon of Sunday April 11.
However, what was very clear is that God’s presence
transcends space and worship in praise, prayer and
proclamation of the Word were undeterred by physical
distancing. The United Church gathered in the digital
space, to God be the glory!
The Word was powerfully proclaimed by outgoing
Moderator, Rt. Rev. Dr. Gordon Cowans. Using three
words as the focus of the sermon, “In Christ Alone”, he
stated that when confusion and frustration abound, Jesus says:
“I am the way” (John 14:6). When deception, duplicity and fake
news abound, Jesus says: “I am the truth”. When death,
disease, and destruction abound Jesus says “I am the life”.

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United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands