United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands

UCJCI Update

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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. 

please click here for more information (PDF file)


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. 

please click here for more information (PDF file)


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. 

please click here for more information (PDF file)


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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Life Has The Final Word-By Rt. Rev. Dr. Gordon Cowans

Wednesday Apr 07, 2021
 
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This Easter message comes to you in a period in which
we have experienced at least a year of pandemic
conditions. The corona virus has altered so much of life as
we know it with much uncertainty, discomfort and illness
and for some the spectre of death has been a haunting
reality. We grieve with those who grieve the passing of
their loved ones and we stand in solidarity with those who
currently face significant health challenges, whether
caused or exacerbated by the direct or
indirect impact of the pandemic.
This Easter message is meant to remind us together that at the heart of
our faith is the astounding reality of a God who chooses
to live in and among people, bearing and experiencing the challenges of
human life and who is in every sense acquainted with
grief. Jesus knows all about our trials. Our God does not
recoil in the face of trouble.
Jesus’ life on earth is the seminal example of how to face
disaster. With fortitude, He bore the cross and emerged
on the other side of death.
Yes, emerged victorious!

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A RESILIENT CHURCH: Hard-Pressed But Not Crushed

Wednesday Mar 31, 2021
 
As we approach the 42nd Synod of The United
Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands (UCJI)
it is important for every member of our church to
understand the theme—Rooted, Resilient:
Responding in H.O.P.E. (Health, Opportunity, Peace and
Evangelism). Engagement of the theme will certainly be
demonstrated in understanding and action which offer to the
wider community witness to the love of God and the invitation
to a saving and life-giving relationship with God.
In January 2021, UCJCI Update published excerpts from the
document, The Road Map, which outlines the theological
underpinning of the theme of the 42nd Synod.
Here is the full text of the section related to the word,
‘Resilient’. 

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Gender Based Violence - Recognize and Re- Position by Rev Donovan Myers

Wednesday Mar 24, 2021
 
My earliest recollection of violence within families is
an incident that I observed one Sunday afternoon
when I was about nine years old. The commotion
caused by the shouting and crying that emanated
from my neighbours, alerted others in the community to peek
through their windows or congregate on their verandas to get a
first-hand view of Terrence and Wanda (not their real names)
‘at it again’. I was just in time to see him pulling her by the arm
down the forty-five-degree gravel driveway to the sounds of her
pleading with him to let her go. She grabbed on to an overhanging tree limb (about the size of her arm) that gave way to the
force of him pulling her. Halfway down the incline he suddenly
let go of her, causing her to fall and skate a few feet before
coming to a stop. Bruised and crying, she limped away. I
couldn’t understand why no one went over to assist her. A few
weeks later I overheard two adults saying that they were back
together again, and that Wanda had reported that Terrence
only hits her because he loves her.

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Now Is The Time To Serve

Wednesday Mar 17, 2021
 
The United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman
Islands (UCJCI), as part of the worldwide family of
Reformed Churches, subscribes to the
‘priesthood of all believers’. By this, we believe that
everyone who embraces salvation through Jesus Christ is
automatically enlisted in the service of God. In other
words, the mission given to the Church by Jesus Christ is
the personal responsibility of each Christian and the
collective business of all of the people of God.
Every UCJCI member belongs to a local congregation. It is
here that our service must begin. Each member is invited to
use the abilities, gifts, and other resources entrusted by God to
enrich and expand the witness of the congregation to which
she or he belongs.
The UCJCI is currently making a more concerted effort to
assist every member to become more actively involved in the
life and witness of the church, beginning but not ending at the
level of the local congregation.

please click here for more information (PDF file)


MEN ON A MISSION

Wednesday Mar 10, 2021
 
The United Church Men’s Fellowship (UCMF) is
an organisation of men—18 years and over—
within the United Church in Jamaica and the
Cayman Islands who aspire to live their motto,
‘Serving Together in Christ’s Name’. 
OBJECTIVES OF THE MEN’S FELLOWSHIP
1.To unite the men who attend the Church to which the
UCMF is attached in Christian fellowship and mission;
2.To promote spiritual birth and growth, particularly in
relation to men;
3.To foster human development, particularly through
spiritual, social, educational, economic and cultural
activities;
4.To foster, identify, develop and utilize leadership
potential and qualities in men and boys;
5.To assist in the establishment and development of the
Boy’s Brigade Company in the Church to which the
UCMF is attached;
6.To provide Christian counselling, guidance and
support for boys and girls, men and women of the
church and community (whether individually
or as an organization) in keeping with the
paternal role of men;
7.To promote and engage in activities in response to the
needs of the church as they arise from time to time;
8.To promote and engage in community service.

please click here for more information (PDF file)


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United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands