United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands

UCJCI Update

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Welcome to Lent 2022

Wednesday Mar 02, 2022
 
The Lenten period of forty days has its basis in
Jesus’ forty days and nights in the wilderness (or
desert). Three accounts of the wilderness experience
are found in Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, and
Luke 4:1-13. The Lenten journey is symbolic of the
The Christian journey, fraught with challenges to our
identity, the demand to prove self-worth, and
pressure to compromise values in order to acquire
the temporal and superficial even at a painful cost.
But the Christian journey has a formula for joyful
fulfilment. This formula for joyful fulfilment is in
resisting the world’s value system through (1)
knowledge of, (2) deep and constant reflection upon,
and, (3) ready application of the Word of
God. This engagement with the scriptures is what
leads us to answer by word and witness “What does
the Lord require of you?” 

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REPARATIONS TASK FORCE

Wednesday Feb 23, 2022
 
The Reparations Task Force of the UCJCI has been very
interested in the discussions and debates surrounding
whether the Maroons can truly be categorized as an
indigenous group of people. The Maroons are credited for
having paved the path for the emancipation of Jamaican
Black people. However, some people reminded us that
there were Maroons that helped to keep other black people
in slavery. Arguments have been raging on all sides. The
debate continues.
Constitution Corner
This month’s edition of Constitution Corner will look at
the Officers of the Church, namely:
The Deputy Chairman of the Congregational
Board;
The Secretary of the Church;
The Treasurer of the Church; and Auditors.
The establishment of these Offices and their duties are
found in the By-Laws of the Constitution, Chapter 1,
paragraphs 3(b)-(c) and paragraph 4.
Who qualifies for election as these officers?
The Deputy Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer are
elected from among the Elders of the congregation. In
the case of the Auditors, the persons who qualify for
such election are persons who are independent of any
control of the church’s accounts and must be
appointed in accordance with such other terms and
conditions as shall be issued by the Synod and Council
from time to time.

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Time Marches On -God is the Master and the Measure

Wednesday Feb 16, 2022
 
I was two years old but it is still fresh in mind.
We lived at Marigold Avenue. The milk was
delivered in bottles which we had to return in
order to get fresh milk. The bread and buns and
other delights were delivered by a horse-drawn
cart. That was my favourite. I seemed always to
know when the cart was approaching. Maybe it
was the shoed hooves of the big, dark, brown
horse striking the asphalt in steady rhythm. The
cart itself exuded an irresistible aroma of
choice wood, cured and fermenting by sugars
and spices. The cart itself had a visor broad
enough to protect the driver from the heat and
glare of the sun. But if it rained, well, that was a
different matter.

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80 Years of Existence Clarendon College

Wednesday Feb 09, 2022
 
On Wednesday, February 02, 2022, Clarendon College commemorated
80 years of existence in its Founders Day Celebration.
In this 2022 celebration, Rev. Hyacinth Edwards, minister of the Salem
Charge was recognized for 24 years of service to the institution. The
UCJCI salutes Clarendon College for its contribution to nation-building
through education and applauds, Rev. Hyacinth Edwards for consistency
in providing Christian nurture and inspiration for students and staff over
these many years. 

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Black History Month

Wednesday Feb 02, 2022
 
“These commandments that I give you
today are to be on your hearts. Impress
them on your children. Talk about them
when you sit at home and when you walk
along the road, when you lie down and
when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6vs. 6 - 7
NIV)
That was the heart of what Rt. Ex. Marcus
Mosiah Garvey meant when he said “A
people without the knowledge of their past
history, origin and culture is like a tree
without roots.”
We should take seriously what the
philosopher George Santayana meant when
he wrote “Those who do not learn history
are doomed to repeat it.” Rather than fear
the pain of recollection of this challenging
time in our history, we should seek to set
right the historical record for our
generation and for those yet to come.
Rootless trees are easily uprooted.

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UCJCI Trains Lay Leaders for Service

Wednesday Jan 26, 2022
 
“This was thought provoking and much needed!”
“Oh my word! Training was excellent today. To God
be the glory!”
“These sessions let me seriously believe that l need to
serve as a Lay Pastor. They are so rich, bringing out
the gift or gifts inside.”
“I enjoyed today’s sessions thoroughly! A greater
understanding of what, before now, was mostly known
to me as "The Lost Books of the Bible", especially
appreciating why they were/might have been
omitted. Overall guidance and comments of the
session leader were both insightful and reassuring.
Group work was excellent!”
These are among the testimonies from participants in
the 2021 UCJCI Lay Leaders Training Module
1. Training was held between February 13 and July
31, 2021 bringing together over 100 persons from
across all regions of the United Church.

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International University of the Caribbean - Life and Culture

Wednesday Jan 19, 2022
 
With flexible timetables and supportive
lecturers, the International University of the
Caribbean, IUC, has won the hearts of its
students. Echoing the gratitude of the student population, Ricardo Todd expressed
that the institution has not only afforded
him the opportunity to pursue his academic
ambitions, but that this experience has
propelled his personal growth and
development. Todd, who is currently the
President of IUC’s Circle-K district, is on
the verge of completing his Bachelor of
Science Undergraduate degree in Business
Administration this year, all while working
full-time without conflict.

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PRAYER and CONDOLENCE for the family of Rev. Dr. Edmond Folkes

Wednesday Jan 12, 2022
 
It is with deep sadness that I inform you of the passing of Rev. Dr. Edmond
Folkes, J.P., who made his transition earlier today after a brief illness.
Rev. Dr. Folkes was ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacraments on
July 8, 1964, and has exercised his call to ministry in a number of
capacities within the United Church. He served as minister in the Askenish,
Davyton and New Broughton Charges. He also served as Chairman of the
former South Middlesex Area Council (now Southern Regional Mission
Council), the Synod’s Mission Witness and Service Committee and
Chairman and member of the Board of Management of the Mt. Olivet
Boy’s Home.
At the community level he served as a Justice of the Peace, chaired and
served on numerous school boards, taught at Bellfield High School and founded the Conference Centre
of Project Ebenezer with skills training centres at Davyton, Williamsfield and Porus in Manchester.
Rev. Dr. Folkes was a model of servanthood as a pastor, leader and community builder. As a pastor he
blazed a trail of compassion, care and commitment to the empowerment and evangelization of people.
As a leader he demonstrated boundless energy and enterprise while leading congregations in establishing
new congregations and in building programmes, Union and New Broughton, are two such among many
others. As a community builder his contributions to offering relevant and contextual ministries within
the communities he served are worthy of commendation.

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School in the Sanctuary

Wednesday Jan 05, 2022
 
From 2018, the Bushy Park United Church in Jamaica operated as a
homework centre for children of varying ages, in and around the
community, up until the start of the pandemic, when they started the
School Support Initiative.
During the week when school is in session, the computer room and the
pews of the sanctuary act as classrooms for 18 students on average.
Notably, this initiative has helped up to 50 students as they have been
rotating in adherence to COVID-19 infection control and prevention
measures.
Elder Carlos Shepherd shared that the Minister, Rev. Astor Carlyle and the
Associate Minister, Rev. Delroy Harris, along with the members of the
church, have been very welcoming of this initiative.
“The responses from the ministers have been favourable. They supported it, they were excited and
they jumped on it from the get-go," he expressed adding that the church was happy that the
children could get to go to school. 

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Synod Centre

Wednesday Dec 22, 2021
 
Though Covid-19 has placed limitations on our gathering this year, we were still able to
celebrate the gift God has given to us. Our annual carol service which was held today via zoom,
Wednesday, December 22, 2021, was filled with much laughter, worship and cheer warranted by our
contextual re-enactment of the nativity story. Following Act 1 Scene 1 and 2, was a choral Bible reading from Mathew 1: 18-25 done by representatives from North-Eastern Regional Mission Council and Meadowrest Memorial Gardens.

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United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands