United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands

UCJCI Update

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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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Synodical Ash Wednesday Convocation (SRMC) Energizes

Wednesday Mar 11, 2020
“ Energized to Evangelize”, the sub-theme of the Synodical Ash Wednesday Convocation 2020 held in  the Southern Regional Mission Council,  under the broader theme, “ Evangelism : The Heart beat of the Church”, became a reality for those gathered for a day of inspiring worship and fellowship! Held on February 26, 2020 at Clarendon College in Chapelton, Clarendon, approximately one thousand five hundred (1,500) persons, including children and youth, gathered from across the congregations in the region. 

LEADERSHIP CORNER-Model the Behaviour You Desire 
When a leader’s identity and actions are consistent, the results he or she gets are consistent. When they are inconsistent, then so are the results. 
Just as consistency can create power in your personal life, it can also create power in your leadership. Leaders set the tone and the pace for all the people working with them. Therefore, they need to be what they want to see. Let me explain how this works.
YOUR BEHAVIOUR DETERMINES THE CULTURE. Your culture determines whom you attract. If you desire to instill a particular value into your organization’s culture, then you need to ask yourself whether it is an identifiable behaviour among the people of your organization—starting with yourself. And the only way to change the culture is to change your behaviour. 

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Synodical Ash Wednesday Convocation (NERMC) Inspires

Wednesday Mar 04, 2020
With a fare of worshipful musical ministry, dramatic art, dance, mime, prayer, and communion celebrations, the Synodical Ash Wednesday Convocation in the North-Eastern Regional Mission Council (NERMC) on February 26, 2020 was an unforgettable occasion!
Held at Boulevard Baptist Church under the theme, # Evangelism : The Heartbeat of the Church , UCJCI congregants from across St. Catherine, Kingston & St. Andrew, St. Mary, Portland and St. Thomas converged in their numbers for worship, fellowship and inspiration, and based on their responses, were by no means disappointed.

LEADERSHIP CORNER -Leadershift from Directing to Connecting 
If you want to become the best leader you’re capable of being, you must learn to connect with people. To do that, you must find ways to overcome the challenges of connecting and finding common ground. This can often be a difficult process, especially with a varied team.

Changing from directing to connecting is one of the most valuable shifts you will ever make as a leader. When you direct, it’s like building a bridge to others, but the traffic only goes one way. When you connect, it’s a two-way street. And because of that, everything improves. Not only are relationships better, but ideas improve because they’re flowing in both directions. People work better together, and the team gets stronger. Problems get solved more quickly because communication is better, people know one another better, and they start pulling together. And the environment improves, too. 

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United Church Women’s Fellowship: Channels of Hope

Wednesday Feb 19, 2020
The United Church Women’s Fellowship has been  a source of strength and the wind beneath the wings of outreach in many congregations across the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.
Celebrating Women’s Fellowship Week from January 26 to February 1, 2020, the women across the Regions celebrated in their signature style of robust outreach and fund-raising!

LEADERSHIP CORNER- Practice to Lead Across 
Leading is not a one-time event; it’s an ongoing process that takes time—especially with peers.
If you want to gain influence and credibility with people working alongside you, then don’t try to take shortcuts or cheat the process. Instead, learn to understand, practice, and complete the leadership loop with them. What does the leadership loop look like? Caring, Learning, Appreciating, Contributing, Verbalizing, Leading and Succeeding. It’s a cycle that starts with caring and ends with succeeding.

CARING—Take an Interest in People. This may sound too simple, but it really all starts here. You have to show people that you care about them by taking an interest in them. Many leaders are so action-oriented and agenda driven that they don’t make people a high enough priority. If that describes you, then you need to turn that around.

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United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands