United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands

UCJCI Update

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Understanding Vaccines

Wednesday Sep 29, 2021
 
While taking the Covid-19 Vaccine is a matter of choice, we encourage
each person to give due consideration to the matter to prevent adverse
effects.
We were joined on several occasions by Dr Delroy Fray, a member of
the United Church and the Clinical Coordinator at the Western Regional
Health Authority (WRHA), to discuss the COVID-19 vaccines. In one
instance, he shared that 99.9 per cent of COVID admitted patients in
WRHA did not take the vaccine. According to the Ministry of Health in
Jamaica, the 1,860 persons who have died from COVID-19, so far , were
unvaccinated.
At a point, only three COVID patients at the Cornwall Regional Hospital
received the first dose of the vaccine, Dr Fray said. He reported that
those three people were only admitted for a few days before being
discharged. Westmoreland recently experienced a spike in COVID
cases, especially among children.
Here are some questions and concerns addressed in the various fora:

please click here for more information (PDF file)


REPARATIONS AND THE FAMILY

Wednesday Sep 22, 2021
 
It is our considered opinion that in order to right the wrongs of an evil period in history there is the
need for former European Colonizers to provide payment or other assistance to the former colonies
such as the Caribbean nations.
We believe the demeaning system of chattel slavery that was maintained for centuries has left
considerable damage to the state of race relations in the world and the psycho-social wellbeing of the
descendants of the formerly enslaved Africans.
It is to that end that we are seeking to mobilize the Christian community,
beginning with our own denomination, to be part of the movement to
advocate for reparatory justice from the European nations. At the last Synod
of the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, a special
reparations task force was established to explore how the United Church
could more actively participate in the growing advocacy for reparatory
justice for the descendants of formerly enslaved Africans. 

please click here for more information (PDF file)


Greatness Redefined

Wednesday Sep 15, 2021
 
When I think of Greatness Redefined, I think of the
woman at the well in St. John 4. Like her, we run to many
wells to fill voids in our hearts and souls instead of
drinking from the fountain of living water and feeding on
the bread of life. Like her, the search for worth and
purpose pushes many in
the arms of promiscuity or
under the crushing weight
of accolades.
But, her encounter with
Jesus at the well brought
about a different understanding of what greatness
is and where it is found.

please click here for more information (PDF file)


The Church humbly recognizes wrongs and boldly acts to repair

Wednesday Sep 08, 2021
 

I wish to thank Mrs. Karen Francis for the comprehensive article, published
in the August 25, 2021 Weekly Update grappling with complex issues
relating to reparation for the centuries-long enslavement of African people.
This is a matter with which the Church has not always grappled openly and
indeed there may be some who wonder why the Church would engage such
an issue. Your treatment of the subject confirms that this is an issue whose
time has come and that the Church should indeed bring the Kingdom values
to bear on these significant historical, international matters.
By posing the question as “Seek reparations or forgive and forget?”, you
challenge us to consider where on the continuum of potential responses
would Jesus’ response be found. The Scriptures can tell us.

please click here for more information (PDF file)


Seek Reparations or Forgive and Forget?

Wednesday Aug 25, 2021
 
“In my conversations with persons on the matter of reparations, I have encountered responses ranging from hissed
teeth, ‘Bawda-Cat-like’ response, “Dat will neva ‘appen,” to
strident declarations that, “The UK mus’ pay”.
So, what of reparations? Should we simply forgive and forget or
do we champion a cause for just recompense? Let’s pause for a
moment and consider the discourse by reflecting on the
concepts of Forget and Forge.

please click here for more information (PDF file)


Phoenix Rising! The International University of the Caribbean

Wednesday Aug 18, 2021
 
“IUC faced the clear and present danger of not
being viable as far as its debts were in relation
to its income.”
These were the words of Professor Roderick Hewitt, President of
the International University of the Caribbean (IUC) in a recent
interview.
However, the image of the legendary phoenix of Greek and
Egyptian mythology, which symbolizes renewal and resurrection,
came to mind as he described the current endeavours of the
institution which is owned and operated by UCJCI. President
and Board have been mandated to address the realities facing
the institution and have taken a multi-pronged approach to
tackle the challenges faced noting that success would not come
by ‘waving a magic wand’. A significant injection of funds would
be necessary to address the historic debts. Instead eight
strategies have been undertaken.

please click here for more information (PDF file)


Ministry in Virtual Spaces

Wednesday Aug 11, 2021
 
‘Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! …’
Words from 1 Chronicles 9 known as, The Prayer of Jabez, have
become the request of many Christians in a search for wider
horizons for ministry and influence. COVID 19 has opened up
enlarged territory for UCJCI as it has for many denominations of
the Christian Church.
One of the ways in which this is evident is through the work of
Rev. Kevin Calvert, a United Church Minister who was appointed
Minister of the Visual and Performing Arts in November 2020.
Known also by the stage name, Nana Moses, this creative
uses storytelling, poetry, drama, dance, music and film to proclaim the gospel of Christ and engage in advocacy
So how has Rev. Calvert engaged his mandate from the UCJCI.
A number of initiatives have been undertaken.

please click here for more information (PDF file)


A Case For Reparations

Wednesday Jul 28, 2021
 
Calls for reparation, or the making of amends for the 
wrongs done to Caribbean Peoples especially of African descent but also 
to include other groups are being made around the world.

please click here for more information (PDF file)


‘Two are better than One’-CWM and CANACOM Sign Historic MOU

Wednesday Jul 14, 2021
 
In a momentous occasion on 7 July 2021, long standing
partners in mission, the Council for World Mission (CWM)
and the Caribbean and North America Council for Mission
(CANACOM) renewed their partnership through a revised MOU.
The occasion was marked by an online signing event via the
Zoom video conferencing platform.
Pictured above are the signatories to the MOU, Rev. Dr.
Jooseop Keum (left) – CWM’s newly appointed General
Secretary and Rev. Carlington Keen (right) Chair of
CANACOM. The moment of signing was completed by
applause and cheers from the onlooking audience who noted
their joy to have witnessed the moment of renewed partnership
and the exciting possibilities for ongoing partnership in the
Caribbean and North America. In attendance were CWM’s outgoing General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Collin Cowan who shared
with CANACOM’s Education in Mission Secretary, Mrs. Jennifer
P. Martin, in the historical recounting of the partnership journey
between CANACOM and CWM. Present also, were members of
CWM’s Board of Directors, members of CANACOM’s Finance
and Administrative Committee and CANACOM’s Council
Members.

please click here for more information (PDF file)


Advancing the Gospel in Word and Deed -UCJCI in Partnership Across Denominations in Jamaica and North America

Wednesday Jul 07, 2021
 
The Jamaica Ecumenical Mutual Mission (JEMM), is an
ecumenical entity which undertakes joint work in mission
with the aim of manifesting the Gospel in word and deed.
JEMM was established in 1979 and currently comprises
the following denominations; the Methodist Church in the
Caribbean and the Americas—Jamaica District, The
Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands and
the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.
These groups work in collaboration with the Presbytery of
St. Augustine of the Presbyterian Church, USA, whose
mission arm is the St. Augustine Mutual Mission (SAMM).
Together, as JEMM, joint work has been undertaken in the
following areas:
Housing
Agriculture
Health Ministry
Youth Exchange Programme
Adult Exchange Programm

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United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands