United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands

UCJCI Update

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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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UCYPF National Sports Day 2020

Wednesday Feb 12, 2020
The United Church Young People’s Fellowship hosted their National Sports Day on February 8, 2020 at Noranda Sports Complex, Discovery Bay, St. Ann, and it was an exhilarating fare of athletics, volleyball, football, netball, domino competition, potato race, sack race, math relay, tugof-war, and theme expression!!! A grand time it was, indeed, for our youth from all four (4) regions, who competed healthily and vigorously, leading to a first place finish by the NorthEastern Regional Mission Council (NERMC), the defending champions. In second place was the Southern Regional Mission Council (SRMC). In third place  was the Western Regional Mission Council (WRMC), and  fourth place finisher was the Cayman Islands Regional Mission Council (CIRMC)!! 

LEADERSHIP CORNER -Leadershift from Ladder Climbing to Ladder Building 

There’s more to life than getting to the top. Instead of only trying to be successful personally, we could help others. 
This leadershift is about changing from being a personal producer to an equipper of others. It’s a shift that takes your leadership math from addition to multiplication. It takes you from the solitary climb to the top of your ladder, where you might enjoy the view and wave to the people down below, to watching many people climb to the top of their own ladders, and you all enjoy the view from the top together.
Ladder building is all about giving another leader the permission, equipment, and empowerment to create their own ladder. As a leader, if you surround yourself with excellent people with high potential, there will be a time when you should allow them to build their own ladders. That’s the time when you release them to lead on their own.

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UCYAAM Month Marked by Evangelism, Caring and Worship!!

Wednesday Feb 05, 2020
With spiritedness, passion and devotion, the United Church Young Adults Action Movement (UCYAAM) celebrated Young Adults Month in January 2020, through a beautiful collage of evangelism, practical expressions of care, and worship!
Their theme , “Discipleship for Life: Let’s Get in the A.C.T,” was strengthened and enhanced by the month’s subtheme, “Mobilized to act...for such a time as this”, based on Esther 4:14. This passage tells the story of Queen Esther being mobilized to act through encouragement from her uncle, Mordecai—an act that ultimately saved the people of God from impending destruction.

LEADERSHIP CORNER - Leadershift from Maintaining to Creating 
Have you ever thought about the expectations your profession or industry places on you? Are people in your leadership position expected to hold the line? Maintain the course? Change direction? Get out of the box? Blow up the box?
Some time ago the role of pastors was pretty set. They were expected to be shepherds, and their main job was to feed and care for the flock. The whole mind-set was maintaining. But can this kind of culture work against the organization? 

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#Evangelism: The Heartbeat of the Church

Wednesday Jan 29, 2020
The dream of hosting an evangelism training programme for the Western Regional Mission Council (WRMC) became a reality  when it was launched on October 5, 2019 at St. Paul’s United Church (Montego Bay)!
Twenty-two (22) persons attended the event, including Regional Deputy General Secretary, WRMC, Mrs. Mauleen Henry; and clergy members, Minister of the St. Paul’s Charge of United Churches, Rev. Tara TymeCampbell; and Minister of the Negril Charge of United Churches, Rev. Kimberly Hines. 

LEADERSHIP CORNERLighten Your Leader’s Load 
Responsibility weighs heavily on leaders. The higher they are in an organization, the heavier the responsibility. Leaders can give up many things. They can delegate many things. The one thing that the top leader can never let go of is final responsibility.
As a team member, you can do one of two things for your leader. You can make the load lighter, or you can make it heavier.
When it comes to lifting your leader’s load, motives do matter. I’m recommending that you lift up, not suck up. A good leader can tell the difference between someone who really wants to help and someone who is trying to curry favour.

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United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands