United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands

UCJCI Update

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The UCJCI’s Ordination Service 2019

Wednesday Nov 20, 2019
Thursday, November 14, 2019 was a memorable day in the life of the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Two (2) of our young people, Laddia D. Young and Alex D.C. Hayden were ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacraments at Ridgemount United Church, Mandeville, Manchester! A moving service it was, that challenged Revds. Laddia and Alex - with the exuberance, freshness and vigour of the young - to a life of dedicated service in the mission of Christ. 

LEADERSHIP CORNER -Why Every Leader Needs to Leadershift 
Good leaders adapt. They shift. They don’t remain static because they know the world around them does not remain static. As leaders we can’t drag our feet or take loo long making assessments. We have to change, reread our situation, and change again. And continue changing.
How does a leader do more than just hang on and survive in such an environment? The key is to learn how to continually make leadershifts. What is a leadershift ?  It is an ability and willingness to make a leadership change that will positively enhance organizational and personal growth.

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The Chetolah Mel Nathan Education Centre Gains Ground

Wednesday Nov 13, 2019
Built by The Scott Foundation in 1994, in collaboration with then Minister of St. John’s United Church, Rev. Dr. Maitland Evans, and his team, the UCJCI’s Mel Nathan Preparatory School (the first inner city preparatory school in Jamaica) merged, on September 1, 2018, with Chetolah Park Infant and Primary School, to become The Chetolah Mel Nathan Education Centre, and the institution beams with promise!  

LEADERSHIP CORNER -The Vision Challenge
What would you rather do? See your own vision put into action and come to fruition? Or help others fulfil theirs? 
For people who want to lead, the answer is usually the former. Leaders see possibilities and they want to seize them. Most of the time they would rather work to fulfil their own vision than someone else’s—unless that other leader’s vision is really compelling and captivating. Leading from the middle, however, means that you will be asked to become a champion for a vision other than your own. In fact, the reality is that all the people in an organization other than the top leader are going to be asked to fulfil a vision they didn’t generate.

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We Celebrate Church School Month!!

Wednesday Nov 06, 2019
We celebrate Church School’s Month in November, under the theme, “Transformers for Christ — The Mission is Possible!”
Through this theme, the Children’s Ministry Commission sought to combine the theme of this year’s Vacation Bible School, “Transformers for Christ”, with the Synodical sub-theme for this Quarter, “The Disciple in Mission”.  This theme combination was chosen as a way of assisting and encouraging our church school children to engage in evangelistic mission among their family members, neighbours, classmates, friends, and even those who may be considered their enemies. 

The Fulfilment Challenge of Leadership

Wherever people find themselves in life, they usually possess the natural desire to move up. They want greater recognition. They want to make more money. They want to live in a better home. They want to advance and improve. 
Leaders are no different. They want to move up rather than stay put. They want to make a greater impact. They want to be at the front of a pack or the top of an organization, especially early in their lives and careers. But is being out front really all that’s it’s cracked up to be? I think the answer is yes and no. 

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Youth Encounter 2019 Deepens the Faith of Participants

Wednesday Oct 30, 2019
The United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands held our inaugural “Youth Encounter” on Heroes’ weekend, October 18-21, 2019 at Knox Community College Cobbla Campus, Manchester! It was a time in which Youth of our Church, between ages 18 and 25, immersed themselves in the presence of God and enjoyed holistic nurturing, without the rigours of a regular camp programme. 

LEADERSHIP CORNER   -Leadership and the Multi-Hat Challenge 
Wearing many hats is a predicament faced by most leaders in the middle of the organization. While it’s true that people at every level of an organization have strong demands placed on them, leaders in the middle experience pressures that others don’t. Here’s what I mean: 
People at the Bottom of An Organization When people are first starting out at the bottom of an organization, they usually perform a limited number of tasks that are assigned to them. Those tasks may be challenging. They may be physically or mentally demanding. They may require great skill. But most of the time, they require only one “hat”. 

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Elmslie Memorial Family News November 2019

Tuesday Oct 29, 2019

The Wednesday morning congregation continues to meet for fellowship and worship in the Elmslie Church Hall.  Usually 30 people attend each week out of a rota of 60 people.  After the worship service, hot soup is served, and later the congregants depart with a modest bag of groceries. Those congregants who do not ‘need’ the groceries are invited to take a bag to pass to a person in need.

UCJCI Lay Leadership Training Programme
The UCJCI has created a new Lay Leadership Training Programme and the Rev. Norman Francis from Jamaica will be visiting Council from November 1st - 5th to launch the programme in Cayman.  The programme will be delivered in three modules and be certified by the International University of the Caribbean.  All persons wishing to be trained in the Lay Leadership Programme are invited to attend the meeting to be held on November 2nd, along with the members of Council.  Details of the course are available from the Council office.

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Moderator’s Official Visit to CIRMC

Wednesday Oct 23, 2019
The Moderator of the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Gordon Cowans, paid his first official visit to the Cayman Islands Regional Mission Council (CIRMC) from October 9 to 16, 2019.  This was part of a schedule of ten (10) visits being paid by the Moderator across our four (4) Regions during his two-year term in office.  

Leadership Corner

Leadership and the Ego Challenge 
“ True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever the cost,” Arthur Ashe. True leadership is the same. It’s normal for any person to want recognition, and leaders are the same. The fact that leaders in the middle of the pack are often hidden—and as a result they don’t get the credit or recognition they desire and often deserve—can be a real ego buster. The challenge is to be a team player and remain content while contributing.

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St. John’s United Church Celebrates 135 Years!!

Thursday Oct 17, 2019
On October 13, 2019, our St. John’s United Church, located in Hannah Town, Kingston, commemorated the tremendous milestone of 135 years of ministry! To God be all the glory!
The special service of thanksgiving was attended by not only members of the congregation, but also members of other United Churches, and it was indeed a special event. 

The Freedom Myth about Leadership

Sometimes I think people get the wrong idea about leadership. Many people hope that it’s a ticket to freedom. It will provide a solution to their professional and career problems. But being at the top is not a cure-all.

Have you entertained the idea that being in charge will change your life? Have thoughts such as these come to mind from time to time?

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Goshen Charge’s Revolving Loan Scheme Boosts Members!

Thursday Oct 10, 2019
For the past two years, the Goshen Charge of United Churches (including Goshen, Welsh, Derry and Woodpark United Churches) in St. Mary has offered a revolving loan scheme to their members to assist in small business ventures.
Thus far, ten (10) members of the congregations have each benefitted from the loan ceiling of $10,000, paid to suppliers for agricultural inputs such as animal feed, broiler chicks, and irish potatoes, repayable at the time of harvest and sale.

Leadership: The Position Myth

If I had to identify the number one misconception people have about leadership, it would be the belief that leadership comes simply from having a position or title. But nothing could be further from the truth. You don’t need to possess a position at the top of your group, department, division, or organization in order to lead. If you think you do, then you have bought into the position myth. A place at the top will not automatically make anyone a leader. The true measure of leadership is influence—nothing more, nothing less. 

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Friday Oct 04, 2019
The Moderator of the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Gordon Cowans, paid his first official visit to the Western Regional Mission Council (WRMC) from September 12 to 15, 2019.  This was part of a schedule of ten (10) visits to be paid by the Moderator across our four (4) Regions during his twoyear term in office.  

What is Different About a Leader? 
Leaders seek the guidance of God. “A leader never lets adversity get him (her) down—except on his (her) knees.” (Jim Williams)

Everyone depends on the leader for answers. “Where do we go next?” “What’s our goal?” “Should we move ahead or wait?” It’s the leader who must make the decisions, sometimes choosing between the greater of two goods or the lesser of two evils. Effective leaders have learnt this secret of leadership: they are not alone. When forced to make tough choices, they seek the counsel of the One greater than themselves. They seek the guidance of God.

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Celebrating a Faithful Servant of God

Wednesday Sep 25, 2019
A faithful steward, a notable servant. The late Reverend Dr. Margaret Fowler was celebrated on September 19, 2019 at her thanksgiving service, held at Webster Memorial United Church, for her conscientious service, unheralded devotion, and unquestionable distinction, in honour of the cause of Christ. “Hers was a mission to comfort, to fortify, and to be a tangible expression of hope” were the words of Rev. Norbert Stephens, General Secretary of the UCJCI, in his Synodical Reflection on the life of this stalwart of the faith. 

      Seven Principles of Christian Leadership  
A pastor described the church as the most leadership-intensive organization in the world. Stephen Grunlan wrote, “Church leaders do not have the authority of military leaders or the financial incentives of the corporate world; they only have leadership skills on which to rely.” Those leadership skills will define whether church leaders—or all Christian leaders, because they have the same values and focus—are successful. 

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United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands