Medal of Merit – Silver
The Church extends sincere congratulations to all of them and adds our thanks for their many years of often groundbreaking service in the development of the Cayman Islands and their communities, as well as to the Church.
2012/05 "Lord, do it Again!" This was the title the Moderator, the Rt. Rev. Oliver Daley, said he wished to give to his sermon for Cayman Convocation 2012, which was held at the Mary Miller Hall on Sunday 27th May. And it was a refrain he used effectively as he exhorted and encouraged the Church in Cayman to fit ourselves to make use of the blessing and power of the Pentecost, by letting the Holy Spirit equip us for ministry in these times, with the challenges of what he termed the “new normal”, where our society no longer necessarily accepts the Church’s teachings on many moral issues as the norm. Also participating in this year’s service was the Rev. Dr. Ofelia Ortega from our partner church the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba, who said she was uplifted by the service and the powerful and insightful sermon of Rev. Daley.
A large group of students from one of the Church’s schools in Jamaica, St. Andrew Preparatory School, also ministered in song (pictured), music and dance. They had been in Cayman for a week, with their teachers from the Creative and Performing Arts Department and Principal, and had ministered in a number of schools. The Hall resounded with beautiful music, of varied styles, provided by our (growing!) band and United Choir. Deep appreciation was extended on behalf of the Church to Mr. Michael McGrath, the retiring Director of our Cayman Prep and High School, for his nine years of service in helping to lead the School from strength to strength, and the Moderator offered a special prayer for him.
2012/05 Alpha is Here!
18 million and counting! Find out more:
Join the Alpha Course and see for yourself! Whether you want to find out some more about what Christianity is all about so you can decide for yourself, or if you are already a Christian and just want to learn more about the God who simply loves and cares for you, Alpha is for All!
And it is convenient to attend - supper is provided so you do not have to cook! And you don't have to worry about a baby sitter for the evening - a supervised nursery/children's room is available! There is no charge.
Come for a great evening, sharing a meal and laughter with friends, old or new; watch an interesting video by an entertaining and thought provoking presenter; then sit in on the small group discussions with others like yourself who have all got questions. Take some time to see for yourself if there really is more to life than this.
Where: ELMSLIE CHURCH HALL, George Town, or JOHN GRAY MEMORIAL CHURCH HALL, West Bay
When: Every Tuesday from May 8th 2012 (for approximately 10 weeks)
2012/04 Elmslie squeak by Bodden Town to hold top trophy!
The United Church Annual Sports Day returned to the Truman Sports Complex this year and the great track and spectator facilities there were matched by the beauty with which God blessed the day, making it truly a superb event for competitors and supporters of all ages. While the camaraderie of meeting together as the United Church family in Cayman, with a few visiting siblings from the Church in Jamaica, was no doubt enjoyed as much as the races and other competitions, the athletes definitely competed with vigour. It was rare to see even the littlest ones stop without completing their race – no matter how long the gap. The East End – Gun Bay competitors were often much smaller than the rest in a race but always showed great heart in ‘staying the course’! Bodden Town seemed to have given the Elmslie/George Town team a worry this year that they might not hold on to the Grand Trophy for top points overall – especially when Rev. Myers, once again announcer for the day, made the most of the drama in announcing the winner! But hold on they did – again! But Bodden Town, who fielded a large contingent and were often seen racing at the front of the pack, were only 3 points behind, despite seeming to have a smaller group of their fervent supporters driving them on this year! (Listening to and watching the ardour of the BT cheering section can be as much fun as watching the smallest children set about with determination and style! So be sure to come back in full strength next year Bodden Town supporters!) Elmslie will no doubt be thinking of this narrow edge as they get ready for Sports Day 2013, as they obviously come prepared every year, seemingly with specialists in red for each competition – even the little rider for the 'donkey race'! But next year John Gray Memorial will have a secret weapon, as one of its ladies was heard publicly committing in church to wear her running shoes, which she had left behind this year. (Was that why Savannah could take third place??!!)
It was refreshing fun for all ages and we do need to thank Casandra, Vanda, Noel and the others of the Youth Leaders National Executive for a well organised meet, Director of Sports Mr. Collin Anglin and the taxpayers in general for the use of the Complex, the hardworking Officials for the day from without as well as within the YLNE/Church, our (mainly young) brothers and sisters who undertook the journey from Jamaica, and all the other competitors, helpers and supporters.
2012/03 Child Evangelism Fellowship Cayman Islands has reported that good progress is being made in moving forward their work here in Cayman and in the training they have been providing for a growing number of participants in their mission. Mrs. Julene Banks, the Chair of CEF Cayman has noted that, “We want to work together to build a strong children's ministry to reach our children in pre-schools and primary schools and to undergird them as they move up into their teen years and young adulthood. We are hoping to be able to provide further workshop training during the period 12 -22 April. We also hope to offer training for teen peer leaders in August. Presently there are online courses available through https://online.cefmi.com. Please let us know of your interest by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
2012/02 Mrs. Casandra Morris one of the YCLA Finalists for 2012. Congratulations to Mrs. Casandra Morris, a Youth Leader in the John Gray Memorial Church, who has been selected as a finalist for this year’s Young Caymanian Leadership Award. Casandra is also the current Chair of the Council’s Youth Ministry Enrichment and Leadership National Executive, which is the body tasked with guiding the Church’s Youth Ministry in Grand Cayman and with implementing national activities and programmes, such as the Sports Day, Youth Expos, Camps Ministry, etc., in all of which she has been a dedicated, creative, enthusiastic and key leader for a number of years. We wish Casandra all the best leading up to the final choice of this year’s YCLA recipient.
2012/02 Cayman Prep Robotics Team Heads to Regional Finals. Congratulations to the “Cyber Rays”, as the students of the high school Robotics Team at Cayman Prep and High School have dubbed themselves, and to their teacher, Ms. Allison Smith, on their recent performances in the First Lego League robotics competition in Florida! There they won Best Robot Performance and second overall in the competition. Well done! As a result of this success, they are off now to the Regional Finals in Tampa on 4th February. Go to CITN Cayman 27 for more info and a glimpse of the students Imagineering and engineering skills.
2012/01 Savannah and John Gray lauded for Christmas Cantatas - see what was said in the local news: WB Cantata: http://www.ieyenews.com/2012/01/john-gray-united-church-christmas-cantata/
Sav Cantata: http://www.ieyenews.com/2011/12/story-of-christmas-through-many-different-voices/
2011/12 "Love your neighbour" alive and well at Cayman Prep and High School
Students of the Cayman Prep and High School have been finding ways again this year to stretch some of their money in order to share with others in the community. The primary school has been collecting gifts for specific children across the Islands who were nominated by the Department of Children and Family Servcies, to ensure those children do receive some presents at Christmas, and through ARK (Acts of Random Kindness). While at the high school, the Student Council there took the initiative this year to turn their giving into a competition between classes and together donated a total of CI$4,200! They have given this money to the United Church to distribute to families in need, through the Church's congregations across Cayman. The Church has expressed its deep appreciation to the students, and the staff and parents, for this generous act of giving in the spirit of Christmas, as God gave to us. The Church noted that most of its congregations have experienced increased demand in the past year on its community pantries and other ministries for assisting in the communities, as a result of the worldwide economic difficulties. So this extra help will indeed allow some families and individuals across Grand Cayman to experience an extra blessing this Christmas, as they witness the caring love of Jesus Christ manifested in this way.
2011/12 “Greetings, you who are highly favoured!"
"I believe that this is just what God is saying to us today: Do not be afraid (my people) you have found favour with me." Rev. Harry Bodden reflects on the Gift of Chirstmas and the power in those words from God with which the Angel reassured Mary. Click here to read his Christmas message to us all.
2011/12 Rev. Tara Tyme elected Chair of Council.
At a special meeting of Council held on 6th December the Chairperson and Vice-Chairs for the new three-year period beginning 1st January 2012 were elected. In addition to Rev. Tyme as Chair, the Reverends Forrester, Hazle, and Myers and Lay Pastors John Macmillan and Ormond Williams were elected to fill the five Vice-Chair positions. Rev. Tyme has served in the past as Vice-Chair and Acting Chairperson for a considerable time of the former South Middlesex Council in Jamaica and is currently Vice-Chair for Schools and institutions for our Council.
2011/12 Let your Christmas gifts Double the Joy! Give a gift of love and hope this Christmas that will bring joy to someone on your gift list – plus another,.. To find out more, click here.
Girls Brigade Celebrate 65 Years in Cayman, Founder’s 90th Birthday.
The Girls Brigade, an interdenominational organization which in Cayman is under the auspices of the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, celebrated 65 years of empowering Girls, teaching them to Seek, Serve and Follow Christ, and turning them into dedicated leaders within the Brigade, the Church and the wider community, at a special dinner on 5th November 2011. Guest of (special) Honour was Mrs. Olive Miller, MBE, JP, who founded the Brigade in Cayman (then the Girls Guildry) in 1946, shortly after arriving in Cayman as a missionary to the Presbyterian Church (as the United Church was then known in Cayman).
Mrs. Miller is still very active with the Girls Brigade in Cayman and has served as International Vice-President and International Patron to GB worldwide. She entertained everyone present with some of her reminisces of her time in the Brigade, including stories of leading a number of the ladies present at the event on trips to foreign gatherings of GB when they were Girls Brigaders.
Coincidentally, Mrs. Miller was to celebrate her 90th birthday the following week, on 9th November, and she was also honoured and congratulated by the gathering on that milestone. Many people subsequently thanked Mrs. Miller for the impact she had on their personal lives as well her service to the Church and the Cayman Islands through Girls Brigade, teaching at the Cayman Prep and High School, another mission of the Church with which she was involved in its early days, as a Pink Lady, NCVO stalwart, and in so many other roles! In fact, on her birthday the next week, students representing various classes of the Cayman Prep and High School (in which she continues to keep a keen interest) visited her and she also received beautifully decorated handmade cards from the little children of the NCVO’s pre-school. The United Church takes this opportunity to add our deep gratitude for the magnificent role that Mrs. Miller has served and continues to serve in our Church - a tremendous example of a disciple of Christ who selflessly shares His love and His Gospel with everyone, whether in Cayman, in our Children’s Homes in Jamaica, in Haiti or beyond.
The newly formed Girls Brigade Cayman Choir also entertained everyone at the dinner on 5th November with a beautiful song, written by no other than Mrs. Olive Miller!
Mrs. Ethel Farrington was also recognized as the last of the original leaders of the first company of the Girls Brigade in West Bay when it was formed in 1946. Here (above right) she is seen with other leaders, past and present, of the GB Company in that District.
Ms. Debra McLaughlin, the current Chair of GB in Cayman, also presented gifts of appreciation to other current Officers and to a number of others who serve GB in Cayman, including the Ministers of our Congregations.
2011/11 First Global Alpha Training event held in Cayman.
Under the leadership of the Rev. Graham Singh and Mr. Giancarlo Riveros, Caribbean and South America Representative for Alpha International, the first ever Global Alpha Training event was held in Cayman on the 4th – 6th November 2011. Pastors and leaders of a number of local churches took part in the event, which was held at the Savannah United Church. The focus for the Friday and Saturday sessions was the training of leaders to facilitate the Alpha Course, although there were also brief presentations on Alpha for Prisons, Alpha in the Workplace, Marriage Alpha, Parenting Teenagers and Parenting Children courses, etc., all of which have proven to be highly effective tools to help build Christ’s Kingdom and provide salvation, as well as building hope and empowerment for families and individuals. The Sunday evening session focused on training for facilitating the Youth Alpha course (which is currently being run at the John Gray Memorial United Church in West Bay) and that was attended by a number of Youth Leaders and young adults and others who work with young people, as well as some of those who had attended the ‘Classic Alpha’ training. Also accompanying Mr. Riveros and Rev. Singh and assisting in leading the training were two others from the latter’s church, Mr. Gerard Sebastian and Mr. Tim Malcolm, and Mr. and Mrs. Paul Sharp, who are active leaders of Alpha at the Church of the Transfiguration in Jamaica. (While on the Island, Rev. Singh and Mr. Sebastian also took part in a service at the Prison as a guest of Mrs. Cathy Gomez of Elmslie United Church, who has long been active as a passionate volunteer in the prison ministry.)
Alpha is a low-pressure, fun and informative course. It is a place to relax, share your thoughts and explore the meaning of life. The course is designed primarily for people who don't go to church, but are interested in the Christian faith. The Alpha course began in the late 1970s at Holy Trinity Church, Brompton, in the UK, as a means of helping new Christians learn more about the Christian faith. In 1990, former barrister the Rev. Nicky Gumbel realised the potential of the Alpha course to appeal to a wider audience, and adapted the course to make it inclusive for anyone interested in the Christian faith. The Alpha course spread during the 1990s, initially in the UK and then internationally, as more and more churches and groups found it a helpful and informal way to discuss questions about the Christian faith. There are now over 55,000 courses worldwide in 166 countries. Alpha is supported by all the major denominations. Over 16 million people worldwide have now attended an Alpha course! The United Church will continue to offer various Alpha courses in its congregations and a number of other Denominations are expected to start or re-start Alpha courses shortly also as a result of the training. Keep your eyes and ears open for news of an upcoming Alpha course – and invite a friend come and see!
The local television station Cayman 27 interviewed the Rev. Graham Singh and Mrs. Jennifer Dilbert, one of the local organisers of the Global Alpha Training event in Cayman, and you can learn more about Alpha and the weekend in Cayman by going to the segment on Cayman 27 (click here).
2011/10 Global Alpha Training Event - Cayman Islands
This training event is practical, interactive and will give you all you need to know to
run an Alpha course in your context. Take advantage of this being held in Cayman for the first time!
WHAT IS ALPHA?
The Alpha course is for everyone, and offers an opportunity to explore and
develop the Christian faith in a relaxed way. It is run worldwide by churches
of all denominations. Over 16 million people have now attended an Alpha course! See (www.alpha.org)
RUNNING THE ALPHA PROGRAMME TRAINING
Venue: SAVANNAH UNITED CHURCH
Date: NOVEMBER 4-5, 2011
Time: Fri. 4th from 3-8:30pm; Sat. 5th from 9am-6:45pm;
RUNNING THE ALPHA YOUTH PROGRAMME SEMINAR
Sun. 6th from 6-9pm (Alpha-Youth Seminar) - also at Savannah United
Cost: CI$30 for Fri & Sat; CI$10 for Sun (Alpha-Youth Seminar)
To register call (345) 949-7923 or email email@example.com
2011/09 "Record Breaking Results At Cayman Prep & High School" - The Cayman Prep and High School has announced that 95% of the 2011 Year 11 students achieved the recognised measure of success in gaining five or more of the higher passes at grades A*– C in the GCSE/IGCSE examinations. The School states that, "In fact, 92% of these students gained 7 or more A*– C passes, with the 22 top-ranking students gaining 10 or 11 subject passes at these higher grades." The United Church, which owns and operates the School, has congratulated and commended all the students on their diligence and their outstanding IGCSE and GCSE Results. The message from the Church added that, "We thank God for His grace toward you and pray that you will continue to look to Him for nurture and guidance and commit yourselves to His leadership and Lordship. We also extend a big Thank You to the Management, Teachers and other Staff of the School for all your dedication to enhancing the lives of the students entrusted to your expertise and care. With your 100% pass rate and over 90% of the passes at the top grades of A* - C, we say to students and staff alike, Well Done!" Click here to see the School's press release.
2011/08 “Becoming a Contagious Christian” returns to the Church after a gap of a few years, with Elmslie Memorial United Church offering the training programme in its new format starting September 4th. As some readers will recall, this is the popular evangelistic training programme developed as part of the “Building the Contagious Church” series by Bill Hybels and his team at the Willow Creek Community Church. As Rev. Dr. Dave Hazle of Elmslie explains: “It is designed to train each of us to talk about Jesus in a way that fits our personality. But why is this so important? This news about Jesus is not a private affair but news that God wants the whole world to know. The problem is that this life-saving act of God [through Jesus] is not automatically applied to human beings. Each person has to believe it and receive it for him or herself. God in his wisdom has chosen human agents to be the main means by which this information gets around.” For more information on joining the programme, please call Elmslie at 949-7923.
2011/08 Mt. Olivet Boys Home Thanks Elmslie and Cayman Prep & High School
Elmslie Memorial United Church writes in its latest newsletter that: with the encouragement of Mrs. Olive Miller and the help of Mr. Joe Bernard and students at the Cayman Prep and High, ten boxes of goods and supplies were collected and sent to the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home at the end of July. Special appreciation is expressed to Mr. Roy McGregor and Mr. Omar Lewis, two young men originally from the Home, who transported the boxes from Cayman to Mount Olivet.
They had both been helping with the two United Church Teens’ and Children’s Camps over the summer at Prospect. We are also grateful to Cayman Airways which carried them at no charge. The administrator, Francine Dennis, writes, “Omar and Roy brought the things to the home this morning and we are so grateful for everything. On behalf of the boys, I want to say thank you all very much for everything. We really appreciate what you have been doing for the boys’ home. May God bless you all. Please convey our sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed to sending all the items for the boys.”
2001/08 (Click for Pictures) Camps 2011 declared a “resounding success”! And the Church is deeply grateful to the Leaders, the Chaplains and the many other volunteers, including two young men form the Church in Jamaica, who assisted in teaching, supervision and so many other ways. This year’s Coordinator for both Camps, Mrs. Casandra Morris, reported that: “Our camps main goals and objectives were: Helping young people and children become aware of God’s seeking love as shown especially in Jesus Christ and respond in faith and love; Bringing lives to Christ through commitments or re-commitments; Encouraging young people in their faith and growth in the ministry; Developing a programme that was fun filled, with spiritual activities including praise and worship, bible time, outings, discussions, creative activities and sports; Integrating a music programme with positive role model leadership that encouraged the kids to praise God at all times with positive Christian music. The 2011 Camp Ministry theme was “Praise Party: Worshiping God with Head, Heart, Hands, Feet and Soul”. Our main Bible verse “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly...and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to GOD. (Colossians 3:16).
Out of the 27 campers that attended Teens Camp, 19 campers committed or recommitted their lives to Christ. For Children’s Camp 25 campers out of 38 committed or recommitted their lives."
2011/8 - “How to Help a Loved One with Drug or Alcohol Issues” The Family Resource Centre has announced a training session on this critically important subject on 1 September 2011 from 6:00pm:--7:30pm at the Windjammer Plaza, Walkers Rd. (2nd Floor). In a release, the Centre notes that:
“One of the most difficult situations is trying to help a family member with addiction. It can be a confusing and even dangerous at times. The life of someone we love is wasting away unless something is done. Since our addicted loved one isn't doing any-thing, we naturally feel the need to bail them out. This is a recipe for disaster with most addicts.
Come and learn:
Nature Of Addiction
Do’s and Don’ts of helping
Understanding the Programmes available to you and your loved one
Register today at 949-0006 or email firstname.lastname@example.org”
2011/6 New Cayman Prep and High School Graduates get tried and trusted formula from an original!
The Year 11 Graduates, some of whom were overseas representing Cayman in various international sporting meets, received praise from the School’s Leaders for their commendable attributes and joyful embrace of life at the School. Messrs. Julian Solomon and Paul Foster, speaking on behalf of the Graduates, in turn thanked the Management and Staff of the School for the opportunities and care and attention provided for them at the School. Mrs. Melanie Hydes, their Head of Upper School, was one of those singled out for special mention (as she was also the night before when the Year 13 Leavers Ceremony was held!). It was an encouraging and uplifting occasion, during which Mr. McGrath, the Director, gave an overview of the wide ranging accomplishments of the students and the School for the year, starting with the Kindergarten and seeming to touch most areas up through the Sixth Form, in academics, sports, the arts, cultural, and community or mission service. He noted that, the Kindergarten Section had an unexpected visit recently from the office of ESAU, the Cayman Islands Educational Standards and Assessment Unit, which is responsible for inspecting or evaluating all schools in Cayman. The ESAU team concluded that the school deserved the highest level on their grading scale in each of the 4 areas examined for kindergartens, and did not find anything that needed attention. We echo the Director in saying, “Well done to our kindergarten teachers!” but extend it to all the Staff and Management of the whole School. (Click here for further details of the impressive array of activities and accomplishments in this extract from the Director’s speech.)
The Director also acknowledged “the invaluable contributions made by Mr Bud Johnson who has just retired from the Board of Governors, after many years of service, including periods as Chairman or Deputy Chairman, and also by Mr Jerris Miller who has been a Board member for many years. These two gentlemen have worked long and hard for all of those years, guiding the school though many changes and many challenges during its growth into a High School. We are very much indebted to them and on behalf of the school I want to express to them my fullest appreciation and gratitude for their exemplary contributions.”
But certainly a highlight of the evening was the keynote speech by Mrs. Olive Miller, MBE, JP, who was one of the original teachers of the School, when it opened in 1949 (as the Cayman High School, with a Preparatory Department). Mrs. Miller is still very active in the Church, where she is something of a living icon of the Christian life and a passion for mission without boundaries. She encouraged the Graduates to remember and strive for four S’s – Salvation, self-discipline, stickability (which she preferred to “perseverance”!) and selflessness. She clearly demonstrated how they were interrelated, and bound together by Jesus Christ – and pointedly encouraged them in song to “Put Your Hand in the Hand of the Man from Galilee”! On completion of her very moving and often humorous speech, punctuated by examples of her own experiences, she received a standing ovation from a grateful audience. Thank you Mrs. Miller for being such a blessing and example to us, for generations.
The night before, the audience had been very impressed by the range of tertiary subjects the A Level students were registered to pursue in universities on both sides of the Atlantic, including various sciences, pre-medical and biomedical studies, psychology, computer technology and electronic engineering, law, environment, teaching, commerce, and even “International Fashion Marketing!”
2011/6 Savannah HOPE launched. The Savannah United Church has launched a new mission seeking to assist vulnerable persons within the 17 – 25 age group who desire to pursue their educational and skills development locally. The Church notes that there are persons in this age group who find themselves unemployed and otherwise marginalised and unable to access empowerment opportunities because of a lack of adequate skills for employability, perhaps due to past involvement in the criminal justice system, early pregnancy, broken homes, parental challenges, etc. The Rev. Donovan Myers, Minister of the Savannah United Church, states that, “In recognition of the mandate of the Church to bring the good news of hope to all, Savannah HOPE is being offered as part of the Church’s response to vulnerable youth in the community. ... Consequently, Savannah Hope (His Opportunity for People Empowerment) will provide small grants to vulnerable youth, who would not qualify for assistance otherwise, to pursue short courses as part of their empowerment.”
The HOPE programme was officially launched at a service at the Church on Sunday 26th June, during which the Minster for Community Affairs, Gender and Housing, Hon. Mike Adam, brought greetings and commended the Congregation on this initiative. The Scripture texts were read by Hon. Rolston Anglin, Minister for Education, Training and Employment, and Hon. Mark Scotland, Minister for Health, Environment, Youth, Sports and Culture. The Cayman Islands Regional Mission Council of the United Church also participated in the service and commended the Minister and Congregation.
2011/6 The annual ‘Communion with the Moderator’ of the Cayman Islands
Regional Mission Council of the Church was held at the Mary Miller Memorial Hall on Pentecost
Sunday June 12th. Rt. Rev. Oliver Daley, who was installed as Moderator at the 2011 Synod in April,
officiated and preached the sermon. He entitled his message, “To Whom It May Concern”, making
the point that God’s message was for everyone, but not everyone was concerned. If we are
concerned, we need to receive the Holy Spirit as on the first Pentecost in Jerusalem after Christ’s
death and resurrection and let God lead us to be re-enthused and re-energised to build and expand
His Kingdom as God wants. He will not wait on us forever, the Moderator cautioned, and is very
much at work in growing the Body of Christ throughout the world, using those who are concerned
and who go out and build and strengthen. The General Secretary, the Rev. Norbert Stephens, also
participated in the service. In recognition of Ministry Sunday for the United Church, he offered a
prayer for people in Cayman to come forward to serve in the various ministries of the Church, with a
special appeal for Caymanians to offer themselves for the Ordained Ministry. The Council presented
Caymanite representations of ‘The Cross’ and ‘Bible’ to the Moderator and General Secretary,
marking the Council’s welcome to them on taking up these offices. Mrs. Margaret Garcia received
her plaque from the Moderator commemorating her as a recipient of the Synod’s Honouring Lay
Persons Award for 2011. Mr. John Macmillan had been the second recipient of this Award for 2011,
but had received his plaque at the Synod in April, which Mrs. Garcia had been unable to attend.
2011/4 - The next Alpha Course will start on 10th May 2011 at the Savannah, Elmslie and John Gray Memorial United Churches, each Tuesday evening at 7 pm. See full size flyer here. For a report on last year's Alpha courses, please click here. Take a fresh look at Christianity!
2011/4 - United Church Members comprise three of the five Finalists for the 2011 Young Caymanian Leadership Awards! Congratulations to Ms. Chantal Whittaker and Ms. Shari Whittaker of the William Pouchie Memorial United Church in North Side (who are also Leaders of the Girls Brigade) and to Mr. Richard Christian of Savannah United Church on being honoured in this way. More details on the three of them, and the other YCLA finalists, can be found in this Caymanian Compass Article linked here. (The 2010-11 Young Caymanian Leader is Mr. Collin Anglin from the John Gray Memorial United Church congregation.)
2011/4 - Cayman Prep’s Year 6 Primary Class won the 2011 Disney’s Planet Challenge, a yearly program aimed at inspiring students to be good stewards of the environment and empowering them to make a difference. It is sponsored through a relationship with Disney Cruise Line and the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Department of Education and Department of the Environment. Disney noted that “The young environmental champions were honored aboard the Disney Magic cruise ship in Grand Cayman last week for their class project focused on protecting the threatened swallowtail butterfly, an endemic species found only in the Cayman Islands.” Click here for Disney’s statement and video of the children aboard the ship, where they were also lauded by Disney and the Government (and some cruise passengers).
2011/4 Help the NCVO do their good deeds. Please see their "Out with the Old, In with the New" appeal here, and help them wherever possible.
2011/4 - Superb Saturday for Girls Brigade at Camp FISH! Over 100 Girls Brigaders of all ages and from all over the Island gathered at the Prospect Youth Centre on Saturday 26th March under the leadership of the GB Officers for a tremendous day of fun, devotions, learning (lots!), exploration, other activities – and food! It was a very full day – and it was reported that a week later some of the Leaders were still recovering! Local band ‘Swanky’ not only had the Girls dancing to the quadrille and other old-time Cayman music but even let them help play their fiddles and drums! Click here for more pictures and information.
2011/3 - The Ash Wednesday Prayer Summit was a moving and renewing experience for partcipants again this year. As in most years, some people were heard to remark that they do not know why more of our members do not take part, as it is such a refreshing time of prayer, worship and fellowship in the peaceful and scenic seaside location of Prospect! As the gallery of pictures attached will show, at the appointed starting time of 7:30am the numbers were still small and some dark clouds had gathered! In fact, right about then the rain started, forcing us to move indoors! It is always so beautiful to start outside by the sea in the early morning (as the above picture from another year demonstrates). But this move did not dampen spirits, and soon the hall of the Prospect Youth Centre was resounding with another manifestation of the beauty of God's creation - music and the singing of about 70 voices, led by Mr. Noel Wallace on the keyboard! This year's focus was "Christ - the Source of Healing and Hope", with the meditation led by Rev. Rohan Forrester. The small group prayers centred on the five Synod priorities for 2011, for example on the "Ministry to Children", the concern to prod us was listed as "How do we ensure all our children enjoy, embrace and are empowered by the hope and healing of Christ?" A special blessing this year was to have our sister Joan Paige Bain and her husband Allemand and daughter Jirene worshipping and praying with us. Joan has been our Church's missionary nurse in Haiti for many years.
2011/03 The United Church Youth Leaders National Executive hosted the 1st Annual Youthquake at the John Gray Memorial Church Hall in West Bay on 12th February 2011. See story here. The young people delighted the audience - and at times made us cry with some poignant pieces. Click here to see some pictures from the afternoon!
2011/3 Minimum Wage Law promised in Legislative Assembly - Following a motion in the Legislative Assembly by Mr. Ezzard Miller (Independent - North Side) to insert a minimum hourly wage amount in the Labour Law, the Government has said it is not against a minimum wage and will be introducing legislation for this shortly. (Mr. Miller's motion did not proceed.) The United Church Cayman Islands Council has proposed previoulsy that "living wage" legislation be enacted in the Cayman Islands to protect the most vulnerable members of our workforce and those with the weakest bargaining power in regard to salaries and wages. It has made the distinction between "living wage" protection and a "minimum wage" - click here to see the proposal presented to the Government in February 2007. Since the discussion in the LA, the John Gray Memorial Church's Young Adults Action Movement has started to look into this more deeply and one of the sources of information they have noted for review, from Wikipedia, provides some useful information on minimum wages in 197 countriies and the diffeent approaches taken in some of these - click here for link.
Sports Day rescheduled for 2nd April - the Youth Leaders National Executive have rescheduled the Church Sports Day for Saturday 2nd April, at the North Side District Field. As usual, there will be competitions for all ages - including the leaders and Ministers! (Picture of some of the teams in their congregational colours lining up for the opening parade at an earlier Sports Day)
2011/03 International Ecumenical Peace Convocation to be held May 17-25, 2011, in Kingston, Jamaica. On the eve of this Convocation, which is being hosted by The World Council of Churches ("WCC"), the Caribbean Conference of Churches, and the Jamaica Council of Churches, the WCC has launched a study guide (click here to download) to help individuals and churches to continue to reflect and act together after the drawing to a close of the 2001-2010 Decade to Overcome Violence – Churches Seeking Reconciliation and Peace.
World Day of Prayer will be celebrated in our Churches in East End, Bodden Town and West Bay on 4th March. All are invited to this important event in the world body of Christians, under the theme this year of, PRAYER CAN MULTIPLY THE LOAVES. Mark 6:30-44. The organisers point out that "This first Friday of March is always an exciting day as a great wave of prayer sweeps the world, beginning when the first service is held in Tonga and continuing around the world until the final service takes place, some 35 hours later, in neighbouring Western Samoa. By then the day will have been celebrated in over 170 countries." Be a part of this great event! See further details, including information on the women of Chile, who led this year's prepartaions, here.
New Cayman Prep Building Dedicated.
2011/2 - The Moderator of the United Church, Rt. Rev. Henley Bernard, dedicated the new building at Cayman Prep and High School Walkers Road Campus on February 1st 2011, and authorised the Governor of the Cayman Islands, His Excellency Mr. Duncan Taylor CBE, and the Chair of the Cayman Council of the Church, Mr. McFarlane Conolly, to cut the ceremonial ribbon. Hon. Rolston Anglin, Minister of Education, Training and Employment, Mr. Bryan Bothwell MBE, Chair of the Board of Governors and Regional Deputy General Secretary of the Church, and Mr. Michael McGrath, Director of the School, gave the main speeches in the celebration. The 23,000 (approximately) square feet building was described as the largest built by the Church (and the School) in Cayman, and houses the core subjects of Maths, English, the Sciences and Technology, as well as the main library, which was described as superbly equipped, as were the science and computer labs. Thanks were expressed to the provision of God and the hard work of many people, which had enabled the building to be completed last August, ahead of contract, under budget (slightly), and without any injuries during construction, while providing excellent facilities. The builidng is equipped also with an elevator and linked with wheelchair access to the other main learning block, thus making the builidngs on the site accessible to all, as are also the buildings in the Primary division of the School. Mr. McGrath unveiled a plaque giving thanks to the named Foundation Donors, though there were appeals for businesses and other donors to still sponsor rooms, etc., to help the School meet its investment target and promote their names amongst generations of future leaders and well educated employees. Cayman National Bank was thanked for providing the loan to fund most of the CI$5.2 million costs. Many of those present toured the building, examinig the new labs and the technology integrated in all learning areas. Members of the public have also been invited to have tours of the builidng during the next few days, in normal school hours, to see the school at work. (Picture above shows H. E. Governor Taylor flanked by the Minster of Education, Hon. Rolston Anglin, and Mrs. Sheila Purdom, Principal of the High School Division, as well as the Moderator, Chair of Council, Chair of the Board of Governors and the Director, after the cutting of the ribbon.)
2011/1 -George Town and Savannah Charges realigned. (Click here for story.)