Recently the Moderator of the United Church of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Gordon Cowans, came to visit the Cayman Islands. He was very busy during his visit, giving many words of encouragement and exhortation to Cayman’s United Church family. His visit coincided with the 70th Anniversary of the beginning of the Cayman Prep & High School and on Sunday 13 October he attended a special service to mark the occasion at Elslie Memorial Church. He was also shown around the school earlier in the week, by the Head Boy and the Head Girl.
“The United Church of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands is two nations and one church,” he said. “We have nearly two hundred congregations, and I am here visiting our people, our ministers our ministries and our mission work in various places including the work we have done in the last seventy years in the Cayman Prep and High School. We are the owners and operators of that school and are very proud that this week they are celebrating their 70th Anniversary.We cherish the work that we have already accomplished through the schools and we believe that the Cayman Prep and High School offers a particular gift to this nation, with the quality of their education, the excellence of their teachers and the obviously fine performance of their students,” he said.
“The vision is that all the locations in which we operate – and we have houses and churches all across the island, that we would fill those churches with the Caymanians of today. The work of the church really is about showing people how we really ought to live; how to live together in community and be contributing to each other’s wellbeing.”
Spirituality is not an ‘optional extra’ in the way that people sometimes think of spirituality, he said. “Spirituality is really the heart of living. When the church decides to do what it clearly has decided to do; to live out the reality of what it means to be a Christian in the world, so then a society such as this now cosmopolitan society of Cayman needs a church that speaks to the goodness of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ by which life gets better.”
The Moderator’s visit to the Cayman Islands took place between October 9 and 16. On 11 October it included a Joint Youth Gathering and Presentations of UCYPF awards, at Elmslie Memorial Church. While sharing words of encouragement, the Moderator expressed how moved he was by the depth of ministry and service within the Cayman Islands, while church members from all across Cayman gathered to celebrate our youth and the efforts in youth ministry of those awarded. The awardees received Synodical recognition by the United Church Young People's Fellowship (UCYPF). Among those awarded, the Long-Service award was given to Thomas Myles of the Elmslie Memorial United Church who along with others have been veterans within the church’s ministry to youth. The Moderator’s visit also included the naming of the United Church Mission House, as the Beth-Shalom Mission, on 9 October. He also visited the Bethsesda Counselling Centre.