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East End is United at 170

img_3077webThe United Church in the Cayman Islands celebrates 170 years

By Georgina Wilcox

The Cayman Islands Regional Mission Council of the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands is now 170 years old.

The establishment of the Presbyterian Church by Rev. James Elmslie on Sept. 11, 1846 started the movement here that later extended to the Disciples of Christ and the Congregational Church to become the United Church.img_3077web

To celebrate the 170 years the congregations of the nine United Churches in East End, Gun Bay, West Bay, Bodden Town, Savannah and George Town/South Sound all put on their own event:

John Gray Memorial Church, West Bay – “A Journey Through 170 Years,” showcasing the history of Cayman and the life of the people, particularly women. The women of the church performed a dramatization of the poem, “Women of Brick” by Betty Ebanks, showing the struggle of the Caymanian women and ways this struggle has not changed.

Gun Bay and East End Charge – “A Dramatic History of the United Church.” The comedy play focused on the union of the United Church by its three antecedents, Presbyterian, Congregational, and Disciples of Christ.

The East End and Gun Bay congregations had various Caymanian artifacts on display, and ended the evening with a buffet of old-time food and desserts.

NOTE: The top images are all taken from the above.

Church Elmslie Memorial United and South Sound United Church – “Potluck social”. The evening was a wonderful time to reflect on the growth of Elmslie Memorial and South Sound United, as well as cherish memories from the past. Members shared funny stories and jokes about the Elmslie Church bell and the eccentric minister, Rev. George Hicks played byimg_3089web our Editor Colin Wilson. There was additional fond memories through a slideshow of pictures and a Pass the Mike” around the tables. Contributions from this included Joan Wilson and her sister, Helen Merren.

A tribute to Cayman’s heritage was done by Elmslie’s dance ministry as they performed the quadrille. The most anticipated moment of the evening was getting to taste the vast spread of food, which was thoroughly enjoyed by those who attended.

Webster Memorial United Church and William Pouchie United Church –“Lecture and discussion by University College of the Cayman Islands President and historian Roy Bodden”. Roy talked about the history of religion in the Cayman Islands and the Presbyterians’ contribution to education, culture and tradition here. He challenged the United Church to find a way of regaining the formula or strategy used in past to bring them to this point of 170 strong years as their strength to move forward in time where Churches in general are struggling to be present in the community.

Savannah United Church and the Robert Young Memorial United Church – “Youth Explosion”. Youth groups from all the congregations attended. The Savannah United Church Dance Ministry performed, and testimonies were shared by youths about their summer and the impact God had on them throughout the season,.

On Sunday September 11th the churches reflected on the establishment of the Presbyterian Church by Rev. James Elmslie.

In addition to the nine congregations the Untied Church here it has established the Cayman Prep and High School, and the Bethesda Counselling Centre.

Additional information from United Church Press Release.


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