St. Andrew Parishioner

Vol. 12 No. 8 December 2003

In this Issue ...

Thoughts on Advent
Special Christmas Service
Welcome, Assistant Curate
Annual Business Retreat
Landmark Palm Tree
Miss Ivy Remembers
Church Hall History
Congregational Meeting
Church Calendar

May the Light of Christ who is our Peace and Salvation be with you this season and always.

Rector, Curate and Staff, St. Andrew Parish Church

 

Services for Christmas 2003

Thoughts on Advent

Advent is a wonderful time of year, a time of expectancy and hope, a time of lighting candles and opening advent calendars, a time when we wait for light to come out of the darkness again, a time when we are reminded of the importance of light coming into our world in the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem two thousand years ago.
(A candle of hope by Garth Hewitt, 1999, page 12)


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Special Christmas Service

Christmas Bells

Shut-In Services

On Sunday, December 28 at 11:30 a.m. there will be a special Christmas Service for those who are unable to attend Services on a regular basis because of physical challenges, health or difficulties with attending a long Service. On this day we structure the Service to accommodate these persons. We are inviting members to assist in bringing other members out to this Service and to suggest that should you know anyone who may wish to attend, to invite and assist them to come. Given the renewed focus on the Visitation programme we are expecting that our Parish Groups will pay special attention to this.


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Welcome

Assistant Curate

We welcome Rev. Robert McLean as our new Assistant Curate effective December 15, 2003. We are particularly fortunate in having this addition to our staff. Mr. McLean was ordained a Deacon at the Ordination Service at St. Andrew's on St. Andrew's Day, November 30, 2003.


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Annual Business Retreat

The Annual Business Retreat took place on Saturday, November 8, 2003. It was attended by members of the Church Committee, Chairpersons of Outreach Projects and Parish groups. The Agenda included reports from Outreach Projects - Moreton Park Cottages, St. Andrew Settlement, St. Andrew Care Centre and the SAPC Home for Girls.

The focus this year was on Youth Ministry and the challenges for 2004. Guest speakers were Miss Sasha Lumsden, Divisional Director of the Education and Youth Department of the Diocese (and a member of SAPC) and Rev. Garth Minott, Anglican Warden at the United Theological College. In order to increase participation in the discussion of this topic representatives of SAPC youth groups (Sunday School, Home for Girls, AYF, etc.) were invited to be present in addition to the Heads of these groups within the Church. The ensuing discussion and suggestions were valuable and are presented below.

Youth Ministry - challenges for 2004
Presentation by Sasha Lumsden at the Annual Business Retreat 2003 (edited version)

Youth Ministry is a broad and far reaching topic and integral to the ministry of the church. The St. Andrew Parish Church community recognizes the importance of youth and young adults in the life of the church. If this were not the case, room would not have been made for Rev. Garth Minott and I to be able to share with you on this occasion. We must consider whether the St. Andrew Parish Church community can be considered a community that:

  • Welcomes young people
  • Embraces young people
  • Nurtures their faith in God

There are three aspects which we as a community could tackle in our journey to become a youth friendly congregation, as we plan for the year 2004 - facilitating our youth, informing our youth and making room for our youth.

1. Facilitating our youth / young adults

  • Parents as Evangelists - Many of us in this room today, would not be here if our parents had not at some point in time told us we had no choice. Parents must see themselves as the first people who put Jesus and service to Him on the priority list of the young Christian. As parents the effort must be made to facilitate the child's involvement in youth ministry programmes through providing encouragement (sometimes force), transportation (sometimes to the whole group), food (sometimes to the whole group), permission to miss one or two extra lesson classes (academic and spiritual growth, not one or the other). Parents should be the unofficial youth coordinators in the congregation…it should be their duty to know about the youth ministry programmes available. A series of one day workshops - also to share testimonies of parents who have successfully guided their children through church to the point where they are still involved today - could be useful.

  • Our clergy and church workers also need to be facilitators - ready and willing to pass on relevant and available information to the relevant persons. The clergy especially have major influence and can use this to encourage young people and their parents in the combined ministry to youth.

2. Informing our youth

  • Youth News Insert - A short, colorful pamphlet on a particular issue is easier to read than an entire book. In teaching our youth we need to be aware of successful methods of imparting information. This could be a project for our SAPC Christian Education Committee - to prepare regular pamphlets on issues relevant to our youth. This could include a short message from the Rector/Priest-in-charge with information on youth happenings.

3. Making room for our youth

  • The meeting places of our youth should be youth friendly. It would be wonderful if our young people felt that their church meeting spot was a home away from home.

  • Room can also be made in our worship. It would be good for room to be made for the young people at a principal service - monthly or on a 5th Sunday - where the service spoke to them and where they played some role in the planning of the service, and also were involved. This is the way in which we can give our youth experiences that could help them make decisions for ministry later in life…never knowing about the other side of a Sunday morning service makes the option of a vocation in ministry foreign. Bishop Gregory's research…

    We will be known by our fruits. Who are the young people that represent us in today's Jamaica? Are we proud of them? Are they able to share their faith with others, not only in an academic way, but in ways that call others to Christ? Have we done our best to plant seeds, water, give the necessary food, shade, protection and give direction to the young fruits in our congregation? What does the witness or lack thereof of our Anglican youth in our society say about us. Youth Ministry is not only the way to save our Church from sure decline and extinction, it is the way to carry out our mandate to spread the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ to the next generation. I fear that the youths apparent indifference to the message of salvation is not an endictment on the message, but on the message carriers. Is this a youth friendly community? A community that:

    • Welcomes young people,
    • Embraces young people and
    • Nurtures their faith in God.

 

In his presentation, Fr. Garth Minott, referred to Youth Ministry as a Ministry of Reconciliation.

  • Who is involved - Everyone. It is important to bridge the gap and engage in dialogue. Programmes should take place in collaboration with young people.
  • When are we engaged - Anytime - but especially in the context of liturgy. Liturgy must mean something to them and this involves education.
  • Where is youth ministry to be exercised? Any place. Young people need role models. Possibilities are offered anywhere. It is important to announce the good news of reconciliation.

Participation from the young visitors was vibrant and positive and there were several useful suggestions.

  • Ministry within our outreach programmes is critical and we need to do more. Ministry is more important than tea parties.
  • It is important to re-examine mentoring and voluntarism; to listen to the needs of young persons
  • The young people are working on a youth page.
  • The young people need more responsibility
  • The need was expressed for formal training in youth ministry.
  • Greater involvement by church members was seen as important.
  • Young persons were admonished to laugh and have fun together.
  • The Chairman requested the Christian Education Committee and the Youth Committee to meet and prepare a forum for our young people.

 

Retreat Issues

In the reports coming out of the Outreach projects a common need was for greater assistance and involvement by members of the church. The value of spiritual development and the need for counseling skills was emphasized. There is need for members of the laity to recognize that this area of work is not limited to the clergy.

Areas of need for laity involvement

  • Girls Home - counseling skills, spiritual development, weekend family life,
  • St. Andrew Settlement - spiritual development in the community,
  • St. Andrew Care Centre - visits from members of the Church, mentors for the boys, encouragement for the staff.

Additional suggestions include - volunteers to assist the remedial teacher; mentors who would undergo training prior to being matched and who will have support group meetings; men to offer themselves to conduct devotions and give motivational talks to the boys; volunteer music teachers.


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Landmark Palm Tree

On Saturday, November 8, 2003 the palm tree close to the belfry had to be removed. This was done because an area of weakness had developed in the trunk and it was feared that in the event of a heavy wind the tree could collapse and cause damage or injury. The decision to remove the tree was made on expert advice.

The tree was 101 feet tall and very likely greater than 100 years old. A brief history of the Parish Church of St. Andrew by Frank Cundall, published in 1931, contains a photograph showing the tree when it was very little taller than the roof of the Church. A later photograph on the cover of the publication Commemorating the Tercentenary Year 1664-1964 shows the tree with the lower foliage on level with the top of the belfry. This palm tree was a landmark and it is regrettable that it had to be removed.


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Personal Mention

MISS IVY REMEMBERS

Mrs. Ivy Stewart, affectionately known as 'Miss Ivy', is in Church every Sunday. If you do not see her at St Andrew's, where she has been a member for over 30 years, then she is at St Jude's, Stony Hill, with her daughter Pam and son-in-law Roy (R Anthony) Williams. What's unusual about being in Church every Sunday? Nothing, except that Miss Ivy will celebrate her 100th birthday on December 21, 2003.

On meeting Miss Ivy one is immediately struck by her cheerful smile and kind disposition. Although she has lost her sight she is grateful to God for her long life and good health. Her memory is good and in discussion she was able to recall some quite humorous incidents from her childhood days.

The seventh of nine children, Ivy Myers as she was, grew up as a Moravian in Brinkley, near Lititz in St Elizabeth. In 1935 she married William Stewart and went to live in Manchester. As there was no Moravian Church in the area she and the children attended St. Patrick's Church, Providence, where she served in many capacities including Superintendent of the Sunday school, organist and choir director. Her husband rode his horse to the nearest Moravian Church. A trained teacher, Miss Ivy spent over 30 years not only in several schools in her beloved St Elizabeth and Manchester, but also in the Canal Zone in Panama where she spent around nine years before her marriage.

After a long life of service to others, Miss Ivy is now content to live quietly and enjoy the company of her children - she had 6, but 2 have died - 11 grand and 8 great-grand children as well as good friends. She attributes her long life to the simplicity of her life and to her trust in God. It is therefore not surprising that one of her favourite hymns is "What a friend we have in Jesus". We congratulate her on achieving her century and wish her every blessing.

Interview and report by John Aarons.


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Church Hall History

The first reference which has been found to a hall for the Church is contained in the St Andrew Parish Church Report for 1907. It said that the "Church Hall was seriously damaged in the earthquake, just before the Hall was shingled and repaired". This building was the old Boys School which was on the site of the recently demolished (2002) Half Way Tree Primary School at 4 Hope Road. Cundall says that "for many years the old Boys School served the purpose of a church hall"

In 1924 the buildings housing the old Boys and Girls School were demolished and the materials used in the construction of a new building to house a combined school on the site of the old Boys School. The Old Girls School was further up Hope Road and the site was sold to a Mr. Archibald McInnis for £125 and the proceeds used to help fund the new building. The corner stone of the new building was laid on 14 August 1924 and the school opened on 16 January 1924. The Church had decided to add a second floor to the building to serve as a Church Hall and in September 1924 the Diocesan Council approved a loan of £350 "towards building a Church Hall at the second floor of the new school at a cost of around £700." The new Church Hall was opened on 18 February 1925.

The new Church Hall however did not win favour from everyone. Mr. S. R. Cargill, a Church Warden, wrote the Rector, Canon Lovell, on 17 November 1925 stating that "I am disappointed at the so called Church Hall, it does not fill my eye at all, it is simply a loft on top of the school building". The Minutes of the Church Committee for July 22, 1926 records that he "referred to the unseemly noise of the entertainment held recently in the Church Hall by the All Saints Platoon of the Church Lads Brigade. The Rector expressed surprise that such a thing had happened, and promised to write to the Rev. W. G. Brown, Rector of All Saints on the matter".

The Church Hall was used for meetings of church groups and social functions. It was also rented out for functions at a modest fee of 10 shillings. However as the school expanded, the area had to be used for school purposes and could no longer be used as a hall. The Toc H Hall which was on the other side of the Hope Road began to be used for church meetings and functions.

In 1953 a decision was taken to build a new church hall behind the Rectory at 4 Hope Road with an entrance on Ellesmere Road. It was hoped to open the building on St Andrews Day, but the Governor was not available. It was therefore opened on December 8, 1953.

Report by John Aarons

 


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Annual Congregational Meeting

The ACM will be held on Sunday, January 25, 2004 at 9:30 a.m. This is an opportunity for members to participate in the discussions related to the Mission and activities of this Parish Church. The members are the Church and each member has a ministry and a responsibility to be involved in the process of mission and reconciliation. At this Meeting members of the Church Committee are elected as are our representatives to Synod. There will be discussion on the Annual Report and reports on the financial status at the end of 2003 and budget for 2004.

Annual Reports should be submitted by Parish and Outreach Groups who are asked to note the special requirements for presentation. These should be submitted to the Church Office by January 9, 2004 (for inclusion in the Annual Report to the Annual Congregational Meeting). The reports may preferably be e-mailed or sent on diskette. They should:

  • State Group/Project Mission
  • State how far the Group/Project has carried out the Mission of the Church
  • List activities for 2003
  • Present programme for 2004*
  • List Board/Executive members and date of last Election/Appointment of Officers
  • For Parish Groups - Indicate the number of members and the number of new members over the past 12-month period.

*Activity schedules/programmes for the year 2004 are required for the Church diary to ensure that events are appropriately spaced on the Church calendar throughout the year.

 


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Church Calendar 2003

Gift Day December 16
Christmas Day December 25

 

Looking ahead to 2004

Annual Meeting January 25
Evening of Elegance February 21
Ash Wednesday February 25
Youth Retreat February 27-28
Adult Retreat March 5-7
Palm Sunday April 4
Confirmation April 4
Easter Day April 11

 

----Published by the St. Andrew Parish Church, Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands----


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