St. Andrew Parishioner

Vol. 13 Nos. 3- 6, May - November 2004

In this Issue ...

Rector's Message
340th Anniversary
Historical Flashback
Moreton Park
Home For Girls
Sunday School News
Notice: Change of Name
Workshop: Church Organizations
Mission In Action
Church News
The Theology of Welcome
Did You Know?
Church Calendar 2004, 2005
Services: Christmas 2004

A Message From the Rector

Theme - 340th Anniversary Commemoration
RECLAIMING OUR MISSION : To restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ

The commemoration of the 340th Anniversary of the St. Andrew Parish Church is an occasion for great thanksgiving and joy. We are the beneficiaries of a great legacy and rich tradition which, thanks be to God, we have been given the privilege to nurture. But in addition to our thanksgiving we need also to reflect on what this legacy and rich tradition means for us living amidst all the social and cultural challenges of present day Jamaica. And so beginning with our Commemorative Service on the 5th of December we will seek through prayer and study to learn afresh what is God's mission for us today.

Our theme for the year is taken from the Catechism in answer to the question - what is the mission of the Church? It is a mission to bring all people into unity with God and each other in Christ (Book of Common Prayer, p. 401). God's mission, manifested in Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit, is not static, but is always moving outwards engaging the world. Jesus demonstrated this by sending the disciples to bear his mission, that is, God's mission in the world. Being part of God's mission today involves, as it did in Apostolic times, not only the ordained and the other "leaders within the church" but every baptized person.

A key question then would be how do the baptized participate in Jesus' mission? What are the various ministries that the faithful are called to exercise as they seek and serve God's reconciling and redemptive activity in the world today? The baptized pursues the mission of Jesus as he/she prays and worships, proclaims the gospel, and promotes justice, peace and Christ's reconciling love (BCP, 401).

The first affirmation in the baptismal covenant is the promise to continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers. Coming together as members of the Eucharistic community, the Body of Christ, we are nourished with the Word and sacrament. As we gather around the Lord's Table we are united with God and one another in Christ to go out into the world in God's name. Worship then is fundamental to a life of mission.

As participants in God's mission, the baptized promise to strive for justice peace and love, not only among a special interest group, but among all people. Central then, to our life of mission must be our willingness to stand in opposition to the powers and systems of this world that undermine the full humanity of individuals.

Worship, the proclamation of the gospel, service and the striving for justice, peace and reconciling love, are all central to God's mission. And it is precisely for this reason why we have chosen the theme, Reclaiming our mission so that we may return to the church's ministries. Every baptized Christian is called to pursue these ministries, but not every baptized Christian knows what is expected and that I can understand since we have many voices today defining for us what the church should be about. This task of reclaiming our mission today can be an exciting one if we choose to pursue that task with an open mind. I look forward to our journey together with hope and prayer that God's mission for his church and our beloved Jamaica will be revealed with even clearer vision.

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340th Anniversary, 2004 - 2005

This Parish Church will shortly be commemorating its 340th Anniversary. This provides a good reminder of the length of time that this Church has been a beacon of hope and service in the community. It is also an opportunity to renew our commitment to the Church. The provisional programme of events for the Commemoration is as follows:

  • Sunday, December 5, 2004, 8:00 a.m. - Commemoration Service in the Parish Church. Celebrant and Preacher will be the Most Rev. Drexel Gomez, Archbishop of the West Indies. Those who usually attend St. Clement's and St. Thomas' Missions are invited to attend.

  • Flower Festival - April 16-17, 2005

  • Evening of Choral Music - April 17, 2005

  • 340th Anniversary Banquet -May/June, 2005. [Date to be announced]

  • Production and launch of a book on St. Andrew Parish Church featuring a history of the Church as well as its impact on the community - October 2005.

  • Service of Thanksgiving - December 2005.

  • Creation of a Parish Church History Centre in the Old Court House building.

  • "Homecoming Year" for the St. Andrew Parish Church family.

  • A Community Outreach Project to be done during the year.

  • A Spiritual Programme during the year (including a Special Prayer to be written for the 340th Anniversary and used during the year).

A special appeal is being made to those members who have been somewhat irregular in their attendance, to use the Commemoration Year as a special "Homecoming Year" when all can meet and celebrate together as members of the St. Andrew Parish Church family.


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340th Anniversary Historical Flashback

On June 9th 1664 the Governor and Council of Jamaica at a meeting in Port Royal, appointed the Rev. James Zellers as minister of the newly established parish of St. Andrew. He was a Swiss and had been ordained a deacon and priest in London in January 1663 and was among the first group of ministers to come to Jamaica. The Council also appointed at the same time, ministers to the parishes of St. Catherine, St Thomas and St David (yallahs) which were also newly established.

Unlike the other parishes however, where little is known about the beginning of the ministries of their clergymen, we know that the Rev Zellers took up his appointment in either June or July, as his first entry in the Baptismal Register "as Minister of St Andrew's parish in the precincts of Liguanea' is for July 24th 1664. On that date he baptized 'William son of Bartholomew Willson' and 'Anne daughter of Richard Willson'. The register provides the earliest record of a baptism or indeed of an Anglican sacrament in Jamaica, as this is the oldest surviving record of a church event. The earliest marriage and burial registers which have survived begin in 1666.

It is not known where the sacraments of baptisms and marriages were carried out or where the parishioners worshipped, for it was not until 1667 that land was granted for a church building. There is no record of when the church was built, but it must have been before 1682, for a report written in that year states that St. Andrews is the "pleasantest part of the Island with an ordinary church and a pretty parsonage house ... the minister is an honest man and well beloved."

This church building was either destroyed or found to be inadequate for in 1686 another building was erected close to the first site, but it was destroyed in the 1692 earthquake. Rev Zellers (who was rector for 36 years) was determined to rebuild the church but chose a new site at "Halfway-Tree", at the strategic junction of the four (4) main roads through the Liguanea Plains. It was completed in 1700 and survived until 1879/80 when it was extensively renovated and enlarged. In the 20th century further additions and changes were made and the present church building emerged.

In celebrating the 340th anniversary of our Church therefore, we are not celebrating the history of a physical structure, which has changed over the years. Instead, we are giving thanks for 340 years of continuous Christian witness and worship by a community of believers in the area of Half Way Tree and the work and ministry of twenty (20) rectors who served their congregations faithfully and well.

Submitted by John A Aarons


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Moreton Park

During September the Church focused on the Moreton Park Home. The long-term future of this Outreach project continues to be a challenge to the Church and to the Committee overseeing its operation. Earlier this year, the Committee chaired by Mrs Karlene Gordon, organised a project group to undertake a strategic analysis of the current status of the homes and to look at some options for future development and operation of the facility.

Moreton Park Homes are situated in an area that is expected to remain a good residential neighbourhood for the foreseeable future. The road network is good and transportation facilities are readily available. The homes are within easy reach of shops, churches and other social support facilities. There are no exceptional security issues. There was minimal structural damage to the cottages caused by falling limbs during the passage of Hurricane Ivan.

Of the twelve units available in the six cottages, seven are occupied by residents ranging in age from forty years to eighty years. Two units are allocated to the caretaker and family, and one is used as the TV/common room for the residents. One unit is vacant. While all residents are responsible for their own care the reality of the current situation is such that some need special care and attention and the project is not structured to cover this type of need. The homes generate no real income, with only one contributing resident. Church members and other well-wishers make donations of food, toiletries and clothing to some residents. The expenses of operating the facilities are met from fundraising, gifts and bequests.

The physical structures are in poor shape and significant repairs are needed. Toilet facilities must be upgraded and cooking areas modernized. Funds are currently being raised to improve security with repair to walls and fences. Landscaping improvements are needed. In other words, significant capital investment is needed to improve the facilities for residents living independently. For dependent aged persons much greater investment will be required. The question thus arises - what is the best use, consistent with the outreach goals of the church, to which the facilities may be put?

The work of the project group led to the identification of a number of options, three of which were selected for further investigation. These, in order of priority, are A 'Day Care'/Activity Centre for the Elderly; Temporary Hostel-type Accommodation; and a Half-Way House for the Girl's Home Graduates. Work has started on following up the project idea for the Activity Centre for the Elderly, but there is much to be done before a decision is made on the optimal purpose towards which the property will be developed.


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Home For Girls

In May we focused on the St. Andrew Parish Church Home for Girls. The Committee, staff and girls worshipped together at a special Service during the month of May and the annual Tea Party was also staged during May. In June the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ) had approved a project in the sum of $5,910,000 which had been submitted by Miss Sonya Hamilton, Chairman of the Girls Home. This sum covered repairs, extension to the building as well as the proposed drainage project. Pending approval by the necessary groups work should proceed as soon as possible. The Home for Girls was 35 years old in August 2004.


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Sunday School News

Annual Sunday School Day was celebrated on May 23. Morning Sunday School attendance ranged from a low of 79 to a high of 127, somewhat lower than last year, while the Evening Sunday School maintained a steady attendance of between 16 and 22 students. We appreciate the dedication of our volunteers. The opportunity was taken to say thanks to the 'Friends' of the Sunday School for their continued support of our work, through prayer, and in many tangible ways including prizes, certificates and trophies for Prize-giving, and T-shirts for our Quiz team that placed third in the Kingston and St. Andrew Sunday School Area Council Bible Quiz 2004. The 'Friends' have also taken on additional responsibility for Sunday School expenses, hence the need for additional members and the full support of the congregation. Thanks also to the many other friends who have provided transportation and donated pencils, books for the library, paper, crayons, toys, and many other items useful in our teaching ministry. Special thanks also to the Curate in Charge, Rev'd Cunningham and all the church staff for their guidance and assistance.

A number of staff members - Miss Christine McDonald, Mrs. Yvette Smith and Miss Nicole Thomas - were commissioned by Rev'd Cunningham.

On Sunday, May 16 there was Prize Giving as part of Sunday School Month celebrations. Certificates were presented for Attendance, Participation and Helpfulness and prizes for the Boy and Girl of each class and for outstanding participation and helpfulness. The Rector's Trophies for Sunday School Boy and Girl of the Year were presented by Father Cunningham to the Girl of the Year 2003-2004, Shadaa Muir and by Mrs. Kadean Cunningham to the Boy of the Year, Michael McCarthy. It has been a joy to watch these young people grow in the Lord and our prayer is that they will continue to walk with God and be a light to others. The winner of the Eric Morrison Shield for outstanding performance in the Sunday School, for 2003-2004 was the Recorder Group trained by Miss Sasha Lumsden. The group can always be depended on to perform when needed and is made up of students from Evening Sunday School. They are Ashleigh Johnson, Ashley Johnson, Krystal Miller, Camille Wallace, and Kisheen Williams. Sister Doris Levien presented the trophy and replicas.

There was a display of work done by the students over the past year. Students and staff later attended the Church of the Holy Spirit, Cumberland, where they participated in a March of Witness through the community.


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Change of Name: CEP to CFFC

The name of the Christian Education Programme (CEP) Committee has been changed to Christian Faith Formation Committee (CFFC). This is more in keeping with the mandate and work of the Committee.


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Workshop: Managing and Developing Parish Organizations

On Saturday, May 8, 2004 the Christian Faith Formation Committee (CFFC) presented a Workshop for Parish Groups. Fifteen of our Church groups were represented and there was lively participation. There were three presentations - Mission in action by Mr. George Briggs, Managing small groups by Mrs. Marva Greig and Partners in ministry by Mrs. Elsie Aarons. An edited version of the first presentation is given below. Mrs. Grieg focused on how to run a productive meeting using motivational methods and ensuring participation by all present. Mrs. Aarons focused on the interaction of groups with the Church Office - scheduling activities, use and care of church property, and participation in the visitation programme.


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Mission In Action

The word 'mission' as we use it today, is one that has come full circle. It has a strong origin in the church and it is being applied in its business usage in the church. How do we move from the Vision and Mission to organisational action within our parish and outreach groups?

Vision and Mission

o Your vision/mission is the overall purpose or reason for your group's existence or operations

o What are the Vision/Mission Statements for St Andrew Parish Church?

VISION - "a church reconciled to God, aware of its identity and healing the community through the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ"

MISSION - "the mission of the St. Andrew Parish Church is to proclaim the good news and inspire the parish family to unity with God and one another"

Your organisational vision and mission should be related to those of the St Andrew Parish Church. Some would also have to relate to those of the diocesan level organisations of which they are a part e.g. Mothers' Union; Brotherhood of St. Andrew; Anglican Youth Fellowship

Steps To Be Taken

STEP 1 - Where are we?
Diagnose your situation! For your group determine - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

STEP 2 - Where do you want to go?
Determine the Vision and Mission of your group. Set out your aims - long term statements that sum up the direction within which you will operate. These must reflect the aims of the St Andrew Parish Church.

STEP 3 - What direction do we take?

  • This is where you plan your route. Break your aims down into progression of smaller, measurable and achievable objectives -

  • What are some of our objectives at St. Andrew's?

    • To expand membership by at least 5% annually

    • To increase the number of members participating in and contributing to church activities

    • To increase the members' knowledge of Christian identity in the context of their cultural experience

    • To enable all members to practice sacrificial giving and Christian stewardship of God's creation

    • To contribute to the development of a caring membership which will in some measure contribute to a just society

    • To increase the financial resources available to the church by at least 15% annually

STEP 4 - How are we going to get there?

  • Fix your tasks and activities and determine individual actions needed to achieve the objectives

STEP 5 - Who is responsible?

  • Nail things down! Who needs to do what for work to be accomplished?

STEP 6 - How are we doing?

  • Monitor progress against planned activities:
    • Activities being carried out on time?
    • Any problems you need to tackle?
    • Any need to shift emphasis?

Re-evaluate the situation,

  • The accomplishment of any goal is about ongoing reassessment and adjustment to changing circumstances and conditions. Annually review and revise your plan in light of what was learned and relate to the Annual Business Retreat.

Presentation by George Briggs, Chairman - Christian Faith Formation Committee


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Church News

Parishioner Index

An index to articles in the Parishioner has been prepared for the years 1994-2003. Those who frequently refer to back issues may find this useful. Please request by e-mail or call the Church Office. There will be a minimum charge for photocopies.

Personal Records Management

Baptismal records are important and the Certificates should be held carefully as they are needed especially for marriage and confirmation. We frequently receive requests for re-issued certificates because of loss. Surprisingly many persons do not even know where they were baptized. Children should continually be reminded verbally until it sticks in their minds. Persons do not realize that baptismal and confirmation certificates may be requested by the priest - here or overseas - to establish legitimate requirements for faith formation or for marriage. Do you know where your baptismal and confirmation certificates are located?

Hurricane Ivan

This Church recognizes the challenges presented to many persons within our congregation as well as those throughout the island. We are grateful that our lives have been spared and at the same time we recognize the need to lend a helping hand to those who need our assistance. In spite of loss of electrical power, a flooded church, inter alia, we celebrated two Eucharistic Services on the Sunday immediately following the hurricane. There was minimum structural damage to our Parish properties. However, there were many leaking roofs and ceilings as well as uprooted trees. We sympathize with those who have suffered losses of any kind.

Rector's return

Canon Robert Thompson and his wife Charmaine returned to Jamaica during September. He has completed, submitted and defended his doctoral thesis at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge and is awaiting conferment of his degree. He recently attended the Provincial Synod in Belize in November.

Fr. Cunningham

The Bishop has appointed Fr. Everton Cunningham Priest-in-charge of the St. Paul's Diocesan Mission, Greater Portmore from December 15, 2004. This church is grateful for his and Kadean's ministry among us.

Service of Ordination

On Sunday November 28, 2004 there will be a Service of Ordination at Kingston Parish Church at 4:00 p.m.

Annual Business Retreat 2004 - Summary Report

The Annual Business Retreat for St. Andrew Parish Church was held on Saturday, November 6, 2004 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. Attendees included the clergy, Church Committee, Finance Committee, Chairpersons of Parish organizations and Outreach groups as well as Heads of special committees. The purpose of the meeting is to review programmes and activities, examine the financial status and to make plans for the coming year based on the mission of the Church.

In the Bible study which preceded the discussions the Rector stated his intention to focus on Congregational renewal and growth. He described Jesus Christ as a leader in the transformation process and the fact that he caused "newness" to emerge. Further, he said that we are people of the Resurrection and we are invited to claim its abundance. On that note attendees were invited to make a brief presentation on their area of involvement. A summary report had been circulated with documented submissions from each group. These were supported with comments on critical or difficult issues. There was a financial report for 2004 and a presentation and discussion on the prospects and plans for 2005.


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The Theology Of Welcome

Adapted from an Article By the Rev. Clive G. Wylie, Mission 21Co-ordinator, Diocese of Glasgow Scottish Episcopal Church.

St. Paul's exhortation to look not only to our own interests "but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2: 4) involves us in the very task of creating a hospitable place for our visitors. A serious ministry of welcome will bring changes, and this change will make us feel uncomfortable. "No change," says Richard Hooker, "even from worse to better is ever accomplished without pain." It is always easier to maintain the status quo. When faced with changes we tend to feel threatened and insecure, we reinforce our boundaries, associating only with those who side with us. It becomes a case of "as it was in the beginning, it is now and ever shall be. Amen." Often unwittingly and from apparently the most decent of motives our beliefs harden and we put limits on God. God becomes our God - the paradox of Emmanuel. 'God with us' becomes 'God with only us'. The God who was encountered is now encapsulated and entrapped.

As a consequence we are guilty of the sin of idolatry by making a graven image of God, with his Gospel of Love being understood legalistically in terms of principles and propositions. Sadly, it is then that only those who agree with us and who are prepared to do things in our way are welcome in our church and congregation. Yet it is neither our church nor our congregation - it is God's. And it is dynamic. Our present way of being church is, after all, very different from the church of the catacombs.

In his earthly ministry Christ was essentially proactive not reactive. The great commission Christ gave to the Church was to " go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation" (Mark 16: 15). What is all too easily overlooked is that the Church is the primary agent of mission. So rather than thinking of what we have to preserve, we need to think what we have to share. We need to move from the maintenance model of being church, which is organized around sustaining, developing and promoting its own life, to the missionary model, which is organized around participating in God's mission in the world to establish his redemptive purposes in the whole of human life.

Everyone Belongs

Christ was always challenging the norms in his society and culture. He was constantly warning against the danger of the humanly created institution assuming more importance than our true relationship with God and each other. And so he initiated a new relationship with the Samaritans, he dined with the tax-collector, he spoke to the sinner, and he befriended the outcast. He was welcoming to all, for equality of worth is the teaching of Scripture and the preaching of Christ.

The chief threat to our involvement at this level is the fear of the unknown. "Fear" says Richard Holloway, the forever Bishop of Edinburgh, in Dancing on the Edge, "is the great enemy of humankind, fear of change, fear of the other. It is fear that turns us into persecutors and bigots, because it forces us to turn to false certainties and to turn against those whose freedom challenges our anxieties." Yet the failure to welcome others into the Body of Christ is unchristian. Within the Church ostracism and disassociation must be resisted to all cost, for Christ's incarnation is fundamentally an association with humanity. It is a glorious mystery forever to be enjoyed. In every age it has expressed the love of God for the world; his coming to us and being involved with us. It is the greatest expression of a God who is not far off; of a God who is near; of a God who comes to us and is among us.

So when we turn someone away from God's house, however unintentionally, we turn Christ away. Christ comes to us today in the hungry and the frightened, the homeless and the unemployed, the sick and the dying, the young and the old, in the prisoner and the refugee. And his coming is a challenge. Still we are able to ignore him. Still he comes "to what was his own", and his own people do not accept him (John 1: 11). Still he seeks entrance and is refused.

Welcoming the Stranger means we can never remain the same

We must never be satisfied with what is. We must constantly journey towards what will be under God. We must be ready and willing to ask the difficult and soul-searching questions, we must be courageous enough to be honest with the answers, and we must be committed to implementing the changes necessary to be the inclusive community Christ brought into being. "Who is welcome in our congregation? Who is not welcome and why? How are all made to feel included and involved in the total life of the community? How can we continue to pray "Our Father ...; your will be done, on earth as in heaven" when we continue to exclude anyone for any reason?" It is heart-breaking to see a child of God shunned by the virtue of their class, colour, creed, age, status or sexuality. There is a contradiction with the incarnational emphasis of our 'apostolic' work if we try to do so.

The Trinity itself is the perfect example of what a Christian community can be and indeed ought to be. At the heart of the Trinity is a relationship. This relationship is one of pure love and the church is called to be a reflection of this perfect relationship. As human beings we are created in the image of God and live in relationship with him, with the created universe and with each other. Unfortunately all too often this relationship is marked or broken, resulting in pain and separation. Again God calls on us to "repent" and return without the burden of darkness and sin.

We belong together. We are children of the one loving, heavenly Father. Fundamentally we share the same basic human hopes for life and love, for food and fulfilment, for health and happiness, and for sensitivity and security. Our shared nature and shared destiny are together the reason and motivation for our being welcoming and invited towards those who come to worship with us and be part of our community.

As Lesslie Newbigin says in The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, "the only hermeneutic of the gospel, is a congregation of men and women who believe it and live by it." By virtue of our common origin we belong to God and each other. He requires our exclusive allegiance. He asks that we give him first place in all that we are and all that we hope to be. His way must have pre-eminence. This is the reason and motivation for "making your church more inviting".


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Did you know ... ?

That our Church Hall is available for rental?
That our Old Court House is also available for rental to small groups ...
That there is a small fee for the use of the Old Court House and this is to cover utilities and assist with maintenance.

Note!!!

Our website address has changed. It is now www.StAndrewParishChurch.com.


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Church Calendar

2004

Confirmation Classes begin (Adult) September 8
Confirmation Classes begin (Junior) September 10
340th Anniversary and Commemoration December 5
Gift Day December 21
Christmas Day December 25

2005

Ash Wednesday February 9
Lenten Devotions February/March
Youth Retreat February 11-12
Adult Retreat February 18-20
Palm Sunday March 20
Confirmation March 20
Good Friday March 25
Easter Day March 27
Diocesan Synod March 29-April 1
Alpha April - June
Healing Conference May
St. Andrew Deanery Day July 10
Confirmation Classes begin (Adult) September 13
Confirmation Classes begin (Junior) September 15
Harvest Thanksgiving October 23
Annual Business Retreat November
Annual Supper November
St. Andrew's Day November 30
Patronal Festival December 4
Gift Day December 20
Christmas Day December 25

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Services for Christmas 2004

December 19
6:00 p.m. Service of Lessons and Carols
December 24, Christmas Eve
11:00 p.m. Carols
11:30 p.m. Blessing of the Christmas Manger
11:45 p.m. First Mass of Christmas begins with Solemn Procession
December 25, Christmas Day
7:00 a.m. Sung Eucharist and Sermon
9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist and Sermon
December 26, 1st Sunday after Christmas Day & St. Stephens Day
6:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist
7:30 a.m. Solemn Procession, Mass and Sermon
9:45 a.m. Family Eucharist and Sermon
11:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist for shut-in members
6:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist
December 27, St. John the Evangelist
9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
December 28, The Holy Innocents
9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
December 31, New Year's Eve
11:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist and Sermon
January 1, 2005, Holy Name
8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
January 2, 2005, 2nd Sunday after Christmas and 1st Sunday in the New Year
6:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist
8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist and Sermon
6:00 p.m. Evening prayer

Regrets:
We regret the low publication rate of the Parishioner during this year. Please accept our apologies.

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


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Page last updated: January 1, 2005
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