November 2021: Thursdays in Black
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.
The United Church in Jamaica and Cayman Islands is engaged in civil, social, economic, and political peace and justice issues, much akin to our histories and present struggles in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ. Focusing on peace, UCJCI shares the conviction that “A messenger of peace doesn’t just preach for the end of physical wars, but speaks against abuse, dishonesty, and anything that denies human rights and dignity, or goes against God’s commandments (to love).” As members mobilize to live into the example of Jesus as ambassadors for peace and justice, the UCJCI’s “Thursdays in Black” campaign has continued to be in the spotlight region-wide.
“Thursday in Black” is an international campaign to raise awareness about the prevalence and impacts of gender-based and domestic violence. The campaign has garnered widespread support from individuals, families, and congregations, as well as ministry teams, executive councils, and auxiliaries of the church across both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. As a ministry of UCJCI, Pringle Home for Children has been no exception to this groundswell of solidarity and support for love, peace, and justice, following Christ’s example.
Pringle Home for Children is a place of hope, healing, and care for girls ages 6-18 operated by UCJCI in partnership with Jamaica’s Child Protection and Family Services Agency. Girls who come to live at Pringle Home do so after being removed from their families of origin, homes, and communities. That is due primarily to witnessing and/or personally experiencing abuse (most often gender-based) and/or neglect. The Thursdays in Black movement is becoming part of their experience of healing, of reclaiming their stories as survivors, of resurrecting hope and being empowered to speak up and stand up for a future free from rape and violence for all girls and women in Jamaica, the Caymans, the Caribbean, and the world.
For the church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, responding to the needs and crises of our times is what it means to be a Christ-follower.
Rachel Pellett serves with the United Church in Jamaica and Cayman Islands. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.