The Rev. David and Mary Kuck are ELCA missionaries in Jamaica. Their work includes teaching at the United Theological College in Kingston. To support the Kucks, or another of the ELCA’s 230 missionaries, go to www.elca.org/missionarysponsorship.
Our life in Jamaica has a variety of facets, but one theme holding them together is the effort to overcome communication gaps that still exist among us. The Lutheran side of our work attempts to bridge gaps between the ELCA and its partner churches in the Caribbean — in Guyana, Haiti and Suriname. In March we had a wonderful visit from the Rev. Raquel Rodriguez and Tammy Jackson from the Global Mission Unit of the ELCA and the Rev. Kevin Jacobson of the Lutheran Church in Suriname. We explored ways to have future ministerial students come to the United Theological College from the various countries. Lutherans trained at UTC can help bridge the communication gaps that impede Christian unity in the Caribbean.
Both of us try to help our UTC students to communicate and preach in an environment that throws up many barriers to the hearing of Christ’s gospel. To communicate the Good News takes skill in language, theological insight and a burning desire to break through the fears and preoccupations of people living lives isolated from the sacred dimensions of existence.
We ourselves have just experienced the richness of the observance of Holy Week and Easter, both at our “big” Anglican church, St. Andrew Parish Church, and at its “little” mission, St. Thomas, in the inner city community of Majesty Gardens. There are many gaps between these two linked communities. And there are many gaps in the lives of the people, as they try to connect their spiritual faith to the often deadening reality of their lives. Last month a special healing service at St. Thomas focused on the empty spaces that conflicts and illness create between neighbors and friends. The need for and reception of God’s grace was palpable in the singing and the prayers. Through David’s preaching in a variety of places and Mary’s regular presence at St. Thomas, we try to help bridge these gaps.
We hope that these letters help to fill the gaps between all of you and us as we work together in mission.
Blessings to you all,
Mary and David