David and Mary Kuck are serving in Jamaica. David is a lecturer at the United Theological College of the West Indies in Kingston, and Mary teaches English at the college and for the Jamaican vocational training agency. To support the Kucks, or another of the ELCA’s nearly 250 missionaries, go to www.elca.org/missionarysponsorship.
We are settled back in Jamaica after spending most of the summer in the U.S. Our time spent visiting churches, family and friends was refreshing. To all who provided hospitality and assistance, we say thanks. We’re sorry that we couldn’t visit all of you who sponsor our mission, but we hope to see you on our next summer leave.
The beginning of each academic year is challenging and exciting, as we create our new schedules and start working with incoming students. We have a small entering class of those preparing for the ordained ministry, but the graduate programs that David coordinates continue to attract a good number of students. These graduate students come from Evangelical and Pentecostal churches as well as from the mainline denominations, so that the ecumenical nature of our institution is expanding. It’s a great opportunity to help all the students explore and deepen the foundations of their faith.
Mary has been asked to take on a new project this fall. For a number of years United Theological College has had an ongoing training program for ministry to those affected by HIV and AIDS. Out of these seminars grew an outline for a handbook for pastors and other church workers to help their congregations understand HIV and AIDS and minister to those affected. In August, Mary was asked to edit and expand the outline into a full handbook. It is interesting and challenging work, involving research, getting in touch with other folks in Jamaica who are involved in HIV and AIDS work and just the difficult task of writing. You will hear about the project again when the book is finished.
For now, however, we wish you all a renewing start to the academic “New Year” with every blessing!
David and Mary