Monday, January 24, 2011

Upcoming activities

Upcoming activities include:

- Saturday, January 29, 3:00 p.m.: Spanish-language meeting (with child care) at Beechmont Presbyterian Church of folks organizing against the proposed immigration control law (Senate Bill 6)

- Monday, January 31, and Wednesday, February 2, 5:30-7:30 p.m.: Crescent Hill’s nights to prepare food for the English as a foreign language classes

- Tuesday, February 1-Friday, February 4: Guatemala mission network gathering, in San Felipe, Guatemala

- Saturday, February 5, 9:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m.: Guatemala mission partnership gathering, at Phil and Claudia’s (we’re still checking on a possible conflict)

- Tuesday, February 8, 8:30 a.m. (buses departing from Louisville)-3:00 p.m. (returning to Louisville): lobbying and education day at Frankfort, in opposition to proposed immigration control law (Senate Bill 6)

- Thursday, February 11, 6:00-7:30 p.m.: start of new Spanish class at church

Probasco presentation pictures

Friday event

Some two and half dozen folks from Crescent Hill, Highland, and Springdale Presbyterian churches (as well as from Habitat for Humanity) braved the ice and snow Friday evening and gathered at the Crescent Hill Fellowship Hall to hear Princeton graduate student LiErin Probasco talk about how Latin Americans interpret gifts from North American church groups.

LiErin described how she spent time with a dozen North American mission teams traveling to Guatemala, as well as with the Nicaraguans whom they visited. North Americans were uncomfortable, LiErin said, when Nicaraguans interpreted gifts through the lens of patronage (with the North Americans as the patrones, the jefes). Less discomforting was interpreting gifts and aid as part of a triangular relationship. God sends North Americans, as angels, and they help the Nicaraguans.

Reciprocity is supposed to be a hallmark of the exchange of gifts, and the relationship between North Americans and Nicaraguans often seems unequal because it doesn’t seem that Nicaraguans can reciprocate.

In wide-ranging comments towards the end of her presentation and during a question-and-answer and broader discussion, LiErin ruminated more broadly about the pitfalls of mission trips and mission relationships and made some general suggestions. These included: have meals with your partners (not separately), talk about problems with aid among yourselves and with partners, and – through prayer or in meetings or even in ceremonies – publicly recognize the gifts that partners have shared with you.

Participants shared peaks and valleys they have experienced within mission relationships, including the current challenge the Crescent Hill-Guatemala mission partnership faces, and hinted they might reconvene for additional discussion.

Andrea, Claudia, Lowell, Soni, and Stephanie provided soup, burritos, and salad, Andrea provided the flyers, and Carlos provided a ride for the speaker and a blessing for the meal, and a group of folks visited with LiErin after the event.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Friday talk

LiErin Probasco, a Princeton Ph.D. student and a teaching fellow at the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton who is currently teaching a course at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA on “The Practice and Problems of Short-Term Missions, ” will speak at 6:00 p.m. this Friday, January 21, in the Crescent Hill Fellowship Hall on: “Theologies of Receiving: How Latin Americans Interpret Donations from North America.”

Please come enjoy a light supper and hear LiErin Probasco’s presentation about the interactions between Central American folks and North American visitors on mission trips. This will be an opportunity to talk about how to combine sustaining meaningful relationships with mission -partners abroad and the possibilities of donating money or material aid to those partners.

RSVP to or call 893-5381.

Early January gathering

On the first Wednesday of the new year, half a dozen plus Crescent Hill folks interested in Guatemala mission met over dinner out at Keith and Andrew’s. The group solidified plans for a talk by LiErin Probasco on the “Theologies of Receiving: How Latin Americans Interpret Donations from North America,” slated for 6:00 p.m. Friday, January 21, in the Fellowship Hall. A light supper and PowerPoint presentation are on tap. We then moved on to a thorny topic: what to do about the longstanding written request we’d gotten from Estoreño presbytery leaders, going back to a Sept. 29 e-mail. We blew hot and cold about it and shifted towards sending the $350 some had thought we should have already sent. With this in mind, we talked – briefly – to Pastor Gerardo for the first time in months. He said he’d check in with presbytery colleagues about possible help – perhaps for the El Chupon church or the Christian education materials project. We had interrupted Gerardo in the middle of worship at his church. Hanging up after implying we’d send money, we talked for a time about possibly bringing a group of Estoreñ o folks to Louisville, for a visit this summer, this coming Thanksgiving, or next summer. Then we talked about opposing Senate Bill 6, the proposed Arizona-style KY immigraition-control law that seemed fast-tracked through the KY Senate. It wasn’t clear that any in the group would be able to make it to a gathering of opponents that Saturday. We closed with the idea that we would meet again at Phil and Claudia’s at 9:30 a.m., February 5 (a day that the campaign against the bill might now jeopardize). More later on the bill and the money. No pictures of the gathering (or the dog) because my camera had run off.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

From Ellen

Ellen reports that she got a chance to look at the Christian education materials that the Estoreño Presbytery had copied - that they looked good - but they're in Q'eqchi', of course, which she doesn’t read, and she wasn’t able to take the sample to share with us, since they're part of the national church's official business.

Ellen also told me that the presbytery got some financial support from the national church for copying those, but was looking for some financial support to develop more materials, and she suggested to Pastor Gerardo, when he and she talked by phone, that he develop a proposed budget for that (he didn't really tell her what money for this might actually pay for).

Gerardo and she confirmed his phone number, but did not talk much about storm relief and recovery, etc.

Ellen was in Guatemala for about two months and returned to North Carolina (to Brevard, pictured above) after Christmas, and it's remotely possible that she'll be able to be up here for our Friday, January 21 event/program.

-- Perry

Monday, January 3, 2011

At the Woods

The directions to the location of the 6:30 p.m. Wednesday gathering are:

- U.S. 42 Esst to Seminary Drive (the next turn after Lime Kiln Lane)

- Left on Aspenwood Road (there is a subdivision sign for The Woods of St. Thomas)

- Right and then three lefts

Key January events

Important January events for Crescent Hill church’s Guatemala partnership and ministry with new immigrants:

-Sunday, January 3, at 9:45 a.m., the Spanish-language Sunday school class continues its study of the Hebrew Bible book of Joshua, which is using a Presbyterian Women Horizons study guide (Mary Mikhael's "Journey of Faith" - cover graphic above). Class discussions usually go on in Spanish and English.

-Wednesday, January 5, at 6:30 p.m., folks interested in the Guatemala mission partnership will meet at the home of Keith, Andrea, and family. On the agenda will be possible support for Estoreno Presbytery partners in the aftermath of 2010 storms in Guatemala and possible visits between Estoreno folks and Crescent Hill folks. Everyone is welcome.

-Monday, January 10 will mark the start of the winter term of the joint Crescent Hill-James Lees-Covenant Community English as a foreign language teaching ministry. Crescent Hill folks will be providing food on that day and Wednesday and then every Monday and Wednesday every three weeks. Contact Pastor Jane or Perry if you can help. Other Crescent Hill folks will be helping teach classes and lead children’s activities.

-Friday, January 21, at 6:00 p.m., Crescent Hill folks and friends will be in Fellowship Hall for a light supper and a talk on interactions between Central American folks and North American visitors on mission trips by LiErin Probasco, a Princeton grad student: “Theologies of Receiving: Recipients’ Explanations of Cross-national Aid.” The talk should be of interest to everyone with an interest in our Guatemalan mission partnership, in the church in Latin America, or in combining partnership and benevolence. Tell your friends.

January prayer schedule

Crescent Hill folks will be praying with Estoreño partners this month:

-On Sunday, January 2, and during the week thereafter: Jesus Es La Puerta church, Pastor Tomo Tec, and members, deacons, and elders.

-On Sunday, January 9, and during the week thereafter: Arce de Noe church, Pastor Gerardo Pop, and members, deacons, and elders.

-On Sunday, January 16, and during the week thereafter: Altar de Noe church, Pastor Raul Contreras, and members, deacons, and elders.

-On Sunday, January 23, and during the week thereafter: Nueva Amanacer church and members, elders, and deacons.

-On Sunday, January 30, and during the week thereafter: Estoreño Presbytery executive committee, President Pablo Sacul, and other officers.