Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This Saturday

You’re invited to talk with other Crescent Hill folks about the possible visit by representatives of Guatemala’s Estoreño Presbytery, probably later year, starting at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, April 10, at Stephanie, Perry, and Vincent’s home at 3928 Kennison Avenue, in St. Matthews. Everyone is welcome!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

James Lees goings on

Saturday Patricio (pictured above), a local Guatemalan American who is a student at the joint English as a foreign language classes, led devotions at the every-two-weeks Spanish-language service at James Lees, which half a dozen Crescent Hill folks attended. Sunday afternoon another half a dozen Crescent Hill folks were on hand at James Lees – this time the second of two discussions about the future of the James Lees/CCC building, which Crescent Hill’s Ana (pictured below) helped lead. -- Perry

Trip update

Wednesday Carlos spoke again with Pastor Gerardo in the aftermath of the rest of the Estoreño Presbytery meeting. It turns out that many presbytery leaders have never flown and they are a little skeptical about it. People who might visit us include: Ramiro, an elder and the presbytery treasurer, who has a passport and has been to the United States before (by plane); Gerardo, who has flown within Guatemala before; the president of the presbytery youth and young adult organization (now Roderico Sacul Tiul); and the president of the presbytery’s Presbyterian Women organization (still Maria Coc Tial, who visited with the Crescent Hill mission team in Coban). The fifth person, whom we asked to be another woman, is up in the air, because Gerardo says it would be inappropriate for a woman to travel abroad without her husband – in which case, the fifth person would have to be the PW president’s spouse. At the meeting the presbytery also ordained - and promoted from preaching pastor to pastor - Raul Contreras Tut, of the Altar de Noe church in El Estor. (Contreras was a vocalist and musician whose CD he has given to Crescent Hill folks and whose family hosted Pastor Jane in the spring of 2009.) -- Perry

Friday, March 25, 2011

Guatemala updates

The bizarrity of Guatemalan politics continues, as Alvaro Colom, the center-left president, and his wife, Sandra Torres (pictured), filed for divorce so that she can run as the presidential candidate of his party – something the Guatemalan Constitution would clearly ban if they were (Juan Peron and Eva Person-style) still married (and something leaders of the law-and-order right-wing opposition party says still violates the Constitution). Torres has been active in government during her husband’s term, including helping supervise an anti-poverty program. Updates from Guatemala point to underlying issues: climate change effects (droughts, storms, floods, landslides) and shoddy infrastructure and building construction, the Guatemala-ization of the international drug economy and Guatemala’s militarization in response, the global economic downturn and rising food and energy prices, the large, industrial scale of other parts of the Guatemalan economy (mining, hydroelectric dams, palm leaf plantations) and the related threats to property rights of indigenous people, and the weak government and resulting lack of property rights and lack of personal security (especially among women). -Perry

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Phone conversation

Pastors Carlos and Gerardo spoke by phone early last weekend and at that point Gerardo clarified that, indeed, the presbytery had received the modest donation that we sent them. The presbytery was going to be talking more about the possible Kentuckiana visit and hopefully they would have more information for us: definitely interested? Possibly who? Any suggestions about when? Sunday they were also planning to ordain a pastor for one of the congregations without pastors. If I’m counting right, at least three churches – Nueva Amanacer in the churches in La Union and El Chupon – lack pastors. They may have started more new churches since we last heard.

-- Perry

Friday, March 18, 2011

Presbytery meeting

In addition to praying for the La Union and El Chupon churches, this weekend let us pray for the Estoreño Presbytery as they meet together to discuss - among other things - a possible Kentuckiana visit by representatives of the presbytery.

-- Perry

Feliz cumpleaños

Thursday in Spanish class teacher and students celebrated the birthday of classmate Katarina.

March meeting images

March gathering

A group of Crescent Hill folks gathered at Perry, Stephanie, and Vincent’s Saturday to talk mainly about the possible Kentuckiana visit by Estoreño Presbytery representatives. Participants heard about conversations with Maria Arroyo about the February Guatemala Mission Network gathering and about conversations with the Outreach Council and session about the trip. The group confirmed that the church will give the Estoreño folks financial support not only for their trip here but also for obtaining passports and visas (except for the passport application fees). The group reached Pastor Gerardo by phone, and Carlos again requested that the presbytery send five people: one pastor, one elder, one youth or young adult, and two women. Gerardo said the presbytery will be meeting March 19-20 and after that may be able to give us some names. Dates were apparently not discussed. March 28 women leaders of the presbytery will be meeting and apparently Amanda Craft will visit for that. The Crescent Hill group also talked about possible joint/shared/parallel Bible study, but apparently that did not come up during the phone conversation. After considering gathering again later this month, the group opted to stick with an earlier schedule of meeting on the second Saturday of the next two months: at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 9, at Brad and Soni’s home, and at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, May 14, at Keith and Andrea’s.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Good news!

Tony Aja, the Mid-Kentucky Presbytery's coordinator of Hispanic-Latino ministries, reported earlier this week that both of the immigration control measures proposed in the Kentucky Legislature, including the Arizona-style Senate Bill 6, have died for this session. In January the Crescent Hill church session came out against the Senate bill, and the text of the statement appeared in the newspaper. Last month Crescent Hill's Stephen helped organize buses to go to Frankfort, for a rally and day of lobbying against the Senate bill and an alternative House bill, which provided for employer sanctions. Some dozen Crescent Hill participated. The legislative session ended this week with the Senate not passing the House bill and the House not passing the Senate bill, and immigration is not one of the topics for the special legislative session Governor Beshear (pictured) has called. (Tony actually met with Governor Beshear about the legislation.) Great news!

Stephen and Tony remind us, however, that more work still needs to be done to improve attitudes towards immigrants in Kentucky and Indiana and to change federal law to open up possibilities for immigrants to gain citizenship. In addition, an immigration control measure is pending in the Indiana Legislature.

- Perry

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Saturday gathering

Join us at 9:30 a.m. this Saturday, March 12, for a gathering of folks interested in Crescent Hill church's Guatemala mission at Stephanie, Perry, and Vincent's home at 3928 Kennison Avenue, between Chenoweth Lane and St. Matthews Avenue in St. Matthews (not actually at Dr. Summe's orthodontics office). Call 384-4339 for directions. On tap for discussion are the Kentuckiana possible visit of Estoreño Presbytery partners and possible late Lenten joint Bible study. Everyone is welcome. See you there!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March prayers

This month Crescent Hill church will pray with and for:

- On Sunday, March 6, and the week thereafter: Lirio de los Valles church in El Estor’s San Jorge neighborhood, Pastor Mario Xo Ical and family, and members, deacons, and elders.

- On Sunday, March 13, and the week thereafter: Puerto del Cielo church in the El Estor suburb of La Union.

- On Sunday, March 20, and the week thereafter: Jesus Es la Puerta church in the El Estor suburb of El Chupon.

- On Sunday, March 27, and the week thereafter: Arca de Noe church in El Estor, Pastor Gerardo Pop Ich and family, and members, deacons, and elders.

- On Sunday, April 3, and the week thereafter: Altar de Noe church in El Estor’s Los Cerritos neighborhood, Pastor Raul Contreras and family, and members, deacons, and elders.

Visit OKed

The Crescent Hill church session said Yes to the proposed Kentuckiana visit by Estoreño Presbytery representatives. Session members were enthusiastic about widely exposing the representatives to Crescent Hill folks and Kentuckiana - including having different folks host them (just for dinner or some such?), possibly scheduling a Nurture Council-sponsored fellowship activity during the visit, and showing them around Kentuckiana as much as possible.

Proposed Kentuckiana visit by Estoreño reps

The Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church is inviting five representatives of the Q’eqchi’ Estoreño, Izabal Presbytery to visit Kentuckiana for seven days, probably in fall 2011.

During that time, we expect that the five Estoreño Presbytery representatives and Crescent Hill church staff, members, and worshipers will spend time together in prayer, worship, Bible study, and conversation. Estoreño representatives and many more Crescent Hill worshipers than have done so before should be able to meet each other, and we should be able to continue joint Bible study and plan for the next year of our two-year-old partnership. Crescent Hill and Estoreño folks should also be able to visit the Presbyterian Center and the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary campus and engage in other cultural tourism together, similar to what we did in the Coban area. The Estoreño representatives may also get an opportunity to talk with people with other Kentuckiana congregations.

The Estoreño group will travel by bus from El Estor and Rio Dulce to Guatemala City, and then by air to Louisville, and will return, by the same route in reverse, a week later. Crescent Hill church will cover the costs of that travel and will pay for expenses while the group is in Kentuckiana. The church will also assist the Estoreño representatives in obtaining passports and visas. We expect that each of the Estoreño representatives will stay at the homes of Crescent Hill individuals and families during their Louisville stay.

Costs will be approximately $1,250 per person, for a total of $6,250. Together, the Guatemala line in the church’s 2011 budget and the Guatemala mission partnership fund currently have approximately $4,500. The Guatemala Mission Task Force expects to raise $2,500 during spring and summer 2011, partly from the Crescent Hill church folks, so that we can pay the rest of the costs and leave some money in the partnership fund.

We believe this visit will help achieve the following objectives:
- Giving representatives of the Estoreño Presbytery an opportunity to experience North American, Kentuckiana, and Crescent Hill culture.
- Giving more people than before from Crescent Hill church and Mid-Kentucky Presbytery an opportunity to connect with representatives of Estoreño Presbytery.
- Consolidating the Crescent Hill-Estoreño partnership for the partnership’s Year Three.