Monday, May 16, 2011

Great news!

Amanda has kept Crescent Hill folks abreast through Facebook messages of the progress of the five presbytery reps traveling from Izabal to Guatemala City and trying to obtain passports. Three of the reps were able to arrive Sunday night, and two more arrived separately. A traffic jam between Antigua and Guatemala City prevented Amanda from meeting them, but she kept in regular telephone contact with Gerardo. Amanda learned about 5:00 p.m. Monday that all five have now obtained their passports and are en route by bus back to Izabal. Amanda hoped to clarify their names with them, by e-mail, and Perry will try to communicate with them about some cost reimbursement by e-mail. Prayers to Gerardo, Ramiro, Raul, Maria, and Macaria as they bus this evening.

-- Perry

Bye, Jen!

Jen was the coordinator of the joint James Lees-Covenant Community English as a foreign language education ministry last year and an important part of that ministry, along with the Spanish-language worship and Bible study at James Lees, this year. After graduating from Louisville seminary in late May, Jen left for a summer position in Southern California. Before leaving, the Spanish language worship group - which includes a number of EFL students - feted Jen with a beautiful necklace.

May meeting mementos

May gathering

A group of Crescent Hill folks gathered at Keith and Andrea’s home Saturday morning to brainstorm about the possible Kentuckiana visit by representatives of church’s Guatemala partner presbytery (Estoreño), fund-raising for that, and other issues.

Ana reported that her father and Pastor Gerardo had talked Friday and that the five presbytery reps were planning to leave Sunday and arrive Monday to meet Amanda, who would provide moral support as they went to apply for Guatemalan passports. Carlos had obtained exact names for the slightly revised list of five. They included Gerardo (Ich Pop), an elder (Ramiro Quib Caal), two women (Maria Coc Tiul and Macaria Caal Maquin) and a representative of the youth and young adult organization (Raul Contreras). There was no discussion about money (by Gerardo and Carlos), even though the group has indicated that the church will help them cover the costs of travel (and it turns out the passport application fee is $30). Amanda had also reported on these plans.

Later on the group confirmed tentative trip dates (Friday, October 7-Saturday, October 15) – which will be important to include – along with the exact names – in hard-copy letters from Pastor Jane, Maria Arroyo of the PC(USA)’s World Mission, and Mid-Kentucky Presbytery Executive Betty Meadows that the church will give Amanda when she is in Louisville in June (and she’ll have the letters when they come back to seek applications).

The group ended up not calling Gerardo back again (although Carlos called later in the day, and apparently this time talked about them keeping receipts), as all of the Spanish speakers eventually went on to Jennifer and Paul’s baby shower.

Soni followed up on a meeting the previous week with Ana, Jane, Lowell, and Perry about fund-raising options for the visit (which needs something like $2,500). She proposed two possible dates for a possible yard sale, and the group leaned towards a one-and-half-day yard sale (Saturday, August 6, and Sunday after worship) with no pre-sales, possibly emphasizing certain types of items. Soni agreed to write a article for the June newsletter, highlighting for church members the need for items and the cause(the visit). Another small group meeting about the sale will follow, at a time and place to be announced.

The group also discussed a possible visit – in connection with the University of Louisville Law School – with immigrants detained at the Boone County Jail (in northern Kentucky). Dates discussed were Friday, June 17, when the presbytery’s Tony Aja may go, and Friday, July 15, when Pastor Jane may be going. Some people seemed interested.

Even later on, the rest of the group talked about trying to invite International Peacemaker Juana Herlinda (who has links with Jennifer’s Looking for Lilith Faith Stories project)and PC(USA) mission co-worker Karla Koll to speak at church this fall, possibly as part of a Food for Thought talk and possibly as a tune-up for the Estoreño visit. (Unfortunately, it turned out Sunday that this pair already has more than enough invitations for the month they will be here. Other speakers are still available.)

The remnants also talked briefly about the Thursday, June 30-Saturday, July 2 PC(USA) Big Tent mega-conference in Indianapolis and, in particular, the World Mission Matters conference in which several Crescent Hill folks are slated to speak or lead workshops. Also discussed was the PC(USA) vote earlier in the week that passed a change to the PC(USA) rules which gives congregations and sessions more leeway to ordain gays and lesbians. Estoreño partners will probably learn more about this change, which Crescent Hill played a role in, at a May 23-27 General Assembly of the national church in Guatemala. (Carlos’ Sunday school class also talked about this a little more Sunday morning.)

A few people talked about possible follow-up dates. Perry had floated 9:30 a.m., Saturday, June 10, 9;30 a.m. Saturday, July 9, and 9:30 a.m. Saturday, August 13, at locations to be announced. Folks discussed whether Saturday, June 3, or Saturday, June 17, might be preferable to June 10. Weeknight gatherings are also possible.

- Perry

Friday, May 13, 2011

Big Tent!

A couple of weeks ago national denominational leaders decided that the Indiana immigration control bill had been watered down enough that the PC(USA) could go ahead with the Big Tent 2011 mega-conference up the road in Indianapolis, as planned. The conference will take place at the J.W. Marriott hotel in downtown Iny.

A number of Crescent Hill folks are involved in the conference, for work. The conference includes some dozen speciality conferences, along with joint sessions and worship services. A focus of the Big Tent for some Crescent Hill folks might be the World Mission Matters conference, which starts Thursday night (June 30) and goes through Saturday morning (July 2). A special dinner for this event will take place Friday night at 6:00 p.m. ($40 each), with mission workers and local partner leaders from Thailand speaking. A world mission cafe and video screening will start at 8:00 p.m.

Among the other sessions that are part of the World Mission Matters conference are:
- Crescent HIll's own Hunter Farrell's lunchtime talk on "Global Discipleship: From Loaves and Fishes to Changing the World" Friday at 12 noon
- "Congregational Care and Support for Mission Workers" workshop at 4 p.m. Friday
- "Mission Trips: From Tourism to Partnership" workshop workshop, also at 4 p.m. Friday
- Crescent Hill's own Tricia Lloyd-Sidle and Christine Coy Fohr's workshop on "Adressing the Root Causes of Poverty," also at 4 p.m. Friday
- Crescent Hill's own Bruce Whearty and partner's workshop on "Talents and Treasure: Funding Mission Co-workers," at 10 a.m. Saturday
- Crescent Hill's own Martha Bettis Gee's workshop on "Human Trafficking: Modern-Day Slavery," also at 10 a.m. Saturday
- "Arts for Mission" workshop, also at 10 a.m. Saturday
- some-time Crescent Hill worshiper Chris Iosso's workshop on "Short-term Trips, Long-term Understanding: Using the PC(USA) Globalization Policy with Young People," also at 10 a.m. Saturday

There are also some special events for youth and young adults, including special World Mission Matters conference events for young adults.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Back in the saddle

The May-June English as a foreign language teaching ministry term got started during Derby week with a good crowd. New teachers included Crescent Hill’s Carla and Janine. New food preparers included Crescent Hill’s Laura, Elaine, and – during the second week – Anne. Pictured above are students and teachers dining before class this Monday, and below are Jade and her mother, a student in the beginners’ class.

-- Perry


Last week Ana, Jane, Lowell, Perry, and Soni met brainstormed before EFL classes at James Lees about strategies for raising funds for the Guatemalans' possible visit to Kentuckiana. The group leaned towards an August yard sale at Crescent Hill - perhaps focusing on jewelry and kids' clothes and toys - as a sure money-maker. The group hedged on a fund-raising concert or other kinds of event - perhaps with a musical act such as the above or also with food - unsure partly about musical act availability. More later.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Saturday gathering

Join us at Keith and Andrea's in the Woods of St. Thomas for discussion about the Kentuckiana visit of Guatemala partners, fund-raising for that, and possible follow-up on immigration issues. A telephone conversation with Pastor Gerardo is likely to be included. Contact Andrea at 429-4558 for directions. Everyone is welcome.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Possible detention center visits

Mid-Kentucky Presbytery is organizing an immigration issues team, and an initial event may relate to the last subject that came up during Julia Thorne’s May 1 talk: detention (and deportation) of immigrants who are suspected of not being in the United States legally. Tony Aja of the presbytery, Becca O’Neill (a lawyer who spoke at the KY American Civil Liberties Union immigration forum last month), and the University of Louisville law school have organized some visits to a KY detention center: the Boone County Jail (located in northern KY in the county with the Florence Mall and the confluence of Interstates 71 and 75). Visits, which are to include a training the night before and being at the jail no later than 7:45 a.m., are slated for: May 20, June 17, and July 15. Tony has indicated an interest in going on June 17 (which is a Friday), and Pastor Jane has done so for July 15 (also a Friday).

This would be one way to follow up on Julia’s talk and the good turnout and enthusiastic response it got.

An additional option would be to follow up with the six-week education/discussion series she suggested, perhaps this fall.

More information about immigrant detentions at the jail is available here:

-- Perry

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Immigration talk

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Julia Thorne made a presentation and led a discussion about immigration issues, during a Sunday “Food for Thought” lunch. Julia highlighted four areas:
-instances of immigration in scripture
-historical changes in U.S. immigration law/policy/experiences
-difficulties of immigrating to the United States under current law
-the U.S. immigrant detention-industrial complex and its lobbying arm

Julia’s discussion sparked lots of questions, and she left us with materials for a possible six-week discussion series about immigration issues.

Thanks to Bruce and Lora Whearty, and Charlie and Molly Boyd, who helped organize Sunday’s lunch event, to all of those who brought yummy salads, soups, and bread, to those who helped set up and clean up, and to Julia!

No doubt we will continue to discuss this topic, if only in connection with the possible Guatemalan partner Kentuckiana visit, with the EFL classes, and with the immigration status of several people involved with our church. Thanks for helping us move forward with the discussion, Julia!