Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lunch program

A few dozen Crescent Hill folks gathered at the Fellowship Hall after worship Sunday to hear about and talk about the church's Guatemala mission partnership and opportunities for other forms of involvement, in particular the scheduled July 7-July 15 summer misison trip. A healthy group of people of different ages and different levels of mission involvement were there and asked questions. Some people who were interested receiving trip application materials. The deadline for submitting an application and making the first trip installment payment is Sunday, April 15. The vigil "stations" had stayed up during Sunday worship and the church had prayed for the Estoreño Presbytery executive committee and the presbytery meeting that was to start Monday, the next day. The night before an e-mail went to presbytery leaders - as per their request - with some questions about, and ideas for, the trip. Crescent Hill continues to receive feedback on some of those ideas, now from Amanda, Ellen, and Phillip (mostly in Guatemala).

- Perry

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tentative mission trip schedule

Saturday, July 7

6:00 a.m.: Depart Louisville by air
1:00 p.m.: Arrive Guatemala City by air
2:00 p.m.: Depart Guatemala City by van
9:00 p.m.: Arrive Rio Dulce by van

Sunday, July 8

8:00 a.m.: Depart Rio Dulce by van
9:30 a.m.: Arrive El Estor by van
Sunday day: Sunday school, worship, meals, partnership discussion, workshops with
women and with youth and young adults, visit churches
Sunday PM: Stay with families

Monday, July 9

Monday AM: Breakfast with families
Monday day: Building improvement at the Esperanza/San Jorge church, partnership
discussion, visit churches, meals
Monday PM: Stay in hotel

Tuesday, July 10

Tuesday AM: Breakfast at hotel
Tuesday day: Building improvement at the Esperanza/San Jorge church, partnership
discussion, worship, visit churches, meals
Tuesday PM: Stay at hotel

Wednesday, July 11

8:00 a.m.: Depart El Estor by van
12 noon: Arrive La Guitarra by van
Wednesday lunchtime Meal, visit church
2:00 p.m.: Depart La Guitarra by van
6:00 p.m.: Arrive Flores by van
Wednesday PM: Dinner and stay at hotel in Flores

Thursday, July 12

Thursday AM: Breakfast at hotel
7:30 a.m.: Depart Flores by van
9:00 a.m.: Arrive Tikal by van
Thursday day: Tour Tikal
5:00 p.m.: Depart Tikal by van
6:30 p.m.: Arrive Flores by van
Thursday PM: Dinner and stay at hotel in Flores

Friday, July 13

Friday AM: Relax in Flores
12 noon: Depart Flores by van
5:30 p.m.: Arrive Rio Dulce by van
Friday PM: Dinner and stay at hotel at Rio Dulce

Saturday, July 14

Saturday AM: Breakfast at hotel
9:00 a.m.: Depart Rio Dulce by van
3:00 p.m.: Arrive Guatemala City by van
Saturday PM: Dinner and stay at hotel in Guatemala City

Sunday, July 15

4:30 a.m.: Depart for Guatemala City airport by van
6:30 a.m.: Depart Guatemala City by air
4:00 p.m.: Arrive Louisville

Late-vigil gathering

Taking a break from the prayer vigil, half a dozen Crescent Hill folks interested in Guatemala mission greeted returning participant Ana and then brainstormed about the vigil, the summer mission trip, Sunday’s lunch program, and a next gathering. The group thanked Andrea, Soni, and Mary for their leadership with the vigil. They had previously decided to leave up the prayer vigil “stations” for Sunday morning worship. Perry outlined different options for the trip, including the availability of slightly more affordable plane tickets and the option of skipping a late-trip sightseeing segment, staying in a hotel in Rio Dulce, and financing a second project besides the Bibles. The group opted to try not to drop any of those more affordable options and to go to Tikal as the late-trip sightseeing option. The trip would cost somewhere between $1,000 and $1,400, depending on how aggressive and successful fund-raising (already begun for any youth with last week’s Talent Show/Silent Auction). The group projected that about 15 people might go on the trip. Andrea agreed to help set up for the lunch, which will include a blessing, some eating, a PowerPoint presentation by Perry and run-through of a tentative schedule, and then questions and answers/discussion. Perry will have applications for those interested. Some who may be interested will not be there Sunday. The deadline for applications and a $300 installment payment will be Sunday, April 15. The next Guatemala gathering will be at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 21, at Stephanie, Vincent, and Perry’s St. Matthews home. After the meeting conversations ensued with Ellen and Gerardo, who was preparing for Monday’s Estoreño Presbytery meeting.


Vigil views

Sunday, March 18, 2012

End-of-term adventures


Late March is seeing a lull in two Guatemala partnership extension activities. The weekly Spanish class quit earlier in the month (on Sunday, March 11) and will resume on Pegasus Parade Thursday, the Thursday of Derby Week (May 5), from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., before choir. It’s likely that in one or two more terms the class will complete the Spanish textbook they are using.

In addition, on Wednesday, March 14, the joint Crescent Hill-James Lee-Covenant Community English language learners teaching ministry completed its winter term. ELL will take a break until Monday, April 9, when Crescent Hill folks will likely again be responsible for food preparation for two days.

Meanwhile, the Sunday 9:45 a.m. Spanish-language Sunday school class, led by Carlos in the Education Building’s Upper Room, and the twice-a-month Saturday 7:00 p.m. Spanish-language worship services, at 1741 Frankfort Avenue (the old James Lees, next on Saturday, March 24), will continue.

- Perry

Early March gathering

Half a dozen plus Crescent Hill folks interested in the Guatemala partnership gathered on the last Monday of the English language learners ministry winter term (March 12). Doug translated the official letter from the presbytery e-mailed in mid-February. Responding to our December request that they prioritize their project proposals, Estoreño Presbytery reps asked that Crescent Hill provide 10 Bibles to the Presbytery Women group at each of the presbytery’s 12 churches (120 Bibles, at an approximate cost of $10 per Bible, for a total of $100 per church and $1,200 for the whole thing). Gathering participants were favorably inclined towards this proposal – a sharpened version of a request that Macaria talked about with Crescent Hill’s Presbyterian Women - but wondered about bringing Bibles, sending the money ahead so they can present them during a trip this summer, or the summer mission team simply bringing the money with them. Following up with literacy training for women in the congregations was also presented as a possibility. Perry also wondered about whether it would be possible to send or bring money for the Bible and/or for building improvement for the Esperanza church. This was one of the possibilities for a trip that Pastor Gerardo mentioned two gatherings ago, along with partnership planning/review, workshops for women and youth, and sharing information about PC(USA) history.

On money, Perry also reported that he had transmitted $300 for six month’s worth of a communications budget to the Estoreño Presbytery. The group did not talk about Perry and Rene’s instant messaging back and forth about this might or might not purchase.

Gathering participants talked about Perry’s various proposals for the trip, which included three days and two nights (staying with families) in El Estor, then a night each in Livingston and Puerto Barrios, and two nights in Antigua. Alternative possibilities included splitting mission team members in El Estor between a hotel and staying with families; spending more time in El Estor; going to Tikal instead of Antigua and/or instead of going to Livingston and Puerto Barrios, or going to Livingston (and not Puerto Barrios). Perry agreed to develop a new itinerary or two (as well as a new budget), in time for the lunchtime program about the partnership and the trip.

The group also talked about trip money for a while. They refined Perry’s estimates that the trip would cost $1,100 for youth and $1,300 for adults, before fund-raising and financial aid. They tentatively refined that to costing $1,000 (for both youth and adults), not counting fund-raising and financial aid. Soni volunteered that doing another garage sale (either late this spring or early this summer?) was a sure way to raise money, and outside money. A lunch/Talent Show/silent auction was to raise funds for youth participation in international summer mission trips (to Eastern Kentucky and Guatemala). The group also talked about raising funds for the Bibles for women of the presbytery by asking people to contribute $10 per Bible and perhaps setting up a prayer partner relationship between the Crescent Hill person who paid for the Bible and the woman who received it. (The CHPC session has approved of the trip, and fund-raising for it, and the Outreach Council blessed it two night after the Guatemala group’s Monday gathering.)

The group talked briefly about the lunchtime program scheduled for Sunday, March 25, after Sunday morning worship. In addition to Perry and Peter cooking rice, Eva and Jane bringing fruit, Nora making tortillas, and Doug and Stephanie bringing bean soup, Lowell will bring meat and Claudia will bring dessert. The group OKed in principle Perry’s draft PowerPoint, but – except for a possible schedule/itinerary – thought the possible handouts Perry had brought should be included (just one copy total) in a binder to pass around/share with people there. Perry observed that previous such pre-trip gatherings (when publicized properly) had attracted about 40 people each. (The probable program: prayer, lunch, and then quickly PowerPoint, discussion of schedule, and then questions and answers/discussion among everyone.) Perry projected that as many as 15 people might end up participating on the mission team, although others believed that the number of final team members would be smaller.

Gathering participants also talked about the prayer vigil sponsored jointly with the Worship Council scheduled for Saturday, March 23, the day before the lunchtime program. Scheduled from 10:00 to 2;00 p.m. in the sanctuary, the vigil will include a dozen or so “stations” with different mission partners and mission projects and a short prayer service at 12 noon that Pastor Jane will help lead. Andrea has been contacting people involved in the partnerships, who will provide emblems and hopefully help set them up as stations, the two nights before the vigil (when Andrea, Perry, and Soni will help intake and set up stations). The group strategized about different ways to promote the vigil, with Soni offering to get copy/information for Doug to turning into signs to put up for people at the Talent Show the Sunday before to see, and to ask the elder of the week to make an announcement about before worship Sunday (Bill Gee did so). Perry stressed the importance of as many people interested in the Guatemala partnership as possible to participate in the vigil (which was inspired by vigil practices in our partner presbytery and will take place two days before the start of a quarterly presbytery meeting), as well as personally inviting others to participate. Guatemala partnership folks have been involve in three such vigils, with some of them better attended than others.

Carlos tried calling Pastor Gerardo but was not able to reach him. Among the questions the group hoped to ask him was whether the presbytery had in mind receiving money for the Bibles, where the Esperanza church improvement project might fit into things (including money-wise), and whether, during the trip, the presbytery will in bring leaders from the La Guitarra (near Livingston) and Monte Sinai (near Puerto Barrios) churches to El Estor, or the Crescent Hill mission team will travel to see them at home, or both. (There had also been a discussion about whether some Estoreño representatiaves could go with the team to La Guitarra/Livingston and Monte Sinai/Puerto Barrios and/or to Tikal, somewhat as Perry had envisioned.)

The group agreed to gather next at 9:30 a.m. on the Saturday after Easter, on April 14, at Perry, Stephanie, and Vincent’s home at 3928 Kennison Avenue in St. Mathews (384-4339). It’s possible a smaller group of people may gather before then to talk about trip scheduling.

- Perry

February request

February request

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Prayer vigil

The 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Saturday, March 24 prayer vigil is a wonderful opportunity for you to have a specific place and time to devote to prayer—a traditional Lenten discipline. Each station of this vigil will represent key mission projects, in which our congregation is engaged. You will be able to visit each of the “stations” to learn more about these mission projects and to pray specifically for them. We hope this offers you some space in a peaceful, quiet setting for prayer and reflection.

- Gena’s Tree (and partners La Casita, Coalition for the Homeless, Wayside Christian Mission, Bellewood Presbyterian Homes for Children, United Crescent Hill Ministries, Center for Women and Families)
- United Crescent Hill Ministries
- Habitat for Humanity
- French Ministry
- Eco-Justice Worship
- Joint English Language Learners Teaching Ministry
- Leake Memorial Community Garden and Garden Camp
- Mid-Kentucky Presbytery
- Appalachian Activities
- Coalition of Immokalee Workers
- Fair Trade Efforts
- International Mission Workers
Christi Boyd, Jeff Boyd, Nancy Collins, Amanda Craft, Jo Ella Holman, Amy Wadsworth, and David Wigger
- Guatemala Mission Partnership

God, Lift up for your blessing our brothers and sisters of [organization/ project name] and the many people You touch through their work. In this time of political conflict, economic difficulty, and spiritual hunger, help us set into motion Your vision of a partnership between them and us that builds Your Kingdom in Louisville, across the country, and all over the world. In the name of Your Son, Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Monday, March 5, 2012

St. Patrick's Day week gathering

Crescent Hill folks interested in the Guatemala mission partnership will gather at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 12, at 1741 Frankfort Avenue (the old James Lees Memorial Presbyterian Church) to talk about: the late-March vigil and mission trip lunch, the trip itself, and additional communication with Guatemalan partners. Everyone is welcome.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March prayers

This month Crescent Hill church will pray with and for our Guatemalan partners:

- On Sunday, March 4, and during the week thereafter: El Buen Samaritano church in El Estor’s Nuevo Amanacer neighborhood, and members, deacons, and elders

-On Sunday, March 11, and during the week thereafter: Estoreño Presbytery Presbyterian Women organization, President Maria Coc Tial, and other officers.

-On Sunday, March 18, and during the week thereafter: Estoreño Presbytery youth and young adult organization, President Roderico Sacul Tiul, and other officers.

-On Sunday, March 25, and during the week thereafter: Q’eqchi’ Estoreño, Izabal Presbytery Executive Committee, President Gerardo Pop Ich, and other officers.

-On Sunday, April 2, and during the week thereafter: Peniel church in Boqueron, Pastor Pablo Sacul, and members, deacons, and elders.