Monday, January 28, 2013

A big day

Today was a big day in Guatemala-related news.  A Guatemalan judge authorized the prosecution of a leader of the Guatemalan government during the war, General Rios Montt, for genocide and crimes against humanity - something that the 1996 peace accord allowed but was still hard to imagine a few years ago - even though the current president, also a former military officer, may have been involved in atrocities.  Mott is an evangelical Protestant.

Also today, Florida´s Senator Marco Rubio and a bipartisan group of U.S. senators released a new plan for ¨comprehensive immigration reform¨ that includes a ¨path to citizenship¨wherein immigrants not here with documents can gain official status - but only after more border security is implemented and those immigrants pay heavy fines and endure long waits.  President Obama is expected to release a similar plan later this week.  No doubt thousands and thousands of Guatemalans are in the United States are in the U.S. without documents - likely some in Kentuckiana and even more in Southern California.

Folks interested in relations between the U.S. and Guatemalan peoples will no doubt watch both possible Rios Montt prosecution and the path that any proposed immigration reform legislation takes.

 - Perry

 P.S.  Also today came the another piece of news that may be interesting to our Guatemalan brothers and sisters.  The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and four other U.S. Reformed denominations this week are finishing discussions with leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States to recognize each other^s baptisms.  That means for example that we are officially able to recognize the baptisms of former Catholics in our midst - including Spanish-speaking Catholics - without skirting the PC(USA) Book of Order.  But it is possible that this new policy might be controversial with our partners if they knew about it.  P

Monday, January 21, 2013

Early January gathering

A partially successful effort to meet – by Facebook chat - all of the members of the Estoreño Presbytery committee working with the Crescent Hill partnership and a decision to send one Crescent Hill person to the Guatemala Mission Network gathering in Guatemala City later in the month were two features of the early January Crescent Hill Guatemala gathering. The two groups essentially had an appointment, and Estoreño folks had gathered at an unusual site to try to carry on a conversation with Crescent Hill folks via Facebook chat. Apparently because of wavering bandwidth in El Estor, the signal was interrupted several times, and in the end only the men – and apparently there are a couple of women in the Estoreño group – were able to introduce themselves. Doug and Gerardo were able to follow up by phone. The presbytery is planning on sending two representatives to the Mission Network gathering at Central Presbyterian Church in Guatemala City, but was not ready to give names. Crescent Hill folks had already learned that Pastor Gerardo was in better health and had returned to work at Arca de Noe church. Doug and Gerardo were not able to have a real extensive conversation. Although seeing everyone was exciting, no doubt people on both sides were a little disappointed that the Facebook video chat – at least in the locale in which the Guatemalans had situated themselves for that – did not really work very well (and had been a little chaotic even when the signal was working). Many thanks were expressed by Guatemalan folks about Crescent Hill’s financial support for the theological education initiative. A number of people had graduated from that in November, and the presbytery had in fact received Crescent Hill’s financial transmission in December, partly for that. There was no discussion about communications spending or the official partnership extension. With Jane no longer able to attend the Guatemala City gathering, the group agreed to send Perry (who will be commissioned Sunday, January 20). The group hoped to hear directly from Perry, him having just returned from the visit, at the next meeting – 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, February, at the Yeagers – and then focus more heavily on congregational engagement in the partnership and – related to this – fund-raising, including a summer 2013 (?) yard sale. The Guatemalan also asked for documentation about how much money Crescent Hill sent them when during 2012, and Doug and the rest of the group agreed to set up a mechanism so that everyone on both sides could track this.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

January prayers

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

- On Sunday, January 6, and during the week thereafter: El Buen Samaritano church in the village of Nuevo Amanace, Pastor Antonio Yat Choc, and members, deacons, and elders

- On Sunday, January 13, and during the week thereafter: Panzos church and members, deacons, and elders

- On Sunday, January 20, and during the week thereafter: Esfuerza congregation, Pastor Antonio Tec and family, and worshipers.

-On Sunday, January 27, and during the week thereafter: Q’eqchi’ Estoreño, Izabal Presbytery Executive Committee, President Benjamin Sacul, and other officers.

-On Sunday, February 3, and during the week thereafter: Estoreño Presbytery Presbyterian Women organization, President Carmen Quib Caal, and other officers.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Change of plans

A planning team for the joint English langage learners education ministry met Wednesday and opted to shift the winter term ELL suppers and classes from 1741 Frankfort Avenue (the old James Lees Memorial Presbyteriah Church) to Crescent Hill Church, because of a problem with the heat at 1741.  Classes will start this Monday, January 7, with supper at 6:30 p.m. and classes from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Volunteers are needed for teaching, food prep, and child care.

- Perry

January gathering

St. Matthews will be the scene of a gathering of Crescent Hill folks interested in Guatemala misison at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, January 5, at the home of Stephanie, Perry, and Vincent at 3928 Kennison Avenue.  On the agenda will be responding to information sent by Estoreño  Presbytery, the late January mission network gathering, engaging the congregation, and fund-raising and a phone conversation with partners.  Everyone is welcome  See you there!