Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Planning pictures

Planning for fall English classes

A joint English language learners education ministry planning team included a wider array of people at a late July gathering, including new Center staff, communications experts, a student, and a Second Presbyterian Church representative who doubled as a possible Covenant Community representative.  Among the key decisions were a shift back to 1741 Frankfort Avenue as the site, possible addition of Chelsea Guenther Benham as a co-site coordinator, and adoption of a 10-week fall term (from September 8 through November 14).  Still on the agenda for a 6:00 p.m. Monday, August 12 gathering:  child care, food coordination, curriculum, and publicity.  A publicity committee will also meet at 6:00 p.m. next Tuesday, August 6.


August prayers

On Sunday, August 4, and the week thereafter:  Monte Sinai church in the village of San Carlos El Pouvenir outside of Puerto Barrios, Pastor Santos Teyul Mucu and family, and elders, deacons, and members

- On Sunday, August 11, and the week thereafter:  Hijo del Dios Viviente church in the village of La Guitarra, Pastor Fidel Juc and family, and members, deacons, and elders

- On Sunday, August 18, and during the week thereafter:  El Buen Samaritano church in El Estor’s Nueva Amanacer neighborhood, Pastor Antonio Choc, and members, deacons, and elders

- On Sunday, August 25, and during the week thereafter:  Panzos church, Pastor Oscar Tzul, and members, deacons, and elders

- On Sunday, September 1, and during the week thereafter:  Acacar church, Pastor Mariano Cuz, and members, deacons, and elders


Richard and Debby Welch, long-time Amigos de K'ekchi' and Guatemala Mission Network activists, out of the Spokane area, whose Inland Northwest Presbytery has maintained a partnership with the Q'eqchi' Polochic Presbytery, just west of Lake Izabal, worshiped at Crescent Hill Sunday.  Hours after dining at Peter, Maria, and Luiz's home (Saturday night), the Welches confirmed that they are headed later this year to Guatemala, where they will more or less replace Roger and Gloria Marriott, working with Q'eqchi' Presbyterians, partly with theological education and record-keeping (anyone say "Walton"?).  The two were in Louisville for training and then commissioning at Big Tent.


Gathering graphics

What's up with the partnership?

Coming up very soon – Saturday, August 10 – is the St. Joseph Orphan’s Picnic held next to our church parking lot. This is a great opportunity for us to earn money for the Guatemala Partnership by renting space to folks who attend the picnic. Could you donate a couple of hours that day to help direct cars and collect money to support this mission of our church? Shifts are from 4:00-6:00pm, 6:00-8:00 pm and 8:00-10:00 pm. Contact Perry Chang at 457-7833 or perrydchang@gmail.com to sign up for a shift.

The church budget allocates $1,000 per year to the Guatemala Partnership. This year these funds support theological training for our partners as well as help pay the communication expenses, mainly internet, to enhance better contact with each other. Money for anything else we want to support, or help with general expenses for future trips, must be done through fundraising efforts.

On Saturday, July 13, Soni Castleberry and Hilda Zuniga hosted the planning group at their home. Perry Chang chaired the meeting. Other participants included Stephanie Gregory, Lowell and Janine Linder, Doug Yeager and Gayle Trautwein.

Soni reported that $1,331.93 was raised at the June 30 yard sale. Not bad, since we had not planned for a yard sale this year and put this one together quickly in order to be a part of the Frankfort Avenue Business Association’s neighborhood-wide sale and Food Truck event at St. Joseph’s.  A few leftover items were put on consignment and several vehicle loads were taken to Goodwill, Presbyterian Community Center and Habitat for Humanity’s Re-Store. Kentucky Refugee Ministry collected the rest.

Looking toward Fall, we talked about how to involve the broader congregation in the Partnership work. We are eager to find ways for others to get to know about our partners and how we try to support each other. One idea was to include photos and information about individual partners in this newsletter or the church blog. Another suggestion was to get “scrapbookers” or “wannabes” to help put together albums from the three big trips we’ve taken to Guatemala, a couple of smaller trips and the 2011 trip when we brought three of our partners to Louisville for a visit. Do either of these ideas sound like ways that might help draw you into more awareness and possibly involvement in this mission? Do you have some other, even better, ideas? If so, contact Soni Castleberry at 417-6481 or soni.castleberry@gmail.com or talk to one of the folks listed above.

A definite date is not yet set for our next meeting. Watch for details.


July gathering notes

Reaching out to the congregation and listening to a fallen comrade were key activities at Crescent Hill church’s July gathering, on Saturday, July 13.  The group heard that up to $1,300 was raised at the late June yard sale, that was part of a Frankfort Avenue-wide sale.  The group also opted to at least postpone the Guatemala night with scrapbooking party and Guatemalan supper that was originally slated for Friday, August 2, partly because a scheduling conflict with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Big Tent that weekend (which will take Gayle Trautwein, among many others).  There was a little discussion about whether to go ahead this activity.  Definitely planned was participation in the fund-raising parking, following Anamchara, on Saturday, August 10.  Crescent Hill shifts are 4-6 p.m., 6-8 p.m., and 8-10 p.m.  Perry and others agreed to cast a wider net for volunteers, including young people.  The group had luck trying to connect with Guatemalan friends by Facebook video.  A phone call to Pastor Gerardo revealed that the Arca de Noe church was in the midst of changing pastors, and Gerardo would be able to stay in house after October only if he could pay rent.  With Rene, Gerardo – and back in the United States – Carlos in different roles/with different capacities now, the group may need to modify its strategies.  A possible late July or early August call to Pastor Raul Contreras, who leads the Estoreño Presbytery’s International Relations Committee, seems in order.  Gerardo had asked a few people over to talk with Crescent Hill folks Saturday, but by the time the call was over only one more person had arrived.  Continuing to support (not financial) Rene and Gerardo, however, may also be in order.   Contacting Roberto, the presbytery treasurer, may also be important, because Rene and Gerardo were the only two Crescent Hill knows were told about the latest church financial donation to the presbytery.  The Guatemala night was also up in the air because key organizers are needed and Soni will be unavailable for a number of weeks.  Other ways to connect with the congregation discussed were profiling individuals Guatemalans who are part of the presbytery in the church newsletter and inviting some presbytery reps back to visit around spring break (March 29 through April 6) or Derby week (April 26 through May 4).  (Previously discussed were possibly making Guatemalan theological education a focus of the official PC(USA) Theological Education Sunday September 18, and sending/giving Guatemalan note cards and bookmarks welcoming new members and inviting them to an event such as the Guatemala Night, and including in a Guatemala night a Facebook video chat with Guatemalan friends and/or testimonials/updates about the partnership.)  The group planned a meeting for Saturday, September 7, and the Yeager family’s home.  But an e-mail message from Peter came later that reopened the question about when to meet and also confirmed some broad questions about the partnership, possibly overlapping with questions that the news from El Estor was already raising.


Friday, July 12, 2013

July gathering

Crescent Hill folks interested in Guatemala mission will hear about how the June yard sale fared, contemplate August activities, and communicate with Guatemalan partners, starting at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, June 13, at Brad, Soni, Kara, and Hilda's place kitty corner from the St. Matthews library.  Everyone is welcome.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Holiday week

It's been an interesting 4th of July week:  Amanda Craft, the Louisville Presbyterian who took Ellen Dozier's place as the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission co-worker who liaisons with the Guatemalan Presbyterian Women organization, and with whom Crescent Hill church has partnered, informed the church that she and her husband Omar will be serving as PC(USA) regional liaison for Mexico and Central America (apparently replacing Tracey Ortega-King) and will therefore be moving with their children (pictured above with Amanda) to Mexico or Texas.

Doug reported in church Sunday that he and Rene, the Estoreño Presbytery’s de facto IT person, had talked at  length and that the Internet café Rene owns and runs had lost a big contract and he had lost Internet service and had to shut the café.  Later in the week Rene hinted that – even without the contract – he had been able to restore Internet service but the rest of the details were not forthcoming.

Rene also hinted that Estoreño folks were prepared to communicate by Facebook this Saturday with Crescent Hill folks, but a call was made to try to reschedule that for Saturday, July 13 (11:30 a.m. Eastern time), which is the date that Crescent Hill folks had originally chosen.

Rene also told Doug that he had informed Pastor Gerardo about a financial transfer to the presbytery for communication with Crescent hill and for theological education.

This week Soni also reported that the church had already raised $1,200 for Guatemala mission through this past Sunday's yard sale, and it was possible that a little more money might be forthcoming.

In addition, a year go this weekend (Saturday, July 7) Crescent Hill’s last big mission team left Louisville to travel to Guatemala City, El Estor, and—ultimately—El Estor.  Monday was the team's visit to Panzos.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July prayers

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

- On Sunday, June 7, and the week thereafter: Arca de Noe church in El Estor, Pastor Gerardo Pop Ich and family, and elders, deacons, and members.

- On Sunday, June 14, and the week thereafter: Altar de Noe church in El Estor’s Los Cerritos neighborhood, Pastor Raul Contreras Tut and family, and elders, deacons, and members.

- On Sunday, June 21, and the week thereafter: Espiritu Santo church in El Estor’s San Marcos neighborhood, Pastor José Domingo Xo Ical and family, and elders, deacons, and members.

- On Sunday, June 28, and the week thereafter:  Monte Sinai church in the village of San Carlos El Pouvenir outside of Puerto Barrios, Pastor Santos Teyul Mucu and family, and elders, deacons, and members.