Tuesday, November 26, 2013

December prayers

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

- On Sunday, December 8, 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, December 15, 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, December 22, and during the week thereafter: Panzos church, Pastor Oscar Tzul, and members, deacons, and elders.

- On Sunday, December 29, and during the week thereafter: Acacar church, Pastor Mariano Cuz, and members, deacons, and elders.

- On Sunday, January 5, and during the week thereafter: Estoreño Presbytery Executive Committee, President Benjamin Sacul, and other officers.

November prayers

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

- On Sunday, November 3, and the week thereafter: Arca de Noe church in El Estor, Pastor Gerardo Pop Ich and family, and elders, deacons, and members.

- On Sunday, November 10, 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, November 17, 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, November 25, 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.

September gathering notes

No communication with Guatemalans took place at a Saturday, September 28 Crescent Hill Guatemala mission task force gathering, but the half a dozen folks presented got to talk extensively with Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission co-workers Amanda Craft and Omar Chan. Amanda and Omar explained how PC(USA) World Mission has created a new Regional Liaison for Guatemala and Mexico position and tapped the two of them to serve in it. They will be based either in Guatemala or on the Mexico-U.S. border (perhaps in El Paso), with their two children. Omar has been working for a different mission organization in Guatemala and has a business background. World Mission has prioritized replacing Amanda as the PC(USA) liaison with the Guatemala national church’s Presbyterian Women organization. Amanda explained how support for women’s ordination within the Guatemalan church has plateaued a bit with a reunion with some conservative Presbyterian Guatemalan congregations that originally left when the church officially adopted women’s ordination in the 1990s.


Amanda also gave some suggestions for trying to maintain partnership energy and focus, both across the partnership and within the U.S. congregation. Amanda suggested trips are essential and the group brainstormed briefly with Amanda about ways to keep the congregation engaged. Activities that pull in some more people (like, perhaps, the scrapbooking activity idea) (often including food) are good, the group agreed. Jane also suggested that a couple of people particularly active in the partnership consider giving Evangelism talks, reflecting concretely on how participating in the Guatemala partnership has been a central part of their faith/spiritual journeys.
Amanda also explained that Richard and Debby Welch – based in a place to be decided – would be involved in promoting theological education among indigenous Guatemalan Presbyterians, including perhaps someday unlocking some of the fabled Walton funds. A couple of issues discussed: whether the Guatemalan national Presbyterian seminary’s theological education program for Q’eqchi’ Presbyterians would include women, and whether it would take place in Spanish or Q’eqchi’.

The group heard that the Crescent Hill session had approved the partnership extension/partnership plan and Perry promised to work with Maria Arroyo to transmit a Spanish-language version of the Crescent Hill partnership extension/partnership plan to the partners. The Guatemalan presbytery has apparently approved the partnership extension, but without a plan/extensive written document.

The group looked back briefly at three written documents transmitted from Guatemalan partners, including two from Gerardo Pop Ich and one official one from the whole presbytery. A recent communication from Gerardo indicated that he had been hit by a motorcycle and that others in his family were ailing. The official communication gave information about the participation of five people from the presbytery in the Guatemala Presbyterian seminary’s theological education in Coban. With Gerardo’s number apparently having changed as well as his status, Perry had talked twice with Pastor Raul Contreras, another leader of the presbytery’s International Relations committee, about possibly communicating at 12 noon on September 28. The group resolved to ask Guatemalan partners how the Coban and El Estor theological education programs were going, what happened at the mid-September presbytery assembly, what Gerardo’s status was, and who the Guatemalan point person should be (should we continue to be calling Raul Contreras to set up communications?) and whether it would be possible to continue communications on the web. Doug talked briefly with Raul Contreras, but they weren’t ready, and when Doug called back all the circuits were apparently busy and it was not possible to reach the Guatemalans – who were apparently gathering to communicate – via Raul Contreras’s cell phone, Gerardo’s cell phone, or Ramiro’s cell phone.

The group talked about gathering again at 11:00 a.m. on the first Saturday in November 2 at a place to be decided, and trying again.