Friday, April 10, 2015


Ramiro photographed Macaria, who visited us several years and has been ill for quite a while, during a Easter weekend visit with her.

New congregation!

In March, Estereno Presbytery apparently accepted a new congregation as part of the presbytery.

Late March gathering

In attendance:  Soni Castleberry, Perry Chang, Jane Larsen-Wigger, Janine and Lowell Linder,
and Doug Yeager

Perry opened the meeting asking for our concerns and joys and led us in a combined prayer.

Call to Guatemala:  Doug called Rev. Raul Contreras.  He was in a theological education class in Coban thus unable to talk much.  Doug did, however, send greetings for Holy Week and let them know that we would like to visit them June 25 – July 3 next year.  It sounded like that would be okay but Doug will follow up on Facebook to confirm.

Evaluation of Kick-off Event for Trip:  Positive remarks made about photos and information shared from past trips, momentum established, food catered by La Casita and the financial outcome -- ($730 in donations/auction sales). Since Henry Young Fellowship Hall was unavailable while construction is underway in the building, we used the Choir Room.  It worked well, but is not accessible and may have kept some folks from coming.

Structure for our Group:  We agreed to try and keep with a regular meeting schedule and set up some working groups to oversee needed tasks and make progress reports at meetings.

Next meetings:   Saturdays from 11 am to 12:30 pm -- June 6, Aug. 1 and Oct. 3 (please note on your calendars/ places to be decided – contact Perry at 457-7833 or if you’d like to host one.)

Work Groups:  Coordinators are needed for the first two groups and members for all groups.  Please consider volunteering.
Education – Plan and implement ways to educate our congregation about Guatemala and the history and future of our partnership with the Q’eqchi’ Estoreno Izabal Presbytery.  This will include a general brochure explaining the partnership and its history (Janine will do this).  Other tasks include writing a more detailed partnership history (Soni will work on this and will check with Eva), planning other occasions/ways to inform the congregation about issues in Guatemala, and sending minutes of our Partnership Group meetings to a larger email list.
Fund Raising – Plan and coordinate fund raising strategies to help with expenses for the 2016 trip and any additional financial support we can provide for the work of our partners.  Use the 15 months between now and the trip to carry out a diversity of ways to raise money including the Aug. 8 St. Joseph’s Picnic Parking (Doug volunteered to coordinate this).  Some folks and church committees have asked the status of another  yard sale.  A decision needs to be made soon.  Soni wants to know if there is interest in opening  an on-going store in the old youth room to sell donations as a yard sale alternative.  Volunteers would need to sort/price items, but otherwise it would operate on an honesty basis.
Recruitment – Soni will coordinate.  Develop and maintain a database of members and visitors who have had past involvement with the Guatemalan Partnership or are interested in becoming involved. Partnership Group meeting minutes will be sent to this list.  Contact and interest information will be maintained and this group will help identify volunteers to help on activities of the other work groups as well as travelers for the trip.
Trip Planning – Perry will coordinate. Develop agenda in collaboration with our Guatemalan partners to outline details for destinations and projects.  We also want to visit the churches in the Presbytery’s eastern area near Belize.  Our partners have mentioned the possibility of our participation in a revival while there.  Our members also have expressed interest in doing activities with children and learning more about whether we could help get the sewing machines, donated to the Presbytery years ago by another group, into use.  Group also will make travel arrangements and plan orientations for travelers.

Submitted by:  Soni Castleberry


March 15th Kick-off and Silent Auction --  We want to thank those of you who attended this event to kick-off the planning and fund-raising for our 2016 Adult and Youth trip to Guatemala as well as  learn more about this ministry of our congregation. 

The next trip is scheduled for Sat., June 25 – Sun., July 3 of next year.  It will mostly include El Estor, but also the Presbytery’s churches in eastern Guatemala, near Belize, where we have never visited.  Adults and youth who have completed 9th grade by the time of the trip are eligible.

We raised $730 at the event from contributions for the food, donations and bids on the Guatemalan crafts.  We appreciate the support you gave to this ministry of our congregation.
Eight of the items in the auction did not receive bids.  If there is something you have had second thoughts about and wonder if it sold, call Soni Castleberry, 417-6481, and offer a bid.  If it was one of the unsold items we would be thrilled to sell it to you.  If you have not yet paid for an item you won, please get the money to Soni Castleberry (payable to CHPC) no later than Sunday, April 5 so that the event can be wrapped up most easily.

Many of you have asked about the delicious food that was served at the event and wanted contact information for the caterer.  It was La Casita’s catering group.  The contact is Chef Valentina Cruz.  She can be reached at  Her phone number is 502-836-1430.