Friday, January 29, 2016

2016 visit team: Applications due Monday!

You are invited to participate in Crescent Hill church's Saturday, June 25-Sunday, July 3 visit to the church's partner presbytery in eastern Guatemala. Information on the visit, including some eligibility information, along with an application for participation, can be found on a table in the Narthex. Applications are due in the church office by Monday, February 1. (There’s a folder in the ELL mailbox.)  Please prayerfully consider applying to be part of the Guatemala visit team. 

Friday visit fund-raiser: Tickets still available!

Tickets are still on sale for the Friday, January 29, 6:00-10:00 PM, fund raising event to support CHPC’s trip to visit our partners in Guatemala this summer. The event will include a Central American-style meal, catered by local ethnic cooks, a silent auction with creative, fun-filled items, plus a lively night of music by the band “Mundo Brew.” This group, made up of CHPCers Doug Yeager and Brad Wigger, and other local musicians will entertain you with a wonderful night of music including new works and classics in English and Spanish. Tickets are $25.00 per person; children can attend free.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Early 2016 Guatemala prayers

Early this year Crescent Hill church will pray with and for:
-On Sunday, January 24, and the week thereafter:  Huracan Mich congregation in Panzos, Pastor Oscar Tzul Coc, and all worshipers

-On Sunday, January 31, and the week thereafter:  Marc’am congregation, Pastor Gonzalo Tiul Choc, and all worshipers

On Sunday, February 7, and during the week thereafter: Makajam congregation, its leaders, and all worshipers.  

-On Sunday, February 14, and during the week thereafter: Nueva Alfa y Omega congregation, its leaders, and all worshipers

-On Sunday, February 21, and during the week thereafter: Estoreño Presbytery Executive Committee, President Gerardo Pop Ich, and other officers.

 -On Sunday, February 28, and during the week thereafter:  Estoreño Presbytery Presbyterian Women organization, President Carmen Quib Caal, and other officers.

-On Sunday, March 6, and during the week thereafter:  Estoreño Presbytery youth and young adult organization, President Byron Ottoniel Pop Paau, and other officers.

-On Sunday, March 13, and during the week thereafter:  Peniel church in Boqueron, Pastor Fidel Juc, and members, deacons, and elders.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

2015 Guatemalan Connection annual report

2015 was another transitional year for Crescent Hill church and its seven-year-old partnership with eastern Guatemala’s Q’eqchi’ Estoreño Izabal Presbytery.  Opting not to try to arrange a 2015 Crescent Hill visit to Guatemala, the evolving group of CHPC folks helping focus on the partnership got a new name – the Guatemalan Connection - and planned a summertime 2016 visit.  This will hopefully be the church’s fifth large-group visit, the fourth involving some youth and young adults, and the first to Izabal in four years.  The visit may include first-ever visits to Puerto Barrios, Livingston, and the Gulf of Honduras coast and more time in Izabal with more visits to out-of-the-way churches.

Building on the success of the second Kentuckiana visit by three presbytery leaders – in this case, by Ramiro Quib, Raul Contreras, and Rosa Marina, in October 2014 – the Connection stayed in touch with these and other presbytery leaders via phone call, e-mail, Facebook message, and text message during the year. 

The Guatemalan Connection worked with the CHPC session, Outreach Council, Stewardship Council, and Presbyterian Women to send the presbytery $1,250 in 2015.  The bulk of this money went to aid the participation of eight presbytery leaders in a theological training program for Presbyterians from Guatemala’s Mayan cultures run by the national Guatemalan Presbyterian church and Guatemala’s Presbyterian seminary.  Two leaders who have visited us – Ramiro and – from an earlier visit – Pastor Gerardo Pop – completed the training program and graduated in 2015.

Other highs and lows of the year included:  (1) a spring event after worship in the Choir Room – during a time when the back building was closed for renovation – with refreshments from our friends at La Casita, information and conversation about the partnership and the upcoming 2016 visit, and a silent auction with Guatemalan items; (2) the addition of several new people into the life and work of the Guatemalan Connection; and (3) the loss of longtime Connection activist Lowell Linder (known in Spanish-speaking circles as “Raul”), who had twice visited Guatemala, who went to be with the Lord mid-year.  Joining Lowell later in the year was Frisco, a kind of Connection mascot who had attended almost all of the partnership planning meetings held during the Guatemalans’ two visits.  Lowell’s departure was followed by a tremendous service celebrating his life and ministry, that brought together many folks who had been interested and involved in the partnership, as well as one of its spin-off ministries, the joint English language learners education ministry.

During the summer, Connection folks also participated in a pre-Big Tent Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Guatemala mission network gathering (probably our fifth) in Knoxville and jump-started fund-raising for the 2016 visit by parking cars for the neighboring annual St. Joseph’s Orphans’ Picnic. 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Invitation to be involved in the January 29 event

As you already know, we hope, CHPC has for the last nine years had an ongoing connection with a small presbytery in eastern Guatemala. For the first time in four years, we’re planning a visit to our friends there—June 25 to July 3, 2016. Even as we consult with our partners to plan the trip, we must begin to raise funds for it.

The principal fundraising event will take place at CHPC on Friday January 29 from 6:00 to 10:00. This fun-filled evening will include:

  • A Central-American style meal catered by local chefs who know the real deal;
  • A concert by “Mundo Brew,” a local band that includes CHPC members Brad Wigger and Doug Yeager plus CHPC friend Chris Elwood;
  • A silent auction of art, crafts, dinners, and services donated by CHPC supporters.
Tickets are 25 dollars. It’ll be fun and it’ll help. Please come. If you buy your tickets early it’ll help us plan more efficiently for it. We’ll be selling tickets in the Narthex for the next three Sundays before and after church, or call the church office at 893-5381 to make a reservation.

Would you consider contributing an item or a service to the silent auction? We especially like silent auctions because besides raising money for this worthy cause they bring people together: People bid on services and dinner parties and end up getting to know people outside their circles. This strengthens and diversifies the CHPC genome.

Here are some other ideas for what might work as a contribution to the silent auction

-If you’re an artist, contribute one of your works.
-If you know computers, offer two hours of troubleshooting.
-If you knit, contribute a scarf.
-If you enjoy entertaining, we’ll auction off a dinner party at your house.
-If your back is strong, offer to do yard work or clean out a garage.
-If you have a baseball autographed by Nolan Ryan, contribute that.
-If you are handy with tools, then offer a morning doing odd jobs.
-If you have a $25 gift certificate to Carmichael’s Bookstore, offer that.

Thank you very much for your help and your interest in CHPC’s Guatemala connection. 

Perry, Stephanie, Soni, Doug, Megan, Shannon, Mary, Ben, Janine, Peter, Elisabeth, Jane

P.S. To learn more about this summer’s trip, come to an information meeting in the back building after church on Sunday January 17.

January 2, 2016 gathering: Soni's notes with volunteer assignments

In attendance: Shannon Bostrom, Soni Castleberry, Perry Chang, Stephanie Gregory, Peter Kemmerle, Ben Langley, Janine Linder, Mary Love, Jane Larsen-Wigger, Megan McCarty, and Doug Yeager

Perry opened the meeting with prayer after several members shared their joys and concerns.

Communication with our partners: Since our partners are not meeting until tomorrow we decided to forego a call today. Instead, Doug volunteered to call Ramiro, and perhaps others, on Sunday night and Perry and Ben will try to join Doug at his house. They hope to confirm our visit and find out what opportunities our partners would like to plan for us while there, as well as whether they have a preference as to whether we hire PRESGOV for transportation or CEDEPCA for overall trip planning.

Trip planning: It is getting close to time to make definite commitments for those wanting to travel. It was agreed that 10-12 persons is the best size group. Megan said that she is unsure that any youth will be able to go. Two are considering it but personal interests, as well as Triennium, may conflict.

We agreed to have an informational meeting after worship on Jan. 17. The meeting will focus on giving folks some basic information about the visit and Perry will prepare a handout with details known or projected thus far. Commitments and deposits will be needed by early February for plane tickets.

Fundraiser: Our primary event will be Friday, January 29. Dinner and silent auction will be from 6-9 pm, with music by Mundo Brew from 7-10 pm. Tickets will be $25. Stephanie will contact caterers and email options for preparing the primary buffet items. Shannon volunteered to pick up the food and both he and Megan believed they could secure warmers to use. We will provide plates, cups, utensils, chips, salsa, etc.  Volunteers to work the food table that night include: Jane, Megan, Perry and Shannon.

Megan agreed to design the tickets within the next week as well as complete a flyer soon afterward. Soni will help with publicity beyond CHPC. Volunteers will sell tickets before and/or after church on Jan. 10 (Perry and Doug), Jan. 17 (Mary, before; she and Peter afterward), and Jan. 24 (Ben).

Peter brought a draft of a letter to send via USPS to most CHPC members. Suggestions were made and he will re-draft and email to all for final revisions. Plan is for the mailing to go out hopefully by Thursday, January 7. Peter will work with Patti Marcum on this.

Soni agreed to make a sign-up sheet for silent auction donations and to try and solicit donors this Sunday. Ben is also Elder of the Week and will announce the event, sign-ups for silent auction donations and upcoming ticket sales. Peter will do a Minute for Mission Sunday, Jan. 17.

Peter cannot attend the event but will prepare items for the auction until he goes out of town. Others volunteering to help with the silent auction on the 29th included: Janine, Soni and Stephanie. Doug will contact Amy Linfield for possible help. 

January 2, 2016 gathering: Perry's notes

The group cut the price for tickets for the Friday, January 29 Guatemala visit fund-raiser to $25 and agreed to designate dinner and silent auction from 6 to 9 and the music from 7 to 10.  Megan will develop tickets and a flyer, and Guatemala Connection folks will start selling tickets before and after worship Sunday, January 11.  Soni will continue to help lead the charge (and Mary and Megan expressed interest in this too) to help non-CHPC folks – other area Presbyterians, folks interested in Guatemala and Central America, and fans of the band – to invite non-CHPC folks to the event.  Peter will send out a draft hard-copy letter shortly for review and then work with Patti to get it mailed it to most CHPC households, hopefully at the end of the week.  The letter will focus on the silent auction, soliciting goods and services, and invite people also to buy tickets to the January 29 event.  It will ancillarily invite people to a non-food event in the Gathering Room (old chapel) in the back building, after worship on Sunday, January 17, which will provide information about the visit.  With that in mind, since the Estor    o Presbytery executive committee wasn’t meeting until Sunday, January 3, possibly to discuss the visit, Doug, Perry, and Ben agreed to try to talk by phone with Ramiro (or someone else) Sunday evening, January 3, to ascertain presbytery feedback/preferences about how that visit should go.  Perry will draft a Westminster Weekly blurb about the January 17 informational gathering, and a one-sheet handout about the trip – informed by Ramiro or whoever’s feedback – to pass out at the gathering.  Jane will write blurbs for the bulletin about it.  Stephanie and Perry will continue to explore catering options for the January 29 event, including La Casita.  The group will meet next in the Gathering Room 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday, January 16.  Connection folks signed up to sell tickets to the January 29 event – and solicit/sign up people to provide goods and services for the silent auction – during three weeks.  Ben will go ahead and make an announcement about the silent auction and ask people to start signing up items and services after worship this Sunday, January 3.  The possibility of people suggested “help wanted” – goods or services desired – was also mentioned.  People thought that the provision of services gives CHPCers a chance to fellowship too.  Folks also agreed to work on the food or the silent auction on Friday, Jan. 29.  Peter will spearhead the silent auction, until he departs on Jan. 25.  Others may be approached.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Guatemala Connection gathering 10-12 Saturday

Guatemala Connection gathering, 10:00 a.m.-12 noon, Saturday, January 2, at church.  Everyone is welcome.

Next Guatemala visit: June 25-July 3, 2016

Please consider being a part of the next pilgrimage to visit our Guatemalan partners. The dates set for the visit are June 25-July 3, 2016. We’re waiting to hear back from our partners about their hopes and plans for our visit. An informational meeting will be held sometime in January. In the meantime, if you have questions or just want to talk to someone who has gone before, feel free to contact any of these people—Perry Chang (457-7833 or, Soni Castleberry (417-6481 or, Doug Yeager (693-1800 or, Ben Langley (396-8980 or, or Jane Larsen-Wigger (893-5381 or


Guatemala Connection needs your support: Friday, January 29

Mark your calendars now for Friday, January 29, 6:00-10:00 pm, for a fund raising event to support CHPC’s trip to visit our partners in Guatemala this summer. The event will include a Central American-style meal, catered by local ethnic cooks, a silent auction with creative, fun-filled items, plus a lively night of music by the band “Mundo Brew.” This group, made up of CHPCers Doug Yeager and Brad Wigger, and other local musicians will entertain you with a wonderful night of music including new works and classics in English and Spanish. 

Tickets will be on sale in early January.  For more information, contact Perry Chang (502-457-7833) or Doug Yeager (502-693-1800). If you also would like to help produce this event, donate something for the silent auction, or know more about the 2016 trip, please let one of the above know of your interest, or come to the next Guatemalan Connection meeting this Saturday, January 2, 10:00 am in the back building at CHPC.

The summer trip to visit our Guatemalan partners is scheduled for Saturday, June 25 – Sunday, July 3. It is open to adults and youth who have completed 9th grade. The trip will include mostly El Estor, but also new areas in the eastern edge of the country plus Antigua.

- Soni