Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Early October gathering notes

Half a dozen Crescent Hill folks gathered to brainstorm about the Guatemala mission partnership.  Coming out of this were some commitments.

Perry, Elisabeth, Soni, and Mary committed to update/improve on/add to/redirect Elisabeth’s visit/partnership information sheet, all the more so in preparation for possible 2017 visits. The group will turn this into a Frequently Asks Questions, will add some detail about visitor commitment to visits, and will give context about changes in the presbytery during our involvement.  Mary will turn it into a flyer, with graphics.

Perry committed to sending a check to the PC(USA) lockbox in Pittsburgh for registration for four (two CHPC folks – apparently Ben Langley and Shannon Bostrom – and two yet to be determined Estoreño Presbytery reps) and connecting with Shannon about completing the paperwork to participate in the Guatemala Mission Network gathering in Guatemala City at the end of January.  The presbytery has said Yes to this via Ramiro.

Perry and Elisabeth promised to call a number we have either for Ema or Sandra, presbytery leaders, to confirm what Ramiro said:  that they don’t have firm dates yet for the presbytery women’s gathering in April.  As many as eight CHPC women are interested in attending that, which they invited us to.

Perry committed to checking in with Sandy and Brian Thomson-Royer and Debbie Welch about possibly participating in that also.

Elisabeth, Mary, and Soni concluded that the various Guatemala accounts have about $3,000 in them.  Keeping in mind fund-raising needs for possible April visitors, the group decided to ask Ben and Shannon if they would contribute $100 each to the visit. It’s not yet clear whether the group, or Ben or Shannon or both, will physically be purchasing the tickets.

Fund-raising for the April trip to the women’s retreat in Guatemala:  Soni raised the possibility of the church trying to replicate something we did before:  inviting Leslie McClure Rodriguez to sing at church and charging ticket prices.  Soni committed to contacting Doug and Leslie about this.  The group talked about doing something in February, as with this past year.  Involving the people interested in participating in the April visit – which might be under a week total – would also be a goal.

The group committed to gathering again at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 12, in the Gathering Room in the back building, if available.

Elisabeth helped translate Ramiro’s latest messages, including that Ramiro, Raul Contreras, and Fidel were apparently all in Cobán at a meeting in which a new Q’eqchi’ synod was beginning the process of organizing.  Perry and Stephanie also reported that they had tried again to send the Estoreño Presbytery money on behalf of the church, after the last wire transfer failed.


Saturday, October 8, 2016

October gathering

Interested in updates from the Estoreño Presbytery's annual (late September) assembly or in planning possible early 2017 Guatemala visits?  Stop by the Guatemalan Connection's gathering at 11:00 a.m. (October 8) in the Gathering Room in the back building. Doughnuts will be served. Everyone is welcome.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

September Guatemalan Connection gathering notes

About ten people gathered and shared thoughts about partnership engagement/ outreach/education/involvement of the congregation with Estoreño Presbytery mission, and future Guatemala visits.  Follow-up activities after the summertime 2016 visit – the July service that visit team members led, the early August Food for Thought lunch/presentation the early August St. Joe’s parking cars fund-raiser – were discussed, as well as concerns heard from CHPC folks about the some aspects of the visit, including the expense.

The group talked about possibly sending the Presbytery about $1,500 (as soon as possible):  $1,000 for 2016 theological education, $250 for pre-registration for new participants (including some women) in 2017 theological education, and $250 for the presbytery’s PW organization for visiting of female church leaders across the presbytery or pastoral needs of women and families in the presbytery.  The group also talked about the possibility of sending one or two people to the January Guatemala Mission Network gathering in Guatemala City and one or two women to the Estoreño Presbytery PW gathering in April 2017.  Possible expenses associated with this – in addition to flights – would be registration (which includes food and lodging) for the network meeting, and – likely either way – registration for probably two Estoreño Presbytery leaders and their travel expenses.

Pastor Jane reported that there might be as much as $4,000 total in the two CHPC Guatemalan mission accounts, but that some money ought to be kept in the account that rolls over for future benevolence or visits (either one way or the other).

The group asked Perry to check with Presbytery leaders – who are set to meet in a couple of weeks – to see if those were still plausible activities, to make sure we would receive reports back, and to find if the Presbytery would like to send a couple of representatives to the Mission Network gathering and to double check the dates for the presbytery PW gathering.  Also important to know are the deadline for pre-registering new people for 2017 theological education and for the network gathering.

There was also some discussion about some additional joint activities and/or adoption/adaptation of Q’eqchi’ Estoreño spiritual practices:  prayer vigils, fasting, joint prayer (World Communion Sunday?).

Ben and Jane expressed interest in attending the Network gathering.  Perry asked about some long-time or relatively new Guatemalan Connection folks – including some people who have not yet been able to been on CHPC visits to Guatemala or have only done so once (such as Elisabeth, Cara Bridgman, Mary Love, Carrie Bridgman, or – mentioned later – Megan McCarty) (or possibly Eva or Andrea or Claudia or Kate) – as possible women’s meeting participants (along with possibly Jane, Soni, or Stephanie).

The group is slated to meet next at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 8.