Wednesday, February 22, 2017

El Tarasco fund-raiser


El Tarasco's at 110 Fairfax Ave in St. Matthews
Friday, February 24 and Friday, March  3
6:00-9:00 pm

Tell your server you support CHPC & 20% of your bill will go toward sending a few of us to Guatemala in April for a women's conference.

-Claudia

Latin dance party: 5-7 p.m., Saturday, March 4


February 11 gathering notes


A dozen folks met as CHPC's Guatemalan Connection Saturday afternoon, February 11.  They heard from Megan, who shared some insight from her January visit with Presbyterians in Cuba.  Shannon and Ben shared about their Guatemala City visit two weeks ago, for the Guatemala Mission Network gathering in Guatemala City.  They stayed with and spent a lot of time with Ramiro and Raul Contreras.  Ramiro reported verbally that - of the $1,500 CHPC had sent - the presbytery gave $250 to the presbytery's Presbyterian Women organization, would spend $250 on theological education for women, and spent $1,000 on church building improvements.  There was no written report yet.  Ben said all of the other North Americans there who were connected to partnerships represented U.S. presbyteries.  Ben, Shannon, and others at the meeting heard a presentation from leaders of the national Guatemalan Presbyterian church (the IENPG) (Shannon shared the Spanish-language "PowerPoint" slides with Connection folks by e-mail earlier in the day).  Ben said he believes the relationship between Estoreño Presbytery and the national church has matured (Ramiro is on the IENPG executive committee now) and Ben pitched for the group to think about sending any more money to the presbytery to do so if not through the PC(USA) (with its 10 percent administrative fee charge and backlog of money transfers) at least through the IENPG (with its 5 percent administrative fee charge).  That way there would be some transparency, both parts of the Guatemalan church would know what the other was doing, and the national church would require some sort of accounting from the presbytery. 

Ben also mentioned that Ramiro is considering studying to be a pastor and was planning to visit Texas, and this triggered an interesting discussion.  Sandra expressed concern about the eventual inclusion of financial transfers from CHPC to Estoreño Presbytery as part of the partnership, in general, and about the presbytery's re-allocation of $1,000 of the money sent his past fall from theological education to building construction.  She also worried about CHPCers cultivating an attitude of us as saviors.  A spirited discussion ensued, including some conceding that CHPC folks may have sent mixed messages about the delayed financial transfer, including possibly under-reacting when Ramiro started sending pictures of building construction.  Doug agreed to contact Ramiro to push for written documentation of how the money was spent.  With the documentation pending and the continued discussion about whether to send money and how to send it and how to respond to the re-allocation and having sent it late last year, Perry suggested holding off on sending any more money for a while.  

Ben mentioned that Ramiro mentioned that water quality has declined even in the past year in the El Estor area, especially because of the nickel mine, and they have been going up into the mountains above the nickel mine to get water.  Living Waters for the World made a presentation during the Guatemala Mission Network gathering, but Ramiro mentioned this before the presentation.  Some CHPC folks have been interested in clean water work in Izabal for a while, and Ramiro and Raul Contreras seemed to reciprocate a bit this time.  

On the Saturday, March 4 Latin Dance Party fund-raiser, Sandra reported that she has settled on 5:00-7:00 p.m. with the group providing the dance instructors and apparently Tim McNinch has updated and shared the flyer.  Mary will write up a blurb on the event and share with around the presbytery and submit it for the March CHPC newsletter.  Soni and Perry and provide and sell refreshments and Megan and Perry will help provide a cooling down room for kids in the Gathering Room.  Jane has contacted the church's nursery director and offered to pay her.  Perry agreed to create a Facebook event on the church's Facebook page to which people can be invited and about which people will be reminded.  People were reminded to personally invite people directly, possibly using some of the materials, and doing so also to non-CHPC people. 

Claudia asked about a second possible fund-raising event that was discussed in the past - a 10 percent night at El Tarasco in St. Matthews - and Perry said the management was just waiting for a proposed date.  Perry said it was unclear whether CHPC folks would be permitted to promote it with non-CHPC folks just happening by the restaurant.  Claudia will check with the restaurant about either Friday, February 24, or Saturday, February 25 (and over how many hours), since Perry said the management seemed to be indifferent about the days of the week.

It is likely that at El Tarasco customers would need to let their server/cashier know they are there partly to provide the CHPC Guatemala partnership with, and the group will design and print flyers for people to provide their server/cashier to remind them.  This event could be repeat-able.

Perry mentioned that he, Soni, Ben, and Jane have been working on planning the April visit, apparently now expanded to Thursday, April 19, to Sunday, April 23.  Perry cited Soni as saying as many as four to five people are interested in going.  After the meeting Ben and Perry continued to reach out to transportation offices and learned that the hotel the summer 2017 team stayed in in El Estor would run $26 a night per double room.  

Mary said she would shrink Tim's flyer, fit two on a page, print and cut it, and work with other Connection folks to pass it out to folks in worship on the next day.

Perry also mentioned that Outreach Council has recommended to the Session that the 2017 church budget include $1,500 for a donation to Estoreño (which the group had discussed in principle earlier on) and $1,000 for visits.  (No funds for the IENPG were proposed).  With the approximately $1,500 already sitting in the partnership account, that suggests there is abou5 $2,500 to help support the April visit in the account.

The group agreed on setting the next Connection gathering a week after the Latin Dance Party fund-raiser, at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 11.

-Perry

Monday, February 13, 2017

Lenten prayers

On these weeks Crescent Hill church will prayer for and with the following Guatemala partners:

-On Sunday, February 19, and during the week thereafter: Estoreño Presbytery Executive Committee, President Gerardo Pop Ich, and other officers.

 -On Sunday, February 26, and during the week thereafter:  Estoreño Presbytery Presbyterian Women organization, President Sandra, and other officers.

-On Sunday, March 5, and during the week thereafter:  Estoreño Presbytery youth and young adult organization, President Willman, and other officers.

-On Sunday, March 12, and during the week thereafter:  Peniel church in Boqueron, Pastor Fidel Juc, and members, deacons, and elders.

-On Sunday, March 19, and during the week thereafter: Familia de Noe church in El Estor’s Sinai neighborhood, Pastor Benjamin Sacul and family, and members, deacons, and elders.

-On Sunday, March 26, and the week thereafter: Lirio de los Valles church in El Estor’s San Jorge neighborhood, Pastor Mario Xo Ical and family, and members, deacons, and elders.

-On Sunday, April 2, and the week thereafter:  Puerta del Cielo congregation in the El Estor suburb of La Union of El Estor, Pastor Leonel Cacao, and all worshipers


-On Sunday, April 9, and the week thereafter: Arca de Noe church in El Estor, Pastor Santos Teyul Mucu and family, and members, deacons, and elders.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Thursday night


Last night Shannon and I enjoyed spending the evening in Antigua with Ana and Carlos David!  Our conversations centered on CHPC and hearing about their lives back in Guatemala!  It was sooooo Good to spend the evening with them and catching up with them.  They both send their love to all!!

Shannon and I are in the airport and all flights appear to be on time...  Mary, let us know if that changes:-).
Love you all and thank you again for allowing us to represent our church family!!

Mucho Amor!

-Ben


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Thursday morning from Guatemala City



Good Morning CHPC,

This past three days have been full of God's Presence, Grace, and Love!  I feel safe in speaking for Raul Contreras, Shannon, Ramiro, and myself by saying that the Guatemala Mission Network meeting has been pretty powerful.  We have had great discussion with our brothers Raul Contreras and Ramiro which we pray has strengthened our partnership.  Many of our conversations have focused on our strengths but some have focused of some of our challenges.  These conversations were full of honesty, joy, and love!  The four of us had a chance to present a drama on our partnership and we chose to act out what we have learned about fasting and prayer from our sister Churches from Estereno Presbytery.  Of course there was a lot of humor in our drama which created a lot of laughter from all!!  We have had many conversations with other U.S. churches and how they do partnership which has been extremely helpful.  Yesterday, all the U.S. churches meet while the Guatemalan Church meet.  This was very helpful to have open and honest discussions on many topics:  topics ranged from healthy partnerships to more delicate topics the sending of funds and the pro's and con's of sending through PC(USA) to the IENPG (Guatemalan national church) or directly to partners.  

A lot of good intentional work has been done and we will have a lot to share when we return.  One thing for sure,..... this Mission Network gathering has been extremely healthy and full of God's Presence.  

Thank you again for allowing us to represent CHPC!!!!

God's Peace!

-Ben


From Ramiro:  

Buen Dias hermanos somos Ramiro y Raúl queremos decirles que estamos muy contentos de estar compartiendo nuevas experiencias con nuestros hermanos Benjamín y Shannon, durante estos tres Dias fue de muchas bendiciones y hemos tenido mas fortaleza para Nuer Strops compañerismo y nuestras vidas tanto ficticio y espirituales....gracias adios.


Good Day my Brothers and Sisters!  From Ramiro and Raul, we would like to say to you that we are very happy to be sharing new experiences with our brothers Benjamin and Shannon, these past three days have been full of blessings which have strengthened our partnership and our lives both spiritually and physically.  Thanks be to God!

Wednesday night at the seminary