Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Early summer 2017 prayers

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

-On Sunday, June 4, and during the week thereafter: Estoreño Presbytery Executive Committee, President Gerardo Pop Ich, and other officers.

 -On Sunday, June 11, and during the week thereafter:  Estoreño Presbytery Presbyterian Women organization, President Ana Coc Tiul, and other officers.

-On Sunday, June 18, and during the week thereafter:  Estoreño Presbytery youth and young adult organization, President Willman, and other officers.

-On Sunday, June 25, and during the week thereafter:  Peniel church in Boqueron, Pastor Fidel Juc, and members, deacons, and elders.

-On Sunday, July 2, 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, July 9, 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, July 16, 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, July 23, and the week thereafter: Arca de Noe church in El Estor, Pastor Santos Teyul Mucu and family, and members, deacons, and elders.

May 13 meeting notes

Megan: April visit was really, really good—but brief. Had a good visit with Brian and Sandy –stayed at their house for 2 nights – travelled with two Guatemalan women – wife of a minister and one of the eight women ministers in the country – they both live west of GC – their interpreter was xx’s daughter – she doesn’t speak Spanish, so they weren’t able to

Soni: it’s different going with just 2 people, without fluent Spanish speakers – It was exciting and scary for her – she did have some fear about going on this trip – was she going to get overtired, was going with different folks, things weren’t as “settled” as previous trips she’s been on – Be Not Afraid (No Temos) was meaningful for her – the business meeting was the most meaningful for her – here in the US, we have the slate o officers well planned out ahead of time – but there, they sat for a long time waiting for the Spirit to move someone to step up – it was a moving experience – Anna, who had been the secretary, was moved to agree to be the president – the men were supportive and encouraging the women to step up – she really wanted to see Macaria, who had stayed with them on the first visit here – but there was not enough time after the worship service – there are some issues with some of the churches – the Espritus Santo Church has never sent anyone to the meetings – they made a visit to the church, but the pastor met them at the door and wouldn’t let them in at all – she doesn’t know what’s going on, but apparently there is something going on there – Arca de Noe Church also didn’t send anyone – it is Sandra’s church – Soni wished that she could have spent more time with the individual women from the churches that we have visited on previous trips – the Diplomas – Raul seemed to have a very good rapport with the women’s leadership – Fidel volunteered to take Raul’s place for the coming year – the domestic violence training that is going on was discussed at the meeting –

Total cost of the trip is about $2900, including travel – Megan and Soni do want to contribute $800 – they need to reimbursed roughly $700 – Ben: we need to reimburse you for the total cost – Doug: we need to reimburse you for most of the cost of the trip – Soni: I’ve paid some of my costs in the past and expect to do the same this time – next year’s Synodica will be April 20, 2018 at La Guittara Church (Pastor Gerardo’s church) – Soni and Megan will decide how much they will be reimbursed –

Do we want to send some of our money through PCUSA – need to make sure IENPG gets some money, too – but each of those take a cut from what we send – but Shannon & Ben think it would be better to send through IENPG – so how much do we send through IENPG and how much through PCUSA for the Women’s Educational Training Fund – ask Brian and Sandy how to set that up – and Amanda Craft might be able to help us, too – how much do we want to send? – $1500 – uses: theological education, basic education for women, money for women to make visits to other churches, and the domestic violence training – half for theological education, half for women’s education and church visits – Ben will reach out to Sandy and Brian to find out the best way to make this happen – Soni will write a letter in English and Ben will do a Spanish translation – plan a Food for Thought (Ben, Shannon, Megan, and Soni) and do a M4M the Sunday before – dates: July 9th for Food for Thought, July 2nd for Minute for Mission

Doug is donating pictures of Guatemalan traditional clothing to be put up somewhere in the back building (hall?) – Soni has put out on consignment several of the items that did not sell at the yard sale and is donating the proceeds to the Guatemalan Connection – maybe we could use this as a fundraising possibility –

This year’s St. Joe’s Picnic is August 12th.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mother's Day Eve gathering

Learn about Soni Castleberry and Megan McCarty’s participation in an April Estoreño Presbytery Presbyterian Women’s gathering at a Saturday, May 13 Guatemalan Connection gathering in the back building Gathering Room.  Everyone is welcome.

April Fool's Day meeting notes

Present: Perry, Ramiro, Janine, Shannon, Megan, Stephanie, Mary, Soni, Ben, Elizabeth, Jane, Doug, Carrie

Perry opened our meeting with prayer.

Ramiro shared with us (Doug, Ben, Elisabeth, Perry, Jane, Carrie translating): he sees us as friends, not strangers – his business in El Estor has not been good – the new president has brought hard economic times – they have food but not much of anything else – his friend in Fort Worth invited him to come up because he had work – he’s used to being the boss at home, so he wasn’t sure he’d like working for someone else – his friend was putting pressure on him in TX on the job, so he was getting ready to come home when Perry called – so he came to see that God was not calling him to work so hard but instead to work with God – his friend told him if he came to KY he wouldn’t have a job when he came back – his work visa (180 days each time he comes) is good until the end of June, but he may go home before then – he was hassled by Customs/ICE when he came into the country – they asked a lot of questions about the Presbyterian Church in Guatemala – he’s feeling better than when he was here in 2014 – he’s gotten some vitamins and medicine for his diabetes – his family is doing well – his daughter is part of the women’s group – his daughter is 3½ months pregnant – the first grandchild! – his wife still has a job – she has a side business helping people w/their medicines – (health care is better here – he may need for the doctor to send the prescription to a pharmacy here in the states so that he can get it before he goes back)

The presbytery meeting was March ??(I accidentally deleted the date) – Pastor Fidel is standing in for him as treasurer of the presbytery while he’s in the US – (We asked about the money we sent for seminary scholarships) nobody else wanted to go to the seminary in Coban – there are a lot of bandits on the road to Coban, so other than the four who have already gone/are already going (Pastors Santos, Fidel, Jose Sub and Jorge Ortiz), there are no new ones going to the seminary – they’ve been looking to get the seminary extension service to come to El Estor, but the leadership of the seminary has changed so that’s on hold for the time being

The new synod is in the process of being formed – a committee is studying this – the Assembly for the Synod is in May, and that’s when the decision will be made – the proposal is for a GA with four synods –the Synod will be Emmanuel (in Q’eqchi?) with 4 presbyteries – each presbytery will have two pastors and two leaders as reps to the synod – he is finishing his term w/the national church executive committee – the president and secretary of each presbytery will be reps to the synod and the GA meeting

He is considering becoming a pastor – he was almost ordained to the ministry last September, but he wasn’t sure – he wasn’t thinking of it so they surprised him with the offer – he has to have a call before he can be ordained – after he has a call, the presbytery will examine his life, his family life, his friends, etc. and then if they approve they’ll ordain him – they have lay pastors who preach, but they cannot do weddings or officiate for the sacraments – Ramiro preaches when he has the opportunity – he will be able to help serve communion tomorrow at CHPC – at El Estor they have communion every month

His truck is still not working – it has no motor! – he’s jobbing the work of his business out to others who have trucks – does he have any questions for us? – he had hoped to have an activity planned so that we could see more of what they are doing – he thanks us for our prayers and financial support – he didn’t come with anything in writing as a report on how the money has been spent – (note: I’m not at all sure I’ve gotten these numbers right) 1,800 quetzales to the women, 1,800 quetzales to the churches for the trips to the cities – 300 quetzales for each church’s round trip to the city – the presbytery has also been supporting those trips – with the leftover money from us and some the presbytery had, they gave 2,000 quetzales for construction projects at all the churches – all the others got ?? for construction projects – the church CHPC folks went to had a dirt floor, so the presbytery gave the cement, the church gave the sand and the labor – because of the unsafe conditions on the road to Coban no new folks wanted to go for training – the road is bad and the banditry is bad – day and night the roads are unsafe

Our visit to the woman’s meeting: it’s a presbiterial meeting – the executive committee members of each church will be there – total of 30 to 40 women there – the meeting will be in the Galilee church – (if Soni and Megan don’t want to stay until late at night through the entire worship service, they can say they’re tired and can leave!) – the meeting is at Puerta del Cielo Iglesia – west of town – Enrique will be the chauffer for Megan and Soni – he’ll meet them at the airport -- as soon as the interpreters have been finalized, Ben will let them know – Ben will let them know about the final arrangements: where they will stay, how they will travel in Guatemala, etc. – the national women’s synod folks will be attending as well – Megan and Soni will have 2-3 minutes to speak to the gathering – the meeting will be in Q’eqchi’ and Spanish – the presbytery executive committee (men) will be there as well to observe – each women’s group is contributing 150 quetzales towards the expenses for the meeting – Soni asked if their presbytery has had the “Men in the Mirror” training offered to them – they had a preview at the presbytery meeting, but they haven’t started it yet – Ramiro thinks it would be a good idea – Rosa Marina’s church got the largest share of the 19,000 quetzales we sent [2,500 quetzales to her church [[Monte Sinai]], Ramiro said later] – the presbytery surprised the church with the money, and it went a long way towards healing the bad feelings there – they asked why we didn’t visit them when we were there – the presbytery folks explained that it was because the roads were so bad that even the presbytery folks were scared when they went there – Rosa Marina will probably be at the presbiterial meeting next month – She has formed a small women’s group in her church that is more Pentecostal than they’re used to – Macaria has gone blind, so she has moved in with her daughter – she can only come to church when her daughter can bring her – Ben will call and arrange for Soni to see her.

Ramiro has been staying with Perry and Stephanie but will stay with Carrie and James this afternoon through tomorrow morning. Carrie, James, and Ramiro will join Mary, Stephanie, and Perry at the Roderick’s tonight for that group’s Cottage Supper.

The meeting was adjourned with prayer.