From Zionsville Christian Church
Our visit with our friends from the Concejo, Nora and Mayra has come to an end. We had these two ladies constantly on the move all week to take advantage of their limited time. There were tremendous amounts of help from the members of our Guatemalan Ministry but also from Zionsville Christian Church members who had never been to Guatemala!
Lectionary Selection: Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-28
Prayers for Guatemala:
Jesus, you heard your Father in the voice of a woman whom your countrymen despised; help us to hear your voice today in the words of those considered not worthy to eat at the table; move us to share the hope of a humane world. That in the voice of the excluded, we will feel called to share our food and our hope with those who long for salvation.
Pray with your fellow Guatemalans of the Christian Ecumenical Council of Guatemala.
Vitalino Similox, Secretary General, calls for a halt to the destruction of the human dignity of indigenous peoples; racism and discrimination. Indigenous people should be given the recognition of their right to self-determination.
Misael Méndez, Youth Pastoral Coordinator, implores that gangs stop involving young people in bloody violence; for an end to deaths from malnutrition and curable diseases cease; and to see an increase in opportunities for employment, education and a dignified life.
Nora Coloma of the pastoral of women, prays for an end to the sexism that violates women: patriarchy and authoritarianism, feminicide, street harassment, exclusion of women in decision-making spaces.
Let us hear your voice, purify us, O God, from the pollution that enslaves us; touch our hearts; let us listen, as you did to the Syrophoenician, in the voice of those who yearn for salvation.Read more
“ Por eso, aunque pasamos por muchas dificultades, no nos desanimamos. Tenemos preocupaciones, pero no perdemos la calma. La gente nos persigue, pero Dios no nos abandona. Nos hacen caer, pero no nos destruyen.” 2 Corintios 4:8-9
Viajé desde San Salvador, la capital de El Salvador, a Managua, Nicaragua en autobús. Cuando llegamos al lado salvadoreño de la frontera con Honduras, un oficial de policía entró en el autobús para hacer una revisión. Estaba enfocado en escribir en mi diario y no presté atención. Creo que eso lo hizo sospechar y me pidieron que bajara del autobús para la revisión. Bajé del autobús, recogí mi maleta y fui a una oficina donde tres policías comenzaron a interrogarme sobre quién era yo y qué hacía. Les dije que soy un misionero y pastor. Revisando mi equipaje, encontraron mis tarjetas de oración que corroboraron lo que estaba diciendo. Después de un tiempo, fui liberado y me fui muy enojado por su rudo trato.Read more
In November, I was traveling from San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador to Managua, Nicaragua in Ticabus. Arriving at the Salvadoran side of the border with Honduras, I was writing in my diary when a police officer entered the bus to make a check. I did not pay attention to him, because I was focused on my thinking. I think that made him suspicious – he might have thought I was hiding myself from him behind my writing and I was asked to dismount the bus for a check. I got off the bus, picked up my suitcase, and went to an office. In it there were three hostile policemen who rudely started interrogating me about who I was and what I do. I told them that I am a missionary and pastor. Checking my luggage, they found my prayer cards and with them, they corroborated what I was saying. After a while I was released. I left was very angry about their rude treatment.Read more
On 29 December 1996, a peace agreement was signed by the government of Guatemala and the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity officially ending the 36-year civil war. This historical event happened thanks to the spiritual, pastoral, economic, and political accompaniment of the Ecumenical Council, which included the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Christian Churches in the USA, the Latin American Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the United Church of Canada, and Global Ministries as well as the blessing of Pope John Paul II.Read more
“Colors, smells, costumes, music, languages, symbols, offerings, testimonies ... the diversity of Abya Yala unites in the hope of continuing the weaving of full life through the VIII Continental Meeting of Indigenous Theology of the Latin American Ecumenical Coordination of Indigenous Peoples, AELAPI, composed of indigenous networks sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church and the Latin American Council of Churches, CLAI.
For the first time CLAI, through its Indigenous Ministry, coordinated by the Reverend Miguel Salanic, hosted and organized this meeting, bringing together 235 men and women across the continent, of which 50 were representatives of churches and member organizations of CLAI. The meeting took place in Panajachel, in the southwestern Guatemalan Highlands, less than 90 miles from Guatemala City, from September 26th to 30th, 2016. One of the main challenges of the Encounter was affirm the value of ancestral spiritualities when they invite the community to talk “to God”, not “about God”.
These days allowed the participants to deepen on their ecumenical commitment in a broad and comprehensive sense and to go further on their efforts to foster different perspectives of knowledge and criticism of the reading and understanding of all the sacred books, to commitment themselves in every decolonization effort as each day they witness new forms of domination that threaten life: extractive economies, gender inequalities, fundamentalism in all its forms, they said. Here is the Final Declaration of the event:Read more
The Ecumenical Christian Council of Guatemala has sent the following press declaration:Read more
I am sure that most of us stayed awake until late hours waiting for the U.S. Presidential primary results. Both Republicans and Democrats have begun a race full of competition, commercials, social media, mutual deception, and challenge over who will prevail at the end of the process. There will be winners and losers and some people will celebrate while others will go away in silence and frustration because their candidate didn’t win the race.Read more
Continental Christian Network for Peace: A Latin American Initiative for building peace with justice
Inspired by an ecumenical spirit and concerned about the reality of violence in our continent, leaders from 10 countries and from different religious traditions, ethnicities and generations, met at the retreat home center at La Milagrosa, located on the outskirts of the City of Guatemala on January 21-25, 2016. The Continental Christian Network for Peace (CCNP) reflected and analyzed the different situations of violence and the task of developing a work plan to coordinate efforts and initiatives for building peace, justice and non-violence.Read more