As participants in the Language and Cultural Immersion program of the Mesa Conjunta in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, my husband and I have gone to a boda (wedding) in a rural village, attended lively services with three different congregations and taken part in conversations and meals with many Disciple clergy and laity. All of this activity is arranged around 20 hours of language class with excellent teachers at the Centro de Idiomas that is right in the middle of this lovely colonial city with its countless plazas and parks.Read more
Religion, culture, and politics are intertwined in Mexico in ways that are very complicated and difficult to separate. What is clearer, however, is that choosing to be a Protestant in Mexico can have different implications than what is experienced in the United States.Read more
This last September the world was shocked by the sudden and massive disappearance of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Normal School near Tuxtla, Guerrero in Mexico.Read more
Is it mere coincidence that during this Advent season both the United States and Mexico continue a national soul searching brought on by unjust police actions in Ferguson, Missouri and Iguala/Ayotzinapa, Guerrero State? That racism in the U.S. and impunity and corruption in Mexico have troubled the national conscience and brought about horrific acts of heart rending brutality for decades is no secret.Read more
Former “bracero” with his wife at home in Zacatecas/”Bracero” en el pasado con su esposa en su casa de ZacatecasRead more
Lectionary Selection: Deuteronomy 34:1–12
Prayers for Mexico:
Gracious and loving God, we ask your blessing upon the churches of Mexico and the people who ARE the church in all places. Help us to remember with thanksgiving the work of the past prophets, ministers, missionaries, and visionaries of your church, even as the people of Israel have honored Moses. But let our hearts be with the Joshua’s who continue to embrace, to lead and grow the life of the church in this day and at this time. Lead us in our journeys of personal growth and help us to mature in our faith as we affirm and are affirmed by others on the journey. Let us be witnesses to the signs of your continued presence in our lives. Give us strength to know and do your will and to join in your work of justice, love, and grace in our time on your earth. In the name of Jesus Christ who shows us the way, we pray. Amen
Mission Stewardship Moment from Mexico:
"There has never been a prophet in Israel like Moses…” The changes in the image of the prophet in the Hebrew Bible remind us of the changing image of the missionary in our time. Missionaries today are definitely a change from the missionaries of the past hundred years in Central Mexico. We have no role in governance in our work with the Disciples of Christ and Congregational (UCC) churches of Mexico. Missionaries of former years in Mexico served congregations as pastors, determined the priorities of leadership development, and represented the Mexican churches in international conferences. Today, we participate in a new era of missionary service, an era of equal partners learning from and sharing the journey in faith of autonomous churches in the sending and the hosting country.
As ordained ministers, we preach and teach and are supervised and supported by the Joint Table for Mission Development, the “Mesa Conjunta” of the Mexican Disciples and Congregational Churches. And we are often reminded that we follow in the footsteps of the missionaries of the past who are fondly remembered, especially by many of the older Christians.
But it’s a new era with new relationships and we ourselves are a different breed. Prior to our presence, nearly all former missionaries are remembered as having difficulty with the spicy nature of the food in Mexico. Everyone is shocked that Kate thrives on the hot peppers and spicy salsa. She jokes that in her heart and in her stomach she is a true Mexican! (“En mi corazon y estomago, yo soy Mexicana!”)
Ours is a ministry of presence and we feel richly blessed to accompany Mexican sisters and brothers as they live their vision of mission in this new era of partnership. Ours is also a ministry of affirmation as church leaders meet today’s challenges. In praying and working for the churches in Mexico, we often find ourselves using the word “affirm.” We affirm the ministry of our partners and are in turn affirmed in so many ways by them. Even as Moses and Joshua affirmed and encouraged one another in a time of dramatic change for the people of Israel, we pray that our presence affirms our Mexican hermanos y hermanas, our brothers and sisters.
Mission Partners in Mexico:
- Confraternidad de Iglesias Cristianas Evangelicas (Discipulos de Cristo) (CICE)
- Iglesia Discipulos de Cristo de Mexico (IDCM)
- Iglesias Cristianas Congregacionales de Mexico
- Instituto de Estudios e Investigacion Intercultural, A.C. (INESIN)
- Mesa Conjunta
More information on Mexico:
Global Ministries Missionary in Mexico:
Kate Moyer, a member of Delhaven Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), La Puente, California,serves with the Joint Table for Mission Development formed by the Christian Congregational Churches of Mexico, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Mexico (ICDCM - Iglesia Cristiana Discípulos de Cristo de Mexico), and the Fraternity of Evangelical Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) of Mexico (CICEDCM – Confraternidad de Iglesias Cristianas Evangélicas (Discípulos de Cristo). She serves as a consultant for Mission Development, with emphasis on women’s development and theological education. Her appointment is supported by Our Churches Wider Mission, Disciples Mission Fund and your special gifts.
Douglas Smith, a member of Delhaven Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), La Puente, California,serves with the Joint Table for Mission Development formed by the Christian Congregational Churches of Mexico, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Mexico (ICDCM - Iglesia Cristiana Discípulos de Cristo de Mexico), and the Fraternity of Evangelical Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) of Mexico (CICEDCM – Confraternidad de Iglesias Cristianas Evangélicas (Discípulos de Cristo). He will serve as a consultant for Mission Development, with emphasis in stewardship and resource development. His appointment is supported by Our Churches Wider Mission, Disciples Mission Fund and your special gifts.
I recently interviewed my friend and colleague Elena Gomez Martinez, a 29 year old Maya indigenous woman from the San Gregorio de las Casas/Huixtan, Tsotsil and Tseltal, region of Chiapas, Mexico. I wanted to learn more about her community, family dynamics, the rights of the people, and the discrimination that her ancestors experienced.Read more
With immigration law reform such a hotly debated topic in the U.S. these days, we want to describe our path to legal residence on this side of the border. On May 2 this year we were granted “Temporary Resident” status in Mexico. In approving our application for residency for the period of two years, the Office of Immigration wrote us the following:Read more