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Sabbatical Experience Offered in Mexico

March 18, 2014

Global Ministries announces a sabbatical immersion program being offered in Mexico.  This opportunity is being initiated by the Joint Round Table, which consists of three partner churches in Mexico: the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Mexico, the Fraternity of Evangelical Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) (CICE), and the Christian Congregational Church of Mexico. As part of this immersion opportunity, participants will visit, worship, and build relationships with communities affiliated with the Round Table.  If you are interested in applying, please contact Doug Smith by email or phone at 440-100-7017 .


IMMERSION IN THE LANGUAGE AND CULTURE OF MEXICO

Description of the Experience

An intensive learning experience of the language and culture of Mexico which takes advantage of the long standing ties of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ with leaders of churches in Mexico.

Goal of the Experience

The experience aims to sensitize and instruct leaders of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ in the U.S. in the mother culture which shapes the majority of Spanish speaking residents in the communities in which they serve.  It is also intended to enable participants to engage monolingual Spanish speakers in basic conversation on their return to their communities.

Structure and Organization of the Course

The course will last for two months.  Each week participants will attend 20 hours of Spanish  language instruction at the Language Center of the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi in the historic City center of San Luis Potosi.  The level of Spanish of each participant will be determined by an exam at the beginning of instruction.  This exam will indicate whether a one on one or group class of 2 to 4 participants will best enable progress in the language.

On the weekends and some evenings participants will be able to take advantage of conversations focusing on cultural themes and their influence in the growth and ministry of the Protestant communities of faith in Mexico.  On Sundays they will be invited to participate in worship in one of the CICE congregations of the Disciples of Christ in the San Luis Potosi area.

Lodging will be provided at the Center for Theological Studies of the CICE Disciples with breakfast and dinner offered daily.  During the week a lunch can be purchased near the Language Center.

On some weekends, visits to churches in rural areas near San Luis Potosi will be offered.  These trips are offered to enable experience of rural life in Mexico and will be led by persons familiar with the history and culture of the church and community to be visited.

Towards the end of the two months, a visit to Guadalajara or Aguascalientes to meet with leaders of one of the two other church organizations in the Roundtable (“Mesa Conjunta”) will be offered. Depending on the calendar of the participant, visits to both sites might be organized.

Profile of the Participants

Leaders of congregations of the UCC or Disciples who have demonstrated a desire and capacity to learn from other cultures are candidates for this course.  Persons who are best able to learn from this experience will be asked to commit themselves to following some guidelines of conduct in their interactions with members of the communities of faith visited.

Management of the Course

Members of the CICE Disciples churches in the area of San Luis Potosi will be responsible for the logistics  of organizing the schedule of classes, trips, meetings with leaders, and the lodging and feeding of the participants.  Rev. Douglas W. Smith, long term Service Volunteer assigned to the Mexican Roundtable, will serve as Consultant to the Management Board.  A member of the Board will take responsibility for the finances and as treasurer for the Management Board will provide financial reports to the CICE Executive Committee and to the Roundtable.

Application Process

Candidates will apply to the office of Global Ministries in either Indianapolis or Cleveland.  Selection of participants prepared to benefit from the course will be made in consultation with the Management Board in San Luis Potosi.

Cost Estimates

A total of between $2500 and $3000 will cover room and board, transportation for visits, Spanish instruction and materials.  The nature of Spanish instruction, one on one or group class of 2-4 participants will determine the final cost.  The round trip flight to and from San Luis Potosi will be the participants’ responsibility.



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