Last month the Trump administration announced several policy changes directed toward Cuba that reverse years of progress made toward normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations. These changes will negatively impact the lives of many and signal a shift back to failed Cold War policies in the region.Read more
A delegation of three church leaders from Cuba, Canada, and the United States visited Venezuela as part of an international, ecumenical campaign in solidarity with the Venezuelan people and churches. Joel Ortega Dopico, Executive Secretary of the Cuban Council of Churches and ACT Alliance Board Member; Jim Hodgson, Program Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Church of Canada, and Angel Luis Rivera-Agosto, Area Executive for Latin America and the Caribbean of Global Ministries were welcomed by Gamaliel Lugo and Eseario Sosa, General Bishop and Deputy General Bishop, respectively, of the Evangelical Pentecostal Union of Venezuela. In their visit, the church leaders had the opportunity to engage in dialogue regarding human rights, economic sanctions, constitutional and legal matters with government officials and non-governmental organization leaders. They also had the opportunity to meet a vast number of church leaders from both traditional denominations and grass-roots congregations in Caracas.Read more
Lectionary Selection: John 13:31-35
Prayers for Haiti:
All loving and gracious God, You have given us a new commandment - to love one another. We are to love others as You have loved us. You did not come to teach us only in words, not to rule over us with laws and regulations. And we thank You for being the perfect model of love. You came to show us how to truly be servants of others, and by doing so - we love. We pray, Lord, help us to put aside our egos, our “good intentions,” our personal agendas, assumptions, and fears, in doing so we can love others with a humble spirit and open heart so our actions will reflect and glorify You. Lord, help us to be ready, at any moment, at all moments - to love. Simply love.Read more
In this newsletter, EPES discusses a new mural painted at EPES offices by artist Pancho Ramos, the continued successes of the EPES international training program, EPES activities for International Women's Day, and continued educational initiatives around nutrition as well as sexuality.Read more
The Paraguayan Gran Chaco is a place of desert lands with large areas of red soil and palm forests. The people speak Guaraní, and the sun, with radiant splendor, smiles every morning on all: the farmer who tills the land, the indigenous woman working, the struggling peasant and the great landowners calculating their profits without looking at the need around them. For those indigenous and peasant communities, life can be very lonely and difficult. They have been fighting for their lands' rights in national and international courts. They are continuously building and rebuilding their homes as strong winds and floods ravage the zone from time to time.Read more
The Reverend Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland-Tune, Director of the Ecumenical Advocacy Days, started a recent sermon with the statement, “Saints, we are in trouble.” She expressed that, indeed, as we listen to the news or go to our newsfeeds on social media, there is no doubt that trouble is all around us. Our faith teaches us that trouble does not “last always,” nor does it have the final say in our lives. Copeland-Tune also said that we need to gather - believing that everybody can be a part of the solution for the troubles we face in our communities, nation, and world.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Luke 19:28-40
Prayers for Mexico:
We can be kind by David Friedman
So many things I can't control,
So many hurts that happen every day.
So many heartaches that pierce the soul,
So much pain that won't ever go away.
How do we make it better?
How do we make it through?
What can we do when there's nothing we can do?
We can be kind.
We can take care of each other.
We can remember that deep down inside
We all need the same thing.
And maybe we'll find
If we are there for each other
That together we'll weather whatever tomorrow may bring.
Nobody really wants to fight,
Nobody really wants to go to war.
If everyone wants to make things right
Then what are we always fighting for?
Does nobody want to see it?
Does nobody understand?
The power to heal is right here in our hands.
And it's not enough to talk about it.
Not enough to sing a song.
We must walk the walk about it
You and I,
Do or die,
We've got to try to get along.
We can be kind.
A Pastoral Letter by the Evangelical Federation of Churches (FAIE) in Argentina
Buenos Aires, in Lent 2019
Lent and Easter, the Passion and resurrection of Jesus, are central dates in the Christian tradition. Lent is the time of reflection, of repentance, prayer, and fasting for many Christian confessions. The Passion reminds us of the time of derision and the cross of Christ, and the Resurrection is the affirmation of hope, of the God of life.Read more
On Sunday, February 24, the Cuban population went to the polls to approve a new constitution, drafted by the National Assembly (the legislative house of representatives, called diputados and elected by the provinces).Read more