Today was the first day of the Mam Presbytery meeting. Donna Elia, Jerry McKinney, Bonnie Orth, and I were warmly greeted as ever, and shared greetings from Albany Presbytery. We spent time during lunch reviewing the partnership agreement with our Mam brothers and sisters, and together made some adjustments and hope to officially affirm it tomorrow. This agreement has been several years in creation, because it takes time to really work through such a document mutually across cultures and languages and the limits of time. As always, the process was made possible by the translation (of both language and culture) provided by Emerson Morales of CEDEPCA; for this trip we also have the honor and pleasure of having CEDEPCA’s Executive Director, Judith Castaneda with us. Our work has also been greatly enhanced and supported by PCUSA Mission Co-Workers Sandi and Brian Thompson-Royer.
In the afternoon, we spent time with the Presbyterial (Women’s Group) hearing about their hopes and dreams in working to improve life in their congregations. We spent time in Bible Study, using mutual invitation to explore God’s message to us through the words of Galatians 3:23-29, particularly verse 26:
There is no longer Jew or Greek,
there is no longer slave or free,
there is no longer male and female;
for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. (NRSV)
One of our Mam sisters shared her thoughts: Even though in the world there are still separations and people are not equal, through faith and God’s promises we can have hope and confidence that someday the world will be one where “there is no longer Guatemalan or U.S. citizen, gringo or gringa, for all will be one in Christ.”