Every summer a group of Duke Divinity School Students, faculty, staff and pastors take a journey seeking to worship with members of another culture and to broaden the relationship between the Divinity School and Mexico’s Methodist Church. The program is led by the Thriving Rural Communities Initiative and the Hispanic House of Studies who “…seeks to be a resource center and offer accompaniment to students, pastors, and congregations in their efforts to serve the Hispanic and Latino/a community in the United States as well as in discerning how the H/L population can contribute to the future of the Church at large.”
On May 26th, 16 people will travel with Rev. Ishmael Ruiz-Millan for about a week, flying into California, travelling to Tijuana, Mexico and traveling the border into Arizona. I have been given the privilege to be a part of this year’s group, and I thought I would share some of the reasons why I applied to go.
Why do you wish to take part in Encuentro 2017? What blessing(s) do you hope to receive?
One of the 3 areas of missional focus for the Capital District is to be in ministry with our Hispanic/Latino neighbors. Many of the churches in our district have a desire to begin or expand in the ways that they are in ministry with this diverse community, but most don’t know how. I have a strong desire to better understand the reality and challenges of immigrants so that I can be an advocate and spokesperson to encourage our congregations to engage in ministry with this growing community in our midst. Encuentro would give me an opportunity to see first-hand what people encounter and to better understand the complex immigration issues. I am sure that as my eyes are opened I will be better equipped with a renewed sense of urgency to seek justice for those who feel led to migrate.
In what ways might Encuentro 2016 strengthen you in your Christian life and service?
Over the last few years I have had the opportunity to form relationships with several people involved in Hispanic/Latino ministries in our district and in our conference. I have been greatly blessed by these relationships. I have also read several books and heard several speakers that have made an impression. I realize that the Kingdom of God to come will be a wonderful cultural mixture of people and I don’t want to wait until the next life to experience this rich diversity. My prayer is that I will continue to see the face of God in others as I broaden my horizons through multi-cultural experiences and relationships.
I look forward to sharing about my experience with you!
If you would like to print or share this edition of Claire…ification,
you are encouraged to use this pdf:
Claire – Why I’m Participating in Encuentro … 05.25.2017
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