Greetings to our brothers and sisters in Christ!
Our “Unity of Sisters Parishes” conference in El Salvador continues to be a memorable experience for all of us. Tuesday and Wednesday (November 17-18) provided more opportunity for us to discover and strengthen our relationship with our Lutheran brothers and sisters in El Salvador.
Tuesday’s program included a dialogue by Carlos Rauda on the “Sustainability and Strategic Processes of the Salvadoran Lutheran Church.” This was followed by a presentation from Bishop Gomez on “Pastoring in the Current Historical Context.” The delegation present then viewed a new video that summarized and further explained how the partnership with our sister parishes in El Salvador works and the path and projections for a continuing relationship.
During the lunch break, some of our Metro D.C. group went to the University of Central America here in San Salvador and visited the Oscar Romero museum and the site where the six Jesuit priests and their housekeepers were killed. Such an experience is beyond words in description of the brutality that took place and yet the continuing hope and strength of the Salvadoran people in the midst of their fight for justice and equality.
The afternoon sessions offered opportunities for the various partnering churches throughout the world with El Salvador to share their stories and comment on their ministries of accompaniment.
Wednesday’s session provided the entire delegation opportunities to make visits to the various communities in what is called “Microregions” of ministry that included the western parts of the country, Cara Sucia, Central South, Nahualapa and Los Olivos.
Many of us experienced the recent devastation from Hurricane Ida which again words cannot adequately express or define. We met a number of families who were simply keeping vigil of what was left of their homes, grieving not only their material loss but for many the death of their immediate family members. Such an experience for us will never be forgotten!
The evening concluded with entertainment of indigenous dance and art forms from local Salvadoran groups. The joy of fellowship and partnership with not only our Salvadoran brothers and sisters but our global partners highlighted the meaning and purpose of our trip.
We look forward to sharing with you the experiences of our conference and presenting to you the wonderful opportunities offered to our Metro D.C. Synod in such partnerships in El Salvador. We will be returning late on Thursday evening (November 19) after a week of profound experiences and memories that will serve to motivate our ministries in the future.
God’s peace be with all of you! – Pr. Mike Magwire