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Thursday, July 31, 2014

NEWS FROM EL SALVADOR - IARCA - Savior of the World: ¨Pastorally inclusive ministries¨

U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador Mari Carmen Aponte and the Canadian and German ambassadors attending the screening of “Before God, We Are All Family, at the National Museum of Anthropology in San Salvador attended by more than 70 people. Photo: Lynette Wilson/ENS
[Episcopal News Service – San Salvador, El Salvador] When Bessy Rios’s brother Cruz Torres – then a college student – told her he was gay, she cried for three days.
At the time Rios, a lawyer, was a volunteer with a human rights organization looking for missing children displaced by El Salvador’s 12-year civil war, and a colleague said to her: “Your brother is still your brother. The only thing that is different is that you know something today that you didn’t know yesterday.”
In hindsight, Rios, who leads “Holding your Hand,” a support group for families of LGBT people that accompanies the Anglican-Episcopal Church of El Salvador’s sexual diversity ministry, grew up defending her brother, first from her father who recognized his son’s femininity and threatened to “shoot him between the eyes” if he was gay; later from bullies on the playground.
Still, her brother’s declaration floored her. For 15 years, she said, her brother hid his identity.
In El Salvador and the other countries belonging to the Anglican Church in Central America, or IARCA, its Spanish acronym, hiding one’s homosexual identity remains still somewhat common; the LGBT community suffers violence, threats and discrimination, the latter rooted in deeply held Roman Catholic and evangelical Christian teachings.
Homophobia, heterosexism and machismo, the cultural attitudes driving the deeply held societal beliefs that fuel hatred and discrimination in El Salvador, are what Rios, human rights organizations, the church’s sexual diversity ministry and other activists are working to change.
“I fell in love with the cause,” said Rios, a mother of four, who in addition to working full time advocates for LGBT rights and coordinates “Holding your Hand.”
Forming a family support ministry, regardless of Rios’s resolve, however, has been slow-going, she said, because family members still prefer to meet with her one-on-one rather than in groups, since they, too, want to protect their privacy and in some cases family reputations.
In early July, Rios shared her story with a group of 12 North Americans studying LGBT rights in El Salvador as part of an LGBT pilgrimage organized by Washington National Cathedral and Foundation Cristosal’s Global School.
“This is the first time that Cristosal has gotten involved in LGBT issues,” said Ernesto Zelayandia, coordinator of the Global School, whose curriculum fosters global citizenship. “Our main goal is to foster spaces for dialogue to solve today’s problems.”
Formed in 2009, the Anglican-Episcopal Church in El Salvador’s sexual diversity ministry offers a place for LGBT people to be themselves, find community and re-establish a relationship with a loving, rather than a condemning, God.
Bishop of El Salvador Martin Barahona was IARCA’s primate in 2003 when the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire elected Gene Robinson, now retired, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, an election that sent shockwaves throughout the Anglican Communion.
“I was the one bishop in Latin America who attended Gene Robinson’s consecration,” saidBarahona, in an interview with ENS in San Salvador.
Following Robinson’s consecration, Barahona established pastorally inclusive ministries in three areas: people with physical disabilities, sexual diversity and at-risk youth. (The Anglican-Episcopal Church played a major role in negotiating the truce between El Salvador’s two most notorious gangs and the bishop has been known to minister to gang members.)
The sexual diversity ministry became a part of the Rev. Luis Serrano’s congregation at St. John the Evangelist in an area of San Salvador called “Savior of the World,” where a statue of Jesus Christ stands upon planet earth.
“We began to open the hearts, the doors of the church, and then the community began to have confidence in the church, and then they began to come,” said Barahona...there is more:
Thanks to AMIGOS de IARCA, facebook
Thanks to The Episcopal News Service, sidebar
Thanks to The Episcopal Diocese of El Salvador, IARCA

PLANNING A VISIT TO ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA?  


St Alban Mission holds English services every Sunday at Noon

Casa Convento Concepcion, Antigua Guatemala, All are welcome.

See welcome letter at the sidebar.

St. Alban English Mission, Antigua, Guatemala is an outreach project of The St. James English parish, Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala, IARCA


The Most Reverend Armando Guerra Soria,  Rector of St. Alban Mission, Bishop of Guatemala and Primate of Central America

The Reverend Ricardo Frohmader 
Associate Minister of St. Alban Mission
Antigua, Guatemala


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

MAYA CAKCHIQUEL - EPISCOPAL CELEBRATION: Santa Maria de Quiche honors Padre Alberto Cuc, 35 years after priestly Ordination

¨Felicitaciones Padre Alberto. Saludos a toda la gente cakchiquel de Santa Maria¨


The Most Reverend Armando Guerra Soria, Bishop of Guatemala and Primate of IARCA


¨Celebrating with my people, my 35 years of priestly ordination¨

The Reverend ¨Padre¨ Alberto Cuc

PLANNING A VISIT TO ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA?  


St Alban Mission holds English services every Sunday at Noon

Casa Convento Concepcion, Antigua Guatemala, All are welcome.

See welcome letter at the sidebar.

St. Alban English Mission, Antigua, Guatemala is an outreach project of The St. James English parish, Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala, IARCA


The Most Reverend Armando Guerra Soria,  Rector of St. Alban Mission, Bishop of Guatemala and Primate of Central America

The Reverend Ricardo Frohmader 
Associate Minister of St. Alban Mission
Antigua, Guatemala

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Episcopal Diocese of El Salvador/ IARCA: Religioso ¨Gay Bishop ¨ llega al país para promover derechos humanos de comunidad LGBTI (Bishop Robinson arrives in El Salvador to preach in support of LGBTI Human Rights)

The Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson, bishop emeritus, diocese of New Hampshire, TEC
¨What an amazing photograph: Bishop Robinson preaching and presiding at la Capilla del Espíritu Santo, San Salvador.¨ The Reverend Canon Lee Crawford
For those travelling to El Salvador this week to be with Bishop Gene Robinson.
Que Dios los cuide.
Prayer before Pilgrimage to El Salvador for LGBT Rights

To you, O Divine One, from whose hands
comes the work of creation, so artfully designed,
I pray that this journey I am about to do
may be done in compassion with you.

May the pilgrimage that I will soon begin
sing praises to you
as songbirds do.

May the work that I will soon begin
add to the light of your presence
because it is done with great love.

May the experience that I will soon begin
speak like a prophet of old
of your dream of beauty and unity.

May the journey that I will soon begin
be a shimmering mirror of your handiwork
in the excellence of its execution,
in the joy of doing it for its own sake,
in my poverty of ownership over it,
in my openness to failure or success,
in my invitation to others to share in it
and in its bearing fruit for the world.

May I be aware that through this pilgrimage
I draw near you.

I come to you, Beloved,
with ready hands.

Amen.

Thanks to the Episcopal diocese of El Salvador, IARCA
Thanks to The Rt. Reverend Martin de Jesus Barahona 
Thanks to The Rt. Reverend Gene Robinson
Thanks to The Rev. Canon Lee Crawford
Thanks to Amigos de IARCA (facebook)
Thanks to The Most Reverend Armando Guerra Soria, IARCA
Thanks to La Pagina, El Salvador
http://www.lapagina.com.sv/cultura/97074/2014/07/06/Religioso-gay-llega-al-pais-para-promover-derechos-humanos-de-comunidad-LGBTI

PLANNING A VISIT TO ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA?  


St Alban Mission holds English services every Sunday at Noon

Casa Convento Concepcion, Antigua Guatemala, All are welcome.

See welcome letter at the sidebar.

St. Alban English Mission, Antigua, Guatemala is a outreach project of The St. James English parish, Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala, IARCA


The Most Reverend Armando Guerra Soria,  Rector of St. Alban Mission, Bishop of Guatemala and Primate of Central America

The Reverend Ricardo Frohmader 
Associate Minister of St. Alban Mission
Antigua, Guatemala

Saturday, July 5, 2014

SAINT ALBAN MISSION - ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA: Homily for the Fourth Sunday in Pentecost 2014, Fr. Ricardo Frohmader


HOMILY FOR FOURTH SUNDAY IN PENTECOST 2014
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
¨There appear be five distinct themes to this morning’s Gospel proclamation. Let’s look at them one at a time.
The first theme is Jesus asking “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, ‘we played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed and you did not mourn’. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say ‘Look a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’
The larger public has neither followed John the Baptist, nor Jesus. Aloofness and disdain characterize their attitudes. They disapprove of the company Jesus keeps. Many have witnessed Jesus’ miracles, and yet they are skeptical about whether he is really from God. They have not been moved by the call to repentance made by John, or by the inclusiveness of Jesus who sits and eats and drinks with tax-collectors and sinners. Indeed Jesus loves sitting at table and having a good meal. The kingdom of God is often likened by him to a banquet where all are welcomed and all eat and drink together.
The love Jesus preaches does require repentance and a new start in life, but past sins are not thrown in the sinner’s face. Jesus understands and loves the sinner. He does not feel polluted by their nearness, whereas a Pharisee would. We should not fear them either, if they are keeping company with Jesus.
I wonder whether many of those around us are not also like the children in the marketplaces who neither dance nor mourn, but are indifferent, or feel superior to the call to repent and change their lives, and who are dismayed by the notion of sitting at table with extortionists and prostitutes, and entering into fellowship with them. Still the call to change one’s life needs to be heeded, just as we need to be open to the “otherness” of many around us. Wisdom, Jesus says, is vindicated by his approach.
These words concerning wisdom bring us to a second theme. Jesus says “I thank you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent; and revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.” Saint Paul echoes these sentiments in First Corinthians Chapter 1; 18-25 when he says that what he preaches is foolishness “Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God”. Put another way, the intricacies of Jewish law are not what count, nor the rigidity with which one practices the particulars of the law. Paul also is saying that whom he preaches, Jesus Christ, is accessible to the simple and uneducated, because access does not require an education or a refined understanding of philosophy. The rules of etiquette do not count. What is necessary, Paul says, is the willingness to believe, specifically in Jesus Christ. Paul’s words mirror Jesus’. The point of Jesus’ miracles is that they are an invitation to those who witness them to believe in his message. They do not.
The third concept in this morning’s Gospel is that of Jesus as Son of the Father, as such, his agent on Earth. The Protestant side of the Episcopal/Anglican communion in the light of this and similar Gospel passages is usually not eager to embrace other mediators between humanity and God .“All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son choses to reveal him”. In these words of Jesus’ we find the concept of Jesus Christ as the sole mediator between humanity and the Father. We come to the Father through Jesus, and we come through faith in him. We do not come through following the Jewish law with its intricate rules and regulations. This was the yoke that bound the Jewish people to their faith. We do not come to God by following hundreds of rules and regulations.
The fourth concept in this morning’s Gospel is one which all us who remember the 1928 Book of Common Prayer and all of us who love Rite I of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer know. “Come to me all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you”. Our Gospel reading gives it in modern language, but I think we fully understand it in its traditional wording. Life is full of burdens and troubles. Sometimes we feel we are travelling in a desert, or in a wilderness of thorns. Sometimes the burden of our sins, of what we have done, and what we have left undone is almost beyond bearing. At other times the woes we encounter in life weigh us down. Jesus invites us to lay all these things at his feet, to come to him, and to be refreshed. Don’t think that the burden of our woes, of our situation in life will suddenly change, but know that Jesus will refresh us, and encourage us to go on. He is with us; he blesses us, for we have come to him. And our sins are forgiven.
The fifth concept is that the sanctuary, the comfort Jesus offers is a free gift to those who will take it. However something reciprocal is asked for; “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”. We are asked to learn from Jesus, to be gentle and humble in heart. If we take on his yoke, we are binding ourselves to him in obedience to him, but he encourages us to do so, for his yoke is easy and his burden light. Remember that Jesus asks that we love God single-mindedly and wholeheartedly, and that we love our neighbors as ourselves. This is why he terms his yoke “light”. We may have already taken his yoke, or we may decide to do so today, or perhaps tomorrow. Jesus is walking with us. If you have not already joined him, do so. Take his yoke, and find life everlasting.¨ (emphasis added LR)
AMEN
Ricardo+

PLANNING A VISIT TO ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA?  

St Alban Mission holds English services every Sunday at Noon

Casa Convento Concepcion, Antigua Guatemala, All are welcome.

See welcome letter at the sidebar.

St. Alban English Mission, Antigua, Guatemala is a outreach project of The St. James English parish, Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala, IARCA


The Most Reverend Armando Guerra Soria,  Rector of St. Alban Mission, Bishop of Guatemala and Primate of Central America

The Reverend Ricardo Frohmader 
Associate Minister of St. Alban Mission
Antigua, Guatemala

Friday, July 4, 2014

SANTIAGO, Patron Saint of La Antigua (Guatemala), by Elizabeth Bell



Thanks to Elizabeth Bell
Thanks to REVUE Magazine
Guatemala´s English Language Magazine

PLANNING A VISIT TO ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA?  

St Alban Mission holds English services every Sunday at Noon

Casa Convento Concepcion, Antigua Guatemala, All are welcome.

See welcome letter at the sidebar.

St. Alban English Mission, Antigua, Guatemala is a outreach project of The St. James English parish, Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala, IARCA


The Most Reverend Armando Guerra Soria,  Rector of St. Alban Mission, Bishop of Guatemala and Primate of Central America

The Reverend Ricardo Frohmader 
Associate Minister of St. Alban Mission
Antigua, Guatemala