by Greg Huang-Dale
Since the beginning, Sister Parish community members have kept our eyes focused on each other. We worship together, work together, share our homes, share our struggles and listen to our life stories. We have found purpose in solidarity, prayer and action together. That’s why three years after our 25th Anniversary Delegation we are gathering again.
On our Anniversary Delegation in 2013, community leaders from Guatemala, El Salvador and the US met in an open air community center in rural El Salvador. In mixed small groups we recalled our past accomplishments, celebrated our present time together and focused our attention on our future visions. The questions foremost in our minds were “How have we grown in 25 years? And how do we imagine our future together?” We emerged with a deeper appreciation for our founders who brought our communities together and began to vision how we can shape the future for the next generation of Sister Parish members.
Out of our encounter came a new vision of growth, communication and advocacy.
In the past 3 years we have grown two new partnerships! Trinity Episcopal in Newtown, Connecticut and San José la Montaña are linked as are People of Hope in Rochester, Minnesota and ACOMUJERZA in Zaragoza, El Salvador.
Since 2013 we have strengthened ties between our 3 country leadership teams – the Southern Directivas send reports to the US board and call in by Skype during the Board of Directors biannual face-to-face meetings. Meanwhile the US board sends reports from each of our meetings to the Directivas in El Salvador and Guatemala for their review.
We have also pushed our advocacy efforts – continuing scholarship programs and project support, divesting from mega projects, promoting immigration reforms, and confronting increasing community violence. We have seen a growing connection to global movements for change – a growing consciousness of our lifestyle impacts on the climate, indigenous rights activism, and our consumer choices and fair trade agreements.
Now it’s time to gather again, and we’d like to invite you to join us! The US Board of Directors will be traveling in the fall of 2016 to encounter the Directivas in Guatemala and El Salvador. We are eager to be together, share stories of solidarity and celebrate our common humanity.
Our mission of presence is what leads us forward to greater empathy, urgency and advocacy. We can make change in our struggle for peace and justice for all.
Won’t you consider joining us? We will be contacting friends soon, but we welcome you to contact us with a desire for action. The delegation is open to new members and all Sister Parish communities, a reunion of sorts, as well as a re-commitment to each other and the principles of our mission.