On behalf of the Sister Parish Board of Directors I want to thank you for your support in 2019. We had an amazing year continuing to develop relationships and cross-cultural understanding between communities in the U.S. and Central America, a successful special fundraiser, and closed out the year with an amazing open delegation that focused on the impetus and impacts of immigration from the perspective of Sister Parish communities in El Salvador and Guatemala. I also want to encourage you to think about what Sister Parish has meant for you in 2019 and how you could continue to support in 2020.
As you consider where you want to invest your time, talents, and resources to best reflect your values, I want to invite you to join the Sister Parish Board of Directors. Our board members currently represent only two of our thirteen North-South partnerships. We would love to have more representation from our partners to know that our decisions reflect the interests and needs of the Sister Parish partnerships. Perhaps, you are like me, and no longer living near a Sister Parish community. Personally, serving as a board member has been a way for me to stay involved and continue to support the Sister Parish mission and vision. Maybe, you have not experienced a delegation or a Sister Parish partnership but have some professional experience that could support the work of Sister Parish, Inc. All are invited. We are committed to inclusion, diversity, and equity, both as an organization and on the board.
Our next in-person board meeting will be May 1-3, 2020 at Incarnation Lutheran Church in Shoreview, Minnesota. If you are interested in joining the board or simply want to attend part or all of the meeting to get a feel for what the board does, you are more than welcome to attend. Let me know and I will work with you to make arrangements to join us.
I know that there is never a “good time” to make a commitment like this, but personally I have found my participation on the board to be very fulfilling. Board members are committed to the Sister Parish model, mission, and vision, so our board meetings are a lot of fun. (Seriously, how often can you say you look forward to a three-day meeting?) Beyond business, we share Sister Parish delegation stories, get updates from community members, and share with one another as our own type of delegation that meets twice a year at different Sister Parish communities in the U.S. In lieu of an in-person meeting this fall, we (the board) decided to participate in the open delegation. I was privileged to travel with board and non-board members to introduce my son, Luca, to the Sister Parish family in El Salvador and Guatemala. I hope you will consider joining us, we would love to have your input, expertise, and energy.
We wish you the best in 2020 and thank you for your continued support and commitment to consciousness-raising, solidarity, reconciliation, ecumenism, and peace with justice.
In the good struggle/En la buena lucha,
Maria Van Der Maaten, President
Sister Parish, Inc. Board of Directors