by Danville Congregational Church Sister Parish Committee, originally published in church newsletters.
The Sister Parish Committee continues to nurture our relationship with The Catholic Community of San Antonio in the Quiche region of Guatemala. While a challenging political climate in both Guatemala and the US makes it difficult to visit each others’ communities in person this year, there are many activities we can embrace that will help us to stay connected.
DCC’s visit to San Antonio is 2016.
Second hour presentation between services
DCC’s Outreach Commission and Sister Parish Committee are honored to sponsor a special 2nd hour presentation on Nov 4 at 11am. Our guest speakers, Zuleika Godinez, Policy Coordinator for the Ensuring Opportunity Campaign and Linda Reeve, West Coast Director for The Aid and Education Project, Inc. will share the work they are doing at home and abroad to create opportunities to lift communities out of poverty.
The Ensuring Opportunity Campaign is a long-term effort to cut poverty in Contra Costa County by raising awareness and addressing the systemic and structural causes of poverty. Ensuring Opportunity is a joint initiative of the Family Economic Security Partnership, the Contra Costa Safety Net Task Force, the Human Services Alliance, and the Multi-Faith A.C.T.I.O.N. Coalition, working collaboratively with concerned community members to promote a common mission to reduce poverty in Contra Costa County. Together, these four coalitions represent more than 100 public and private agencies and 50 congregations, which collectively serve thousands of Contra Costa residents.
The Aid and Education Project, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to promoting Education, Health, and Cultural Preservation in indigenous communities in Guatemala and Mexico. The organization has no political or religious affiliations. Education and cultural preservation programs include Scholarships, Maya Cultural Education / Vacation School, development of Maya themed educational materials, and Special Programs for Women and Girls. Health programs include Vitamin Program and Checkups & Medical Care for Students with Scholarships.
Student care packages
As our Deacons prepare to send care packages for DCC’s college students, they’ve expressed interest in a similar effort to provide care packages for graduating middle school students in San Antonio. It’s both an honor and a challenge to continue on to high school in Guatemala, so it would be a wonderful outreach for DCC to recognize those students. More will follow in the coming weeks on that effort.
Last year, we sent Christmas cards to families in San Antonio, and this outreach was very much appreciated. Our friends there are encouraged to know that we are keeping them in our prayers. It’s never too early to pull out your extra stash of cards from last year, write a few notes of encouragement (messages in English will be translated) and drop off the unsealed cards at coffee hour. We’ll make sure they get packaged up and sent on to San Antonio.
Finally, while the folks in San Antonio are not able to host a delegation from Danville this year, we are exploring other options for meeting at an alternate location closer to Guatemala City to spend time together in community.
By putting ourselves in the reality of others and by building an interdependent community of brothers and sisters within and among countries, we will promote mutual respect and dignity for all people, advocate for human rights, and work for social and economic justice for all.