To learn more about Salvadoran Pastors Ruth and Alex Orantes, and for information about contributing to support their ministries in El Salvador, please visit

Monday, November 20, 2006

November Meeting Notes

Salvador Partners Meeting Notes
Sunday, November 19, 2006

Present: Caroline, Ron, Katy, Kathy, Anna

Shared reflections on the 17th anniversary of the six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter, who were killed at the UCA.

Talked about the recent murder of two Lutheran pastors (husband and wife) in El Salvador. Caroline will send an email to Ruth and Alex to let them know that we have heard this news and are concerned about the impact of this event.

Shared information about the annual School of the Americas protests going on in Ft. Benning, Georgia, this weekend. We would like to think about organizing a trip for Nov 2007, possibly in partnership with CBC Peacemakers. As a first step, Ron will be in touch with Joanie from FUMCOG to see if there is someone who attended this year who could share their experience with us.

Agreed to organize a "Delegation Reunion" for the youth / young adults who have participated in CBC delegations. Selected Thursday, Dec 28th, as the date for this event. Will need to send out email invitations to the young people who are away at college. The 2007 youth delegation members will also be invited. Katy and Kathy will help Caroline organize. Ron will see if someone from FUMCOG come and tell about the SOA protests on this date. Also, Tara Carr-Lemke from SHARE will be here during the holidays and we may be able to get her to come, too. Caroline will contact Tara. Katy will see if Michaela (?) might be around and could talk some about her time in El Salvador on a delegation in the 80's.

Shared news from Susy @ Shekina about a three week long pilot program for their community center. They have a variety of activities for 3 hours each afternoon for children and seniors -- music, painting, drama, crafts, sports, English lessons. They have had a great response from the community -- approx 75 people of all ages participating. She'll send us photos.

Distributed the CBC timeline of El Salvador connections. After beginning of the year, we'll work on creating a permanent version. Still have some fine-tuning of details re: ancient memories!

We seem to be in really good shape with the Orantes Fund receipts. So we should have close to $3000 for Shekina and $3000 for Shalom to send at year end from the Outreach Budget. We know that Shekina's priority is their community center project.Alex also sent a detailed annual report of Shalom's activities and the vision to purchase land. Agreed to recommend that all funds in the Shekina/Shalom budget (after final Orantes accounting) be sent for those purposes. Caroline will work with Norm to go over details in the mission group budget and Orantes Fund.

January will be the anniversary of the signing of the Peace Accords.

December agenda items will include a final budget report and discussion about 2007 Orantes Fund pledges.

Next meeting will be on Dec 10, 2006, following worship.

A Brief History

Central Baptist Church has a long history of commitment to building relationships in Central America, beginning with the congregation's vote in 1984 to participate in the Sanctuary Movement during the war in El Salvador. Mauricio, our first sanctuary refugee, arrived at CBC in February 1985.

Delegations of congregation members have travelled to El Salvador on numerous occasions. We have participated in emergency rebuilding efforts after hurricanes and floods, worked on building a worship space in Santa Elena, represented Philadelphia area congregations with our sister city program in Las Anonas, provided financial support for many projects, supported work at the Baptist Seminary in Santa Ana, participated in official anniversary events honoring Archbishop Oscar Romero and others, worked as official observers during elections, and established enduring personal friendships with our partner congregations.

In addition, we regularly host official visitors from El Salvador representing various Salvadoran organizations. On two occasions, we have provided extended housing and hospitality to Salvadoran students enrolled in graduate programs in our area. Pastors from our partner churches in Santa Elena, Santa Ana, and Atiquizaya have visited our congregation, as well.