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

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Plans and Dreams for the Coming Year (minutes from September meeting)

This past Sunday (Sept 9th) was our first scheduled meeting of the year -- but also a very busy Sunday and weekend for lots of folks at CBC! See below for a number of updates and other info that we want to share at the start of this new church year.

Remember -- you can always check the Salvador Partners blog ( ) to find announcements, meeting dates, and other information.

UPCOMING MEETINGS FOR THE FALL -- Our next official meeting will be on Sunday, Oct 14th. This will be an open forum after worship with a panel presentation by Salvador Partners and New Orleans Task Force about these two partnerships in the life of the CBC congregation. Also mark your calendars for Nov 4th and Dec 2nd.

ORANTES FUND -- Thank you to all of you who faithfully contribute to the Orantes Fund! Ron and I have talked about sending out a "Salvador Partners Newsletter" mailing to contributers from CBC and to all the other individuals, congregations, and organizations who contribute to give some updates as we move into the end of the year.

POSSIBLE TRIP TO GEORGIA FOR SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS PROTESTS IN NOV -- The plan had been to combine with Peacemakers (also meeting) to talk about possibilities for some of us attending the November protests at Ft. Benning, GA. Ron and I did get together with Stephanie to share some information and ideas. I have put together some basic info for the CBC bulletin and newsletter inviting folks who want to think more about that to let me know. Caroline and Kathy are on board to go. I know some of the youth who went on the delegation in June were interested in thinking about this as a follow-up experience. The Romero Interfaith Center folks in Philly are beginning to get organized to do another trip down this year, so we could possibly join up with them. They have sent adults and teenagers several times. Speak up if you want to be included in doing this!

LEARNING ABOUT THE SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS -- Whether we get a trip together for Georgia or not, several of us are interested in doing some education at CBC re: School of the Americas. The plan is to work with Peacemakers to organize some of this -- probably starting with showing a video about the SOA. Watch for more info -- and if you have ideas to share or if you want to help, let me know.

SALVADORAN GUEST IN PHILLY IN MID-OCTOBER -- We will have opportunities (week of Oct 14) to connect with a Salvadoran guest coming to Philly to give updates about the status of the situation with the human rights violations and trials of the 13 people who were arrested in Suchitoto in July, right after the youth delegation. This will be a fundraising tour to help with the legal expenses for the upcoming trials. More info to follow.

PLANNING A WORKING MEETING WITH ALEX AND RUTH IN JANUARY -- We've had conversations about a very brief, very focused working meeting in El Salvador to talk with Alex and Ruth and representatives from Shekina and Shalom about future plans. Probably will happen in January.

2008 ADULT / YOUNG ADULT DELEGATION TO EL SALVADOR -- We're hoping a group of interested CBC folks will want to think about participating in SHARE's springtime delegations. Our last two CBC delegations have been for youth, and there have been a number of college young adults and others who have expressed interest in a trip to El Salvador.

2008 INVITATION FOR ALEX AND RUTH -- We're talking and dreaming about inviting Alex and/or Ruth to join CBC in attending the Alliance of Baptists convocation that will be held in New Orleans in 2008! This would be a great opportunity to build on the Alliance connections for Ruth and Alex, and also a great chance to interact with our New Orleans partners at St. John Baptist. If that doesn't work, then maybe we could work on inviting them for the Baptist Peace Fellowship "Peace Camp" in summertime 2008.

NEWS FROM SHEKINA AND SHALOM -- We heard from the church folks in Madison, Indiana, that they are helping to purchase land for Shalom (Alex) to begin constructing a permanent church / community center in Atiquizaya. Ron has written to Alex and Ruth to find out more about that and to see about a meeting in January for future planning session. Caroline heard from Susy Fuentes in San Francisco Bay Area that their family is getting settled but the church they are attending is not the same as Shekina and they miss their church friends!

PROPOSAL FOR 2008 CBC BUDGET -- We submitted a request for $300 for mission group expenses (phone cards, mailings, books/video resources, food for special events) and recommended a 5% increase for a total of $10,500 in the Outreach budget for El Salvador Partnerships (that's the money for SHARE and for Shekina/Shalom).