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

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A new experience with accompaniment

On this third anniversary of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, we want to share an article about the spirit of accompaniment and Central Baptist Church's emerging experience as a member of the national "Churches Supporting Churches" network and as a partner congregation with the St. John Baptist Church in New Orleans.

In a thoughtful reflection entitled "Walking Together in New Orleans," CBC member Jan Corbett writes about the impact and influence of the congregation's experiences in El Salvador over a span of more than two decades. The article includes stories about Central Baptist hosting a Salvadoran refugee as a part of the Sanctuary Movement, sending delegations to visit Salvadoran war refugees in camps in Honduras, and walking with refugees returning to their villages after the war, all of which have informed the congregation's current understanding of accompaniment.

As she says, "Being present, sharing stories, walking together, being part of someone else’s solution, transformation, mutuality—these are all a part of the term “accompaniment” as we have come to understand it. ... The term “accompaniment” has taken on a new significance for us as we use it in a new context and we are still discovering the full implications of this. But, for us, it seems to be the best way to respond to [the crisis in New Orleans and] our mission in Churches Supporting Churches."