Today I have the privilege of finding myself in Panama City, representing PC(U.S.A.) World Mission at a meeting with leadership of the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI) and representatives of churches and aid organizations from North America and Europe who partner with CLAI in various ways–the Consorcio CLAI.
Our final topic of conversation yesterday evening was the Human Rights Observatory in Honduras, followed by informal conversation that shed some light on my ignorance about Panama’s own history of human rights abuse and corruption. Hearing stories of the church’s struggle to give faithful witness to the gospel in these unthinkable situations both past and present, my more personal acquaintance with the church in Colombia was close to mind. The newsletter I wrote a few weeks ago reflects on these issues and my visit to Colombia in February. It’s been posted on Mission Connections and is on its way by post or email to many of you (please let me know if you’d like to be added to one of those lists).
The time is ripe for us to act with courage and creativity to promote abundant life for all of God’s good creation. Richard Williams wrote a powerful sermon on this theme for Mother’s Day, encouraging us to lend a hand in “God’s Easter work of creating new life, and indeed a new world, here among us.” An opportune way to do this today is with advocacy for Colombia along the lines called for by the PC(U.S.A.) General Assembly. You are invited to learn more and join efforts being organized to stop the Colombia Free Trade Agreement:
- join in a webinar on May 27 with Lisa Haugaard, Shannan Vance-Ocampo, and Alexa Smith and discuss reasons why the church is opposed to this agreement as it currently stands and how to take action against it
- join a conference call on May 17 to discuss concrete steps to act, centered around a weeklong fast that over 160 of our brothers and sisters in the Presbyterian Church of Colombia have committed to make together with us