On Wednesday, September 27 a group of leaders from all over South America and a team from the U.S. will meet in Medellin, Colombia. The team from the United States will be Global Partners Coordinator Scott Soden, Tom Schiefer and Joe and Jan Burgos. Attending from Argentina will be Willy Romanenghi and Guillermo Rojas, from Paraguay, Juan Carlos Poletti, and from Chile, Carlos Quiroga. The gathering will be hosted by the Brethren Church in Medellin and lead by Marcelo Ferreri, who along with Jose Rivero, through prayer and inspiration developed a pathway and vision for the Summit and the planning meeting. Marcelo and his wife Adriana will represent the church in Colombia as well.
The purpose of the meeting is threefold:
The first is to discuss and begin making plans for a South American Summit. This summit is designed to bring Brethren Pastors, and leaders, together from all over South America to pray, talk and discover not only what God is doing in each of their separate ministries, but what He is up to that might bring them closer together. The hope is not only will their relationships to God and one another become stronger, but also to develop strategies and goals that will carry forward over the next ten years. In fact, the meeting taking place in Medellin is a dry run for just such an event.
The second purpose is to develop better relationships with the Brethren church in an overarching kind of way. The last ten years or so has seen the U.S. church especially, go through a lot of change. Often these changes involve a shift in how the U.S. thinks, acts, and reacts to daily life, mission, and cultural connection. Unfortunately, the change hasn't always allowed others to take time to understand what has or is happening or why. If we are to be partners, then we must act as partners which means defining relationships and hearing from our partners as well. We hope to allow our partners the opportunity to express their feelings toward the many shifts both positive and adverse. Then begin to build a framework from which the Brethren Global Partners might start to operate through moving forward. As you know, I have many ideas, but I am curious to see how well they translate and what my colleagues' thoughts are.
Third and last is a time of fellowship, prayer, and spiritual renewal. One thing I truly believe that connects all Brethren is Communion. Not simply the Eucharist, the bread, and the cup, but the other two elements as well. The sharing of a meal as brothers and sisters in Christ. The breaking of Bread and thankfulness for the blood of Jesus which cleanses and creates us new daily. However, it is through foot washing that we become deeply connected. That symbol of simple service in which Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, lowered himself in humility to wash not only the feet of his friends but of the one who would betray him. That is what binds us together as Brethren. Serving one another, serving our communities, serving the world the name of Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit
Please be in prayer for this time of gathering, prayer, and sharing. That God will indeed bless this endeavor and the future it holds for all of our partners in North and South America. That all will be safe while traveling, through the week and as we return to our homes. That Christ will be glorified and honored.
In Humble Service,
Knowing is not the same as meeting. We knew that there were Brethren churches all around the world, but we didn