A letter from Katie Griffin in Argentina
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God,” claims the gospel of Matthew. As we approach the Lenten season at the Pentecostal church where my husband is pastoring in the outskirts of Buenos Aires, we have been contemplating what it means to take up our cross and follow Jesus. My own thoughts have been focused on how to approach other human beings in a culture where violence seems to be growing more and more common, both here at home and around the world. How can I relearn my own ways in order to approach people with peace and insist on peace in my own most immediate relationships? How can I teach peace to my own children, who like most normal brothers and sisters seem to spend so much time in petty fights? Especially when people around the world are so deeply wounded—if not killed—due to petty fights.
My own work, at the moment, has me quite isolated from the institutional, political and social violence that surrounds us. I am working a mile a minute to finish my doctoral thesis before we travel to the States for my next Interpretation Assignment.
Elsa Agüero, the Rector/Academic Dean at ISEDET (Instituto Superior Evangélico de Estudios Teológicos), is eager to have me on board as a doctor. ISEDET has been going through a long, difficult and painful process of reorganization in order to meet the requirements of the Ministry of Education for the officialization of our academic titles. In order to be accredited as a university-level institute the professors must have validated doctoral degrees.
Beginning in mid-July I will be in the States for a year with my family on Interpretation Assignment. We will be staying at Mission Haven in Decatur, Ga., through June 2015. My time commitments for itineration are beginning to fill in.
Here is a travel schedule by region that I plan to keep while on Interpretation Assignment. Please take a look and plan to schedule a time for me to visit when I’m in your region. If your region is not on the list, please contact me as soon as possible so I can make changes before my schedule gets too full.
August 1 – 24 Greater Atlanta area
Aug 25 – Sept. 20 Buenos Aires, Argentina, to defend my thesis
September 26 – October 6 Detroit, Mich., Detroit Presbytery
October 7 – 15 Greater Atlanta area
October 17 – 25 El Salvador, Latin America and Caribbean Regional Gathering
October 27 – Nov. 20 Southeast U.S., Charleston, S.C.
November 21 – 30 Peace River Presbytery (Florida Gulf Coast)
December 1 – March 5 Synods of South Atlantic, Mid Atlantic and Living Waters
March 7 – 15 Central Florida
March 12-14 Society for Pentecostal Studies, Lakeland, Fla.
April 10 – April 30 Washington and Alaska
May 1 – May 25 Northeast U.S.; Cayuga-Syracuse Presbytery
June 15 Return to Buenos Aires
Please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact Rachel Anderson at email@example.com for help in planning a visit with me or any other mission co-worker of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Rachel has indicated to me that under certain circumstances some funds may be available to help churches and presbyteries cover my travel expenses. Please contact her for more information.
A note on the financial requirements for visits. I continue to receive my salary from Presbyterian World Mission while I am on Interpretation Assignment, as this is a part of my job. The churches and presbyteries that I visit are responsible for my travel, room and board expenses, but not for any honoraria.
My visits with you can include, but do not need to be limited to, Sunday worship or an adult forum or Sunday school class. I can meet with Presbyterian Women, youth groups, groups of seminary or college students, midweek potluck suppers, mission committees, sessions. I can tailor a presentation to fit a 10-minute time slot, or up to a 50-minute block of time. Let me know what your needs and possibilities are for interpreting the world mission of the Presbyterian Church to the church. My own area of expertise is in church history in Latin America and gender relations, but I can give some general pointers as to Presbyterian World mission overall as well.
I look forward to hearing from you and to looking for ways to bring you into a deeper partnership in God’s mission with the Church of Jesus Christ in the Southern Cone of South America! I am grateful for your participation. The number of people who contacted me this past month because Argentina was in the Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study was truly soul-lifting. I love the notes that I receive in the mail or by e-mail. If you are not yet supporting my work in Presbyterian World Mission, please consider doing so through prayers, financial sustenance, and your encouragement through communications with me.
In Christ’s peace,
The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 63
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