Category : Central America

The Amazing Ministry of the Lamb Institute in Honduras

Last night we attended the Lamb Institute annual dinner on James Island, South Carolina. It was moving, inspiring and thrilling to hear one of God’s special servants, Suzie McCall, share what God has been, is and will be doing there.

“LAMB is a Christ-centered, multifaceted ministry based in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. We seek to share the hope found in Christ Jesus as we care for, educate, protect, and empower those suffering extreme poverty, abuse, and exploitation in Honduras. LAMB was founded in 1999 by lifelong missionary, Suzy McCall, as a training school for Hondurans called to world mission.

Today, LAMB operates an elementary school for children in one of the most violent and poverty stricken areas of Tegucigalpa, a large youth outreach program, a growing microcredit program with over 300 small business owners, a safe house for victims of human trafficking, multiple community programs, and a residential home outside the city for over 70 children who came from situations of abuse and neglect.”

Please visit their website and consider supporting them in the future.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Central America, Children, Education, Health & Medicine, Honduras, Missions, Poverty

(Vatican Radio) The Story of Archbishop Oscar Romero

Something is happening in El Salvador on the 23rd of May. Not just the usual rampant violence in this nation which has one of the world’s highest murder rates. But a celebration for this majority Christian nation: the beatification ceremony of one of its sons, Archbishop Oscar Romero.

The ceremony was arranged following a decree approved by Pope Francis on the 3rd of February in which he declared the Salvadoran Archbishop a martyr.

Like many of his fellow countrymen Romero was a victim of violence and was shot at while celebrating mass on the 24th of March 1980.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --El Salvador, Central America, Church History, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

A Rowan Williams sermon on the life and ministry of Oscar Romero on Archbishop Romero's Feast Day

nd so his question to all those who have the freedom to speak in the Church and for the Church is ‘who do you really speak for?’ But if we take seriously the underlying theme of his words and witness, that question is also, ‘who do you really feel with?’ Are you immersed in the real life of the Body, or is your life in Christ seen only as having the same sentiments as the powerful? Sentir con la Iglesia in the sense in which the mature Romero learned those words is what will teach you how to speak on behalf of the Body. And we must make no mistake about what this can entail: Romero knew that this kind of ‘feeling with the Church’ could only mean taking risks with and for the Body of Christ ”“ so that, as he later put it, in words that are still shocking and sobering, it would be ‘sad’ if priests in such a context were not being killed alongside their flock. As of course they were in El Salvador, again and again in those nightmare years.

But he never suggests that speaking on behalf of the Body is the responsibility of a spiritual elite. He never dramatised the role of the priest so as to play down the responsibility of the people. If every priest and bishop were silenced, he said, ‘each of you will have to be God’s microphone. Each of you will have to be a messenger, a prophet. The Church will always exist as long as even one baptized person is alive.’ Each part of the Body, because it shares the sufferings of the whole ”“ and the hope and radiance of the whole ”“ has authority to speak out of that common life in the crucified and risen Jesus.

So Romero’s question and challenge is addressed to all of us, not only those who have the privilege of some sort of public megaphone for their voices. The Church is maintained in truth; and the whole Church has to be a community where truth is told about the abuses of power and the cries of the vulnerable. Once again, if we are serious about sentir con la Iglesia, we ask not only who we are speaking for but whose voice still needs to be heard, in the Church and in society at large. The questions here are as grave as they were thirty years ago. In Salvador itself, the methods of repression familiar in Romero’s day were still common until very recently. We can at least celebrate the fact that the present head of state there has not only apologized for government collusion in Romero’s murder but has also spoken boldly on behalf of those whose environment and livelihood are threatened by the rapacity of the mining companies, who are set on a new round of exploitation in Salvador and whose critics have been abducted and butchered just as so many were three decades back. The skies are not clear: our own Anglican bishop in Salvador was attacked ten days ago [in 2010] by unknown enemies; but the signs of hope are there, and the will to defend the poor and heal the wounds.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --El Salvador, --Rowan Williams, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Central America, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Poverty, Preaching / Homiletics

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Oscar Romero

Almighty God, who didst call thy servant Oscar Romero to be a voice for the voiceless poor, and to give his life as a seed of freedom and a sign of hope: Grant that, inspired by his sacrifice and the example of the martyrs of El Salvador, we may without fear or favor witness to thy Word who abideth, thy Word who is Life, even Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Spirit, be praise and glory now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, --El Salvador, Central America, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

Costa Rica Wow, a 3-1 upset over Uruguay

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Costa Rica, Brazil, Central America, Globalization, Men, South America, Sports

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Oscar Romero

Almighty God, who didst call thy servant Oscar Romero to be a voice for the voiceless poor, and to give his life as a seed of freedom and a sign of hope: Grant that, inspired by his sacrifice and the example of the martyrs of El Salvador, we may without fear or favor witness to thy Word who abideth, thy Word who is Life, even Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Spirit, be praise and glory now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --El Salvador, Central America, Church History, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Spirituality/Prayer

Reconciliation is our 'gift to the world': Archbishop Welby preaches in Guatemala

In an area of much killing where I was supporting reconciliation some years ago, I spent time with a group of Anglican priests. Several thousand people had been killed in heavy fighting during the previous week. It was the second outburst of fighting in less than ten years. The priests were bitter, mourning families, friends and church members. One gave up preaching and used the time for the sermon explaining how to strip, clean and reassemble an automatic rifle. Over a few months we worked together, thinking and praying about the situation, about the very real threats they faced, about the history of battle, and about the teaching of scripture, especially in Jonah. Slowly they learned afresh that they were loved, and learned to love and began to reach out to their enemies. The reconciliation remains fragile, but continues to this day.

We change our conflicted communities when we rediscover reconciliation in Christ for ourselves. Paul reminds the divided Ephesians that God breaks down all barriers. They are reconciled through the cross to God and are to be reconciled to others. It is costly. Reconciliation is cross-shaped. Justice is cross shaped. Churches that seek justice will find a cross, and will need to bear it. So many of you have done that. So many not only here in Guatemala, but elsewhere in the Province, know the pain of conflict. And yet we have the answer ”“ and that answer is us, says Paul. It is extraordinary, because again he was speaking to a small church in a very pagan society, and yet he was right, and history proved it over the centuries.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, --Guatemala, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Central America, Church of England (CoE)

(Local Paper) A Bishop George Edward Haynesworth Obituary

Born in Sumter, SC, October 25,1922, he is the son of the late Joseph Herbert Haynsworth and Katherine Rees Sumter. Bishop Haynsworth began college at the Citadel in 1940 but was called into active duty during WWII. Upon returning from the war he graduated from the Citadel, Class of 1944. While attending Sewanee: University of the South he spent his summers as a counselor at Camp St. Christopher where he met his wife, Babbie, who was the camp nurse. He received his theological degree from the University of the South in 1949. He was ordained a priest in 1950. He served as a priest in SC and Savannah, GA. In 1960, led to serve as a missionary in Central America he ministered to the people of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, --Nicaragua, Central America, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops

(ENS) George Edward Haynsworth, retired Nicaragua missionary bishop, dies

Funeral services will be held Nov. 28 for the Rt. Rev. George Edward Haynsworth, 90, retired missionary bishop of Nicaragua and former assistant bishop in the Diocese of South Carolina.

Haynsworth died Nov. 24 after suffering a heart attack the day before. He lived in James Island, South Carolina.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, --Nicaragua, Central America, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Missions, Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops

Former Assistant South Carolina Bishop George Edward Haynsworth RIP

The Rt. Rev. George Edward Haynsworth, died peacefully this evening, Saturday, November 24, 2012, from complications of a heart attack he suffered Friday, November 23. Bishop Haynsworth served as former Assistant Bishop under the Rt. Rev. C. FitzSimons Allison, and also served as the Bishop of Nicaragua.

Bishop Haynsworth has always been a kind and supportive friend to me and my family and I am so thankful for his life and witness. I shall remember so many things, but most of all that after he suffered through my first sermon in the diocese of South Carolina at Saint John’s, John’s Island, in the summer of 1985, he was very gentle and gracious to me as a new seminarian–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, --Nicaragua, Central America, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops

Philip Jenkins reviews Andrew Chesnut's new book on Santa Muerte and her devotees

Santa Muerte has various names: she is la Flaquita (Skinnybones) or la Huesuda, the Bony Lady, and she has attracted many other euphemisms in the centuries that she has enjoyed underground devotion. But whatever we call her, this sinister folk saint has acquired astonishing popularity in very recent years. During the present century, she has become an unavoidable presence across Mexico and Central America. As Chesnut writes, “In just ten years, Santa Muerte has become one of the most important religious figures among Mexicans from all walks of life and thousands of Mexican and Central American immigrants in this country.” Many specialized stores cater to the needs of devotees in search of herbs, potions and powders, votive candles and statuettes, many of which bear threatening slogans: “Death to my enemies!” or “Law, stay away!” Increasingly, such items appear in the religious goods sections of U.S. supermarkets as well (I have seen them in Texas, Arizona, and California). Although we have no exact idea of the scale of her following, Chesnut deliberately errs on the side of caution when he estimates a constituency of perhaps five percent of all Mexican citizens, some five million people. In underclass and criminal settings, she has far outpaced the Virgin of Guadalupe in popularity. In fact, she can well be considered an anti-Guadalupe, a dark shadow of Mexico’s beloved mother figure.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Books, Central America, Death / Burial / Funerals, Mexico, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Oscar Romero

Almighty God, who didst call thy servant Oscar Romero to be a voice for the voiceless poor, and to give his life as a seed of freedom and a sign of hope: Grant that, inspired by his sacrifice and the example of the martyrs of El Salvador, we may without fear or favor witness to thy Word who abideth, thy Word who is Life, even Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Spirit, be praise and glory now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, --El Salvador, Central America, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

(ENI) Honduran church demands inquiry into horrific prison fire

The Christian Lutheran Church of Honduras (ICHL) is demanding an inquiry into a fire at the central jail in Comayagua that killed 350 prisoners on 14 February.

The ICHL, a member of the Geneva-based Lutheran World Federation (LWF), also said it was praying for wisdom on the part of the country’s leaders as they decide how to safeguard the rights of prisoners, according to a news release from the LWF’s information service, Lutheran World Information.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Central America, Honduras, Prison/Prison Ministry, Religion & Culture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Oscar Romero

Almighty God, who didst call thy servant Oscar Romero to be a voice for the voiceless poor, and to give his life as a seed of freedom and a sign of hope: Grant that, inspired by his sacrifice and the example of the martyrs of El Salvador, we may without fear or favor witness to thy Word who abideth, thy Word who is Life, even Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Spirit, be praise and glory now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --El Salvador, Central America, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Spirituality/Prayer

(ENS) Province IX conference explores self-sustainability

Each Province IX diocese ”“ Honduras, the host diocese, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Ecuador Litoral, Central Ecuador and Colombia ”“ is represented by a five-member team, including bishops, clergy and lay leaders. In addition, Cuba, Brazil, Panama, Mexico, Guatemala, Swaziland and Zambia, as well as the Philippines, are represented.

Observers include staff from the Episcopal Church Center, Church Pension Group, Episcopal Relief & Development, Trinity Wall Street and the Episcopal Church Foundation. The conference is supported by Church Pension Group, Trinity Wall Street, Province IX and an Episcopal Church Constable Grant, which also will fund ongoing developmental work throughout the province over the next two years.

With the exception of Puerto Rico, all the dioceses of Province IX, plus Mexico, Cuba, and the other Central American churches, which are organized as the Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America (IARCA), receive subsidies in varying amounts from the U.S.-based Episcopal Church. Offshore dioceses in Provinces II and VIII also receive grants.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Caribbean, Central America, Episcopal Church (TEC), South America