Tag Archives: Barranquilla

All distance falls away

9fI5KHrvT86HktYTwp4A6Q

All distance falls away at the Lord’s table.

Today, with the First Presbyterian Church of Whitestone, I will celebrate and participate in virtual communion. We will spiritually connect as we physically distance.

To prepare, I offered the invitation to explore the meaning of communion by reflecting on past experiences of the sacrament. What did they have to teach us? What might we learn for today’s service?

Listening to myself for once, I did that. While I was washing the dishes, I recalled a communion service ten years ago.

During Holy Week of 2010, I took part in a meeting related to the Accompaniment Program of the Presbyterian Church in Colombia, the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Leaders in the Presbyterian Church of Colombia are taking great risks in their human rights work and their support of the communities of Colombians who have been displaced by the over forty years of violence in their country. They have asked Presbyterians from the United States to act as international accompaniers in order to provide a measure of safety—international eyes—for their work. The program started in 2004 and continues today. Over 100 accompaniers have served to date. Learn more about the program here:.

Since it was Holy Week, I had the privilege to worship with the Communidad del Camino in Barranquilla. The community honored me by inviting me to preach. Germán Zárate translated my words.

With the Rev. Adriano Portillo and the Rev. Dayro Aranzalez, I helped celebrate the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.

The precious memory flooded over me as the water flowed over the dishes in my sink.

And I knew that whenever and wherever bread is broken and the cup is shared (in whatever form they take), the people of the Communidad del Camino, the people of the church in Colombia, the people of the church around the world, the people whose names I know, whose names I have forgotten, whose names I never knew, they all meet at the table. Miles apart, in Christ we are together.

Tonight, we gather at separate tables, scattered around Queens and Manhattan in my case. But in Christ, those tables become one—Christ’s table. Though physically distant, we gather in spiritual solidarity. And we gather with the church in all places and all times. One body. As we share in the meal Christ has prepared for us this night, I will remember that and smile.

All distance falls away at the Lord’s table.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Current Events, First Presbyterian Church of Whitestone, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Worship

Communidad del Camino


Barranquilla

I had the privilege to preach this afternoon in Barranquilla. It was a wonderful experience followed by fellowship at the home of the Rev. Adriano Portillo and dinner at Mac Mondongo.

More later.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Via Blanca

Barranquilla

Via Blanca is a community of displaced persons in Colombia who are framing on land given to them by the mayor. In this pilot project, they are growing tomatoes, melons, and peppers. Members of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) visited the community, we worshiped, ate sancocho soup, and planted an aloe vera plant (known as sabila in Colombia).

More pictures are posted.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Pital


Barranquilla

Yesterday we went to the Pital Presbyterian Church. Pital is the one rural church in the Presbytery of the North Coast – outside Barranquilla.

On the wall is a quilt made for the church by a partner congregation in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Full moon over Barranquilla

Barranquilla
31 March 2010
10:24 p.m.

Things have been quite busy. The meetings have been going well but they take attention and much time. There is good conversation, Spirit-filled dreaming, relationships being nurtured and born, possibilities explored.

I am going to post a few pictures with some brief comments to catch up a bit.

Barranquilla is in Northern Colombia on the Magdalena River and near the Caribbean Sea. It is Colombia’s fourth largest city. It is in the Presbytery of the Coast (or Presbytery of the North Coast) of the Presbyterian Church in Colombia.

It has been hot and humid most days, although Monday has been the worst. Yesterday was reasonably pleasant. Today the temperature and humidity climbed.

There was a full moon on Sunday night when we arrived.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Early morning SDF

I do not know if I had ever heard such words before. If I have, I have forgotten them.

“Join us at 6:00 a.m. on NPR for . . .” They struck with such force that the shock disoriented me and I failed to learn why I would want to do that.

I had left the Shire and was on the ever going on road. Again. This time it stretches to Barranquilla.

At the moment of the first-time heard announcement, the road bore the name of Taylorsville. I was making my way to the Louisville airport (SDF).

Shortly after the announcement, I discovered that the entrance to I-264 was closed. A detour ensued, essentially doubling back onto an alternate route that I could have traveled from the Shire had I only known.

Arriving at the airport, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that half the high school students in Louisville were flying somewhere at that early morning (perhaps I exaggerate slightly, but there were a lot of students). Massive chaos. Lots of noise. What every night owl wants to experience at 5:00 in the blessed a.m.

Fortunately I made it to security before many of the students. They travel light, but don’t know the drill. 3-1-1; take out computers; take off shoes.

The crowd may explain why I was not assigned a seat before I arrived at the airport. But I did get one there.

Going through security usually involves a special screening for Tom, my faithful CPAP machine. He is routinely swabbed for explosive residue. It is always a great comfort to know that he has not rigged himself to explode in my face during the night.

This time, my hands were swabbed as well. Good to know they won’t be exploding either.

At the gate, while waiting to board with a bevy of high school students, I learned that they seem to be going to LA – at least according to snatches of conversation I have heard. Perhaps I will be able to confirm that on the plane.

Next stop, Atlanta.

See you along the Trail.

Leave a comment

Filed under Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Travel

The trail heads south


So I not done a great job of writing. Or exercising. Or eating (well unless eating too much is the standard). Still not sure what is going on there.

But I do know what is going on elsewhere. The alarm clock is going to ring at 4:00 in the blessed a.m. I will roll from the bed, stagger around the Shire for a while and drive to the airport.

There, assuming that there is actually a seat for me, I will board a plane to Atlanta, where I will board a plane to Miami, where I will board a plane for Barranquilla – assuming I do not fall asleep in the airport. Sleeping on plane, good. In the airport, not so good.

There will be others with me – even in Louisville, so they should wake me up should sleep overtake me.

I will be part of a group of Presbyterians, many from the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, who will meet with our partners in the Presbyterian Church in Colombia to discuss the Colombia Accompaniment Program. We will be in Barranquilla (on the Atlantic coast) and will take a couple of day trips from there. Conversations will take place at the School of Theology of the Reformed University of Colombia (I think – corrections will be made if I am incorrect).

I hope to do some blogging about the trip and post some pictures. Hopefully I will find time to post the usual type of material as well. I have a few posts ready to publish on Monday and Tuesday.

This will be my first trip to Colombia. I have been involved in promoting the Accompaniment Program. I have met individuals who came to the United States as part of our International Peacemakers Program. I helped create a resource – the cover is the image on this page. I know the names of many of the people who will be present – but we have not met. It will be good to do so.

I look forward to the experience. It will be a blessing to celebrate Holy Week (I am preaching on Good Friday) and Easter with our sisters and brothers.

See you along the Trail.

p.s. only 3313 steps today – too much sitting and finishing things on the computer. The pedometer will go along.

Leave a comment

Filed under Exercise, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Travel