Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Duck Project is 10 Years Old

The Duck Project is 10 years old.
Almost 100 people gathered today (July 31st) for the closing event of the latest course, a marvellous celebration with thanks, speeches, prayers, and of course the specially prepared duck dishes.
The course lasts three months and covers feeding, reproduction, health and the care of ducks.
The Diocese lends ducks and a drake to each group of women, and during the incubation period of the eggs the participants learn how to rear and care for the ducks.
At the end of the course each woman receives a share of the ducklings - usually between 5 to 10 - in order to begin their own farm, and then the adult ducks are given back ready for the next course.
The last lesson is on cooking duck, and today the plates were really delicious, "among the very best I've tasted".... ceviche de pato (duck), duck in wine, escabeche de pato, duck a la pimienta, jonjoli de pato!
Points are awarded throughout the course and at the end the leading group receives a special prize. In fact everyone receives a prize, which this time was a pair of shoes, and there are no losers.
Before the event began the Bishop and the guests of honour were taken to see one of the duck farms and the ducklings. (See top photo) They also saw rabbits and guinea pigs being raised as the project expands.
In the second photo members of another farm look on as speeches are made. Their dish was "vegetarian".... although there was some duck in it!
In the ten years of the projects existence it has given away over 40,000 ducklings. Its aims are to increase nutrition in families living in poverty; to teach women a skill; to increase the family income by selling ducks and eggs; to raise self-esteem; and to teach women to work in groups.
The project is part of the Church's holistic mission and the Gospel is an integral part of the course and many of the women finding a deepening of their faith as they take part in the classes.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Holy Family Prepares for Mission Team

Preparations are advancing for the arrival of the Christ Church, Richmond mission team which comes into Lima in mid-August. They will be laying the foundations of a new church and mission center - Holy Family - which is being built on the side of a rocky hillside.
A ledge is literally being carved out of the rock by local workmen and women by hand in readiness for the team.
In the first photo Padre Aurelio is seen standing on the site of the new church with the women's workshop in the background on a temporary site.
In the second photo Padre Misael, who is in charge building works in the Diocese, talks to the workers as the rock is carved away.
Two sites have been made available to the Church in this area of 15,000 people. The lower is Holy Family and the upper one Good Samaritan.
Over the hill the Diocese has another mission called Holy Apostles.
All of these missions are run by Padre Aurelio, whose main church, St Mary the Virgin, is two miles away. In each of them there are workshops for women called "Creative Hands".
We thank all those who have enabled this mission to grow as it has and we ask your prayers for all its workers.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Pastor Israel Batista of CLAI visits Diocese

The Rev. Israel Batista, General Secretary of the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI), visited the Diocese on July 21st.
He began his visit meeting with with representatives of St Peter's Mission where breakfast was being prepared for the children. In the second photograph he can be seen talking with Claudia Varillas.
From there he went on to Holy Family Mission in Villa Maria (third photo) and talked with members of the women's workshop where he tasted their cooking and was presented with an alpaca scarf.
He concluded his visit speaking to clergy, seminarians, mission workers and representatives of AMA, the Diocesan Youth Ministry and Administration (first photo - Israel Batista is on the front row, second from left; Dr Elizabeth is in the middle on the front row). All concluded that it had been an excellent meeting and Pastor Batista gave an inspiring message of encouragement to the Anglican Church, reminding us all of the unique role we have to play in Latin America, a role, he said, "that no other church could play, holding together both the catholic and evangelical nature of the Church."
The General Secretary was accompanied in his visit by the new Secretary of the Andean Region, Dr Elizabeth, a member of the Evangelical Pentecostal Church of Chile and Doctor of Theology, who has been invited to speak at the Diocesan Seminary on her next visit to Peru.
Earlier in the week Pastor Batista had met with other member churches of CLAI, as well with representatives the Congress of the Republic, and the Peruvian Bible Society.

Lima Teachers Day Away

Over forty teachers and auxiliary personnel from our three Lima schools enjoyed a day of continuing education and recreation in Santa Eulalia on July 20th.
Accompanied by the head teachers and parish clergy, they took part in team building exercises in the morning and in the afternoon each school made presentations of dancing, drama and sketches.
The Bishop and Judith joined them for a lunch of anticuchos - a typical Peruvian dish of marinated and barbecued ox heart - and the presentations. The day began and ended in prayer, and before the bus left for Lima all joined in a game of volley ball.
The day was organised by Padre Jorge Aguilar, the President of COANED, the newly formed Anglican Consorcio of Education, which is responsible for schools and education in the Diocese.
In the second photo are the three head teachers with the Bishop: Isabel Montoya of Holy Trinity School (left of Bishop), Carmen Sanchez of St Matthew's School (to the right of the Bishop) and Pattie of Christ the Redeemer (on the right of the photo).

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Babies dying of cold - Blanket Appeal

"Babies and children are dying of cold, sleeping on sand without blankets."
This is what Dr Jesus Urbina revealed about the community in which he works in northern Lima. Time and again he was being called by desperate parents to attend to their sick children. And for the adults too, many of whom are handicapped, the situation was no better.
An immediate appeal for blankets was made and there came an immediate response from St Mark's Cathedral in Minneapolis. Blankets were bought and distributed among the people. Prayers were offered and thanks expressed to God for their response of love.

The remarkable photo shows some of the women and children on the evening the blankets were given out, with the figure of the suffering, crucified Christ behind them.

The appeal continues as we seek to (i) build up a stock of blankets in the Diocese to enable us to provide an immediate response whenever needed; (ii) provide mattresses which will give protection against the damp and cold of the sand.

Blankets and mattresses costs $10 or £5 each.

If you would like to send donations, contact:
Susan Kerr (USA) - tel. 972 618 0222;
Patrick Mackie (UK) - tel. 01949 20519;
Margaret Rutter (UK) - tel. 01905 20537

Cathedral Confirmations and Receptions

Several members of the Cathedral's Spanish-speaking ministry were confirmed on June 24th, and others were received into the Anglican Communion. The candidates were presented by the Rev Canon Juan Bernardo Marentes (on the left in the photo) during a celebration over which the Bishop presided. Among them were two seminarians, Carlos and Juan Carlos, also seen in the photo.
The priest in charge of the the Spanish-speaking ministry in the Cathedral is the Padre Juan Bernardo Marentes who is assisted in his pastoral ministry by Padre Jaime Siancas. The two work together, putting strong emphasis on home visits, discipling and congregational life, and they are now seeing the life of the community grow steadily in spiritual maturity and numbers.
Although the number of candidates was not large, it was an important sign of growth for the Diocese which has longed to see a strong Spanish-speaking ministry with a clear Anglican identity in the Cathedral for a number of years. It is also significant in that it is one of the few parishes of the Diocese in a middle class area.
We ask your prayers for the congregation, its clergy, people and ministry

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Max Diaz and Bishop in Oxford

The Bishop met seminarian Max Diaz in Oxford this week.
Max was a member of the Diocesan Seminary in Arequipa during its first year before moving to Oxford four and a half years ago. It was a joyous occasions, their first meeting since he moved from Peru, so there was lots of news to catch up on. Max is studying theology at St Stephen’s House sponsored by the Diocese of Oxford.
It is a marvellous opportunity for him and he told the Bishop that besides his love of the first chapters of Genesis, he is especially interested in the early Church fathers and the formation of the New Testament Canon.
Since leaving Peru, Max has married Miriam, who is a doctor in Oxford.
[The Bishop is in Oxford for the conference “Following Jesus as Lord and Saviour” at Wycliffe Hall from 2nd- 6th July.]

Family News from England

Guy and Martha gave me a warm welcome to a cold and rainy England last weekend en route to Oxford for a conference. They’re expecting their first baby in September (our third grandchild) and it was wonderful to see them.
Martha is taking me to the Royal Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this weekend with my two sisters, Elspeth and Heather, and my eldest niece Hazel, so it will be a very special time.
Then next week I go with Martha and Guy to Cornwall to see Matthew, who has recently announced his marriage to Alison at the end of September.

St Patrick's Mission in North Lima

The new St Patrick’s Mission is set in an invasion of over half a million people on a bleak section of the coastal sand dunes to the north of Lima airport. [You can see the housing and coastline behind P. Jesus’ head in the photo.]
The mission especially serves a housing association for people with physical disabilities, some of them in wheel chairs. Despite their special needs, there is no running water or sanitation, only dirt roads and an infrequent bus service. People sleep in shacks on the damp sand, sometimes without blankets and suffering from arthritis and bronchial conditions. A number of children have died. They are cut off from sources of employment and almost forgotten by the world.
Fr. Jesús Urbino began working there during Lent this year and the mission has quickly become central to the life of this struggling community. Inspired by the story of the Celtic missionary, St Patrick, he lit a huge bonfire at the Easter Vigil, sending a vivid message of hope that the true light of Christ has come into the world, even for them. There is a growing community that gathers for worship and the local authority has gievn land for a church and centre. The mission offers limited medical care and, more recently, thanks to St Margaret’s Charlotte, has begun to provide food for the hungry children of the area. Thanks, too, to those who have sent money for blankets, especially St Mark’s Minneapolis.

[Until recently, most of the ministries of the Anglican Church have been in the southern and central areas of Lima. For some time there has been a growing desire in the diocese to reach out to the areas of the north. Now the Lord has opened the doors and over the last few months several new missions and home Bible study groups have sprung up quite spontaneously.]

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