by Rev Jen Lessard
Greetings fellow lovers of Creation,
I am the pastor of two wonderful and progressive fellowship communities in the ABCRGR:** Immanuel Baptist, and York Baptist Church. As part of the Region’s International Ministries and the Region’s Creation Collaborative, I was fortunate to take part of a full immersion experience with indigenous peoples of the Ecuadorian rainforest (the Siekopai) and Andes (Cañari of Rio Blanco) back in January. It was an amazing experience, and I won’t detail it here but share a video if you are interested: https://youtu.be/2tn-qZQfiQg
Our churches have developed a relationship with RECONPAZ* and a sibling-hood with the indigenous Sinchi Warmi women of the Andes, and would like to offer you opportunities to participate in upcoming experiences. The current opportunities are listed below, and we expect to have more opportunities as time goes on.
Please see below for three upcoming opportunities to engage with our siblings in Ecuador and our friends of RECONPAZ:
1) “Walking Together on Mother Earth” online conversation opportunities starting April 29th:
These are conversations via Zoom about creation-themed films with our indigenous siblings in Ecuador, the Amazon & the Andes. Pre-registration is required so that participants can view films ahead of time to discuss. We hope to have participants from all over the ABCRGR region in the United States, as well as (hopefully) students and faculty from the University of Cuenca. These conversations will be facilitated by the leader of RECONPAZ Ecuador, Eloy Alfaro. Please see the graphic below.
2) RECONPAZ Ecuador is organizing two additional immersion experiences in 2023, one in June and one in November. These will be similar to the one I experienced with my colleagues in January, except one additional indigenous community is added, from the Pacific Coast. The focus of these immersions is to listen and learn from these cultures, particularly as it relates to the extractivism by mining, petroleum and palm oil companies, and the negative impacts on the indigenous peoples and their environment. I have also attached a flyer for these experiences. Registrations are filling up fast. A flyer is attached for this as well.
3) RECONPAZ is working on an updated website, RECONPAZ.org, and is looking for people willing to volunteer to translate Spanish content into English. This is an ongoing project, and we are willing to accept volunteers of all aptitudes. For example, I am not fluent in Spanish, but am translating content using Google translate.
If any of these opportunities look like they may be of interest to you, or if you have any questions, please feel free to email me at email@example.com. Thank you.
Rev. Jen Lessard, Member
ABCRGR Creation Collaborative
* RECONPAZ stands for Red Continental Christiana por la Paz, Continental Christian Network for Peace. Our ABC International Ministries global servant, Ricardo Mayol, is part of the same network, as is Eloy Alfaro from RECONPAZ Ecuador who visited Rochester in March.
**American Baptist Church Rochester-Genesee Region