Central Americans gather for 35th Anabaptist Consultation

News Service
October 26, 2010
 
Central Americans gather for 35th Anabaptist Consultation
           
San Marcos, Carazo, Nicaragua—Ethics and commitment were the focus of this year’s annual meeting of the Consulta Anabautista Menonita Centroamericana CAMCA, September 8 to 10. The 35th meeting of the longstanding theological consultation, was also marked by a strong showing of women theologians, who had held their own gathering immediately prior (see separate release).
           
In all, 18 men and 36 women participated—most of whom serve in Bible teaching or leadership capacities in Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Panama.
Keynote speaker Silvia Regina de Lima Silva of Costa Rica led the group in reflecting on the theme “Conversion and Discipleship: An urgent call to the faith community to live the ethics of the Kingdom".
           
From their Bible reading, prayer, and analysis of the Scripture, participants were challenged to revisit their own conversion as they sought “new alternatives to project the kingdom of God.” As their summary report reminded them, conversion is only a starting point. “We will overcome only by following the model of Jesus, who rose above temptation by abiding in God’s Word...in daily practice,” the report said.
           
The conference also stressed the kingdom of God as a present reality, not only an event in the future: “We believers should create conditions for it to be perceived, seen and felt in our communities.”
           
CAMCA participants also formed a declaration of commitment:
 
a.       As a Church we are challenged to rethink our conversion as a continuous process in life.
b.      We must revitalize our faith community by means of the study and the practice the Gospel of Jesus.
c.       We must use the spaces God is opening to us in our society to become leaven and mustard seed.
d.      As a church and as individuals we must be vigilant against the temptation of seeking power and recognition.
 
During the gathering Sandra Campos, former CAMCA president, highlighted the maturing of the participant churches. This year the Mennonite Church of Honduras celebrated its 60th anniversary, and Mennonite Church in Panama celebrated its 50th. The Costa Rican Mennonite Church marks its 50th in 2011.
           
The delegates also elected a new board of directors, drawn from the participating denominations: Fada Luz Pérez, president (Asociación Misión Evangélica de los Hermanos en Cristo en Nicaragua/ Brethren in Christ in Nicaragua); Gloria Chacon, secretary (Asociación Convención de Iglesias Menonitas de Costa Rica/ Mennonite Church of Costa Rica); Adalid Romero, treasurer (Iglesia Evangélica Menonita Hondureña/ Honduras Evangelical Mennonite Church); and Julieta Vásquez (Iglesia Evangelica Menonita de Guatemala/ Evangelical Mennonite Church in Guatemala; and Rudilia Lima (Iglesia Evangélica Menonita de Belice/ Evangelical Mennonite Church in  Belize).
 
- Byron Rempel-Burkholder
from reports by Sandra Campos and Olga Piedrasanta
 
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Photo available: Participants in the CAMCA meeting.