Ecumenical Christian Council of Guatemala (Concejo Ecuménico Cristiano)
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The Ecumenical Christian Council of Guatemala is a place for Christian encounter, reflection, and action for those committed to working for peace, reconciliation, and ecumenism in Guatemala. The Ecumenical Council takes on the challenge of maintaining the kairos of the Guatemalan Peace Agreements, maintaining a prophetic voice of denunciation and declaration of facts and situations of injustice, and other realities that hinder the fulfillment of the Realm of God on earth.
The Ecumenical Christian Council is convinced that Christian unity, or ecumenism, is one way to develop a democracy that promotes tolerance, respect, ethnic and religious pluralism, and peaceful living together. The Council seeks to be an ecumenical instrument of reflection, action, and projection where the mainline churches of Guatemala learn to become advocates of their nation’s life through the perspectives of Christian values, the search for the common good, the construction of peace and reconciliation, and promotion of better living conditions for the Guatemalan population in the current context of globalization.
Despite the difficult situation in Guatemala, the Council has been able to help visualize and give testimony of the ecumenical work through the reports it develops. Despite the situation, the Council continues to have the opportunity to be a prophetic and hopeful testimony through the organization of activities such as public prayers, new leadership involvement in predominantly rural areas, and the participation of women and youth. The National Ecumenical Vision (NEV) has been a strategy and instrument of faith for qualitative participation, analysis, and coherent proposals.
During 2012, the National Ecumenical Vision had the opportunity to carry out a number of informational activities, sensitize and organize grassroots communities and their leadership who are part of the Ecumenical Council constituency. This established a network of ecumenical observer constituency, including local and national churches and parishes to function as social watch groups. In so doing, these watch groups can oversee the many promises and commitments offered by the different local and national governmental authorities, including the current administration.
Another learning experience was being able to train pastoral agents both at the technical and socio-religious levels; thereby helping them become better at gathering and processing information and to develop the skill to propose actions that have political impact.
In 2013, the fundamental process for the National Ecumenical Vision (NEV) will involve prioritizing the active role and participation of both local leaders and pastoral agents from the following geographical regions: North Eastern, Southern Coast, Western, and Central Guatemala. Accordingly, full participation, knowledge, and approval will be requested from the regional Ecumenical Councils represented within Guatemala City, Chimaltenango, Quetzaltenango, Suchitepéquez, Jutiapa, Zacapa, General Assembly and Board of Directors. This experience will allow the Council to work on three core areas for the year 2013:
- To strengthen the National Ecumenical Vision
- To maintain and increase public impact through various public acts which include ecumenical and interreligious prayers throughout the country as well as to be an inspirational presence and accompaniment with social sectors, indigenous communities, peasants, women, youth and children in the struggle and defense of their territories.
- To support at least three higher education centers in the areas of theology, social sciences, research, and systematization of ancestral Mayan knowledge.
The Council plans the following activities in these three core areas:
- Accomplish ten ecumenical and interreligious public celebrations in the four regions of the country.
- Support at least 100 pastoral agents in their socio-theological and ancestral knowledge formation in Chimaltenango, Nebaj, and Southern Coast of Guatemala.
Implement NEV in four regions of the country to include 100 religious leaders, 200 women and youth. Additionally, enhance the process of information gathering, systematization and the ability to propose actions of political impact at the local, municipal, regional and national levels.
The Council seeks economic support from local, national and international resources for its work. Listed below are special ways in which your gifts can help the project:
- A gift of $50 would support the Council’s efforts to intervene with gangs for the purpose of redirecting gang members and potential members toward constructive activities.
- A gift of $150.00 could help enable the development of resources to support the Council’s holistic campaign to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
- A gift of $500.00 could support the Council’s efforts to cultivate networks in the ecumenical community in Guatemala for the purposes collaborate on common concerns.