CAMCA 2016: Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean Anabaptist Consultation
The annual Central America, Mexico and Caribbean Anabaptist Consultation (CAMCA) took place 5–9 July 2016 in the Escuela de Capacitación Adventista Salvadoreña, San Juan Opico, La Libertad, El Salvador. Fifty-nine participants came from México, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Argentina. It was organized by Sandra Campos, member of Asociación Iglesias Cristianas Menonitas de Costa Rica (Costa Rica Mennonite church) and the Executive Committee of Mennonite World Conference, and Samuel Martínez, a pastor from Iglesia Evangélica Menonita de El Salvador (El Salvador Mennonite church).
It was a real blessing to receive helpful input for carrying out pastoral work amid current realities. The keynote speaker was pastor Gilberto Flores, with more than 40 years of pastoring experience in Central America and the United States. The overarching theme was “Responsive Pastoral Ministry for Contemporary Challenges: Re-imagining pastoral action for postmodernity.”
Various reports were also part of the agenda. Olga Piedrasanta from Guatemala with Mary Cano and Ondina Murillo from Honduras coordinated the work and report of the “Latin American Anabaptist Women doing Theology” while Ester Bornes from Argentina facilitated a workshop called “Created Equal.”
Agency representatives gave brief reports about programs at Seminario Anabautista Latinoamericano: SEMILLA (Latin American Anabaptist Seminary), the Central American peace network and Mennonite Central Committee. As the new Mennonite World Conference regional representative for the Central America region, Willi Hugo Pérez, rector of SEMILLA, also shared his vision for collaborative work amongst Mennonite and Anabaptist churches, organizations and church members. Participants laid hands on Pérez and prayed words of blessing and sending upon him for this important task.
We celebrated the renewal of CAMCA and the desire to meet again in 2018 hosted by the Honduran Mennonite Church.
Each country named a CAMCA representative who is commissioned to promote CAMCA in their churches so that more youth, women, pastors and even families start to plan to attend the next consultation.
Many thanks were extended to the Salvadoran Mennonite Church for receiving us with such warmth and tenderness. The participants were inspired to do their best in carrying out their pastoral duties. All experienced the presence of the Spirit of our Loving God via the presentations, studying the Word, the testimonies, praying and singing. We have returned to the words of Jesus Christ, the lamb that was slain, “I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5).
—Jaime Prieto is from Costa Rica, married to Silvia de Lima from Brazil, and they are the parents of Thomáz Satuyé. Jaime has a PhD in Theology from the University of Hamburg, Federal Republic of Germany (1992), has been a member of the Costa Rican Mennonite Church since 1971, and now belongs to the Asociación de Iglesias Evangélicas Menonitas de Costa Rica (member of MWC).
Participants of CAMCA 2016. Photo: Andrew Boden.
A group of participants at the Latin American Anabaptist Women doing Theology event. Photo: Andrew Boden.