Opportunities Abound

Date posted: Tuesday 18 September 2018

The ILAG Task Force of the Saint Paul Area Synod will soon be a memory. Gasp! No! Say it ain't so!


Breathe in, breathe out.... It'll be alright. The work of the Saint Paul Area Synod with the Iglesia Luterana Agustina de Guatemala (ILAG) continues.


To replace the task force, which really accomplished its "task" of creating a relationship with the ILAG soon after its formation in 2004, an official committee of the synod is being organized according to new bylaws adopted by the 2018 Synod Assembly. If this sounds like a lot of ado about nothing, let us clarify.


Any organization of value knows that sustainability is essential. Our relationship with the ILAG is greater than the 10-20 individuals who meet every month to hear the latest news, to discuss how to best accompany, to keep lines of communication open, and to remind each other to pray for our partners.


The task force has done a great deal of work in connecting local MN churches with the ILAG, and that will continue. The task force has worked hard to facilitate visits to Guatemala, and that will continue. The task force has organized fundraisers for the ILAG, and that will continue. The task force has included a lot of individuals who have a passion for this relationship, and that not only will continue but it will multiply. More people who love the ILAG will now be invited to participate at various levels of engagement.


The work of the task force in growing the relationship with the ILAG has been going on for fourteen years. But many visitors to the ILAG are unable to attend task force meetings. Maybe they receive the meeting minutes or are on their own congregation's global companionship committee. But, they probably yearn for a little more information every so often - or, we hope that they do.


The beauty of this two-part structure is that it will provide more opportunities for everyone through two new groups:


  1. The Guatemala Committee: 6-9 people will serve on the Committee, which will meet 4-5 times per year to discuss finances, receive updates on the ILAG ministries, and plan and organize for the best way to move forward with our "accompaniment" values;
  2. The Guatemala Friends: a group open to all, which will meet 4-5 times per year to receive updates from the ILAG, to enjoy workshops or training on any one of the ILAG ministries, to share successful activities carried out during visits, and to support fundraising events.


Do we see this change as improvement? Yes, we do! This new structure will expand the opportunities for everyone to better use their individual gifts and talents and work from their passion. Keep your eyes open for more details about both of these groups!


Janet Metcalfe

Chair, Guatemala Companion Synod Task Force


The Rev. Joe Lees

Assistant to the Bishop, Saint Paul Area Synod, ELCA