(para leer en español, dale clíc aquí)
As follow-up to the 2012 Encuentro of Sister Community Committees, we decided this year to have smaller, regional meetings and retreats with the sister community representatives during the months of November and December. This past Saturday we met with the communities of La Libertad and San Salvador, including representatives from Agua Escondida, Santa Cecilia, Los Naranjos, El Triunfo, Tierra Nueva, and Jardines de Colón. The purpose of the Encuentro is to talk about the communities’ roots in the CEBs (Christian Base Communities) and to reflect on the unique life experiences and wisdom that they share with their sister groups when they come to visit.
We opened in the morning with breakfast and a few icebreaker activities, including this one, which involves everybody introducing themselves with their name and a movement:
We then broke up into small groups by community to talk about what aspects of our community we share with our brothers and sisters when they come to visit. Each community shared a small skit with the large group, representing a typical visit, and we discussed what each community shares with the delegations. Some common points among many communities were sharing faith, telling stories and preserving history, friendship, hospitality, and trying to show the reality of life in the communities. The communities that have stronger present-day experiences of being a Christian Base Community identified that aspect as central in their organization and communal life, something they feel strongly about sharing with visitors.
In the afternoon, Armando spoke a bit about the history of the communities and how communities of faith are constantly in transformation, asking ourselves, “who and how are we called to be?” Like the first Christian communities (Acts 2:42), we are called to love each other and struggle for justice, to discern what that means in our time and place. Each community shared experiences of solidarity and of ways to keep working towards justice, learning from the experiences and ideas of others present. We had a Celebration of the Word to end the day, guided by the group from Santa Cecilia.