The 10th Council of Evangelical Methodist Churches of Latin America and the Caribbean (CIEMAL) took place from May 13-17 in Alajuela, Costa Rica, under the theme “Leading the Kingdom of God and making disciples in Latin America.” Approximately 120 people from 22 countries gathered in the Retreat Center Methodist Church of Costa Rica, for the conclave of five years 2008-2013.
CIEMAL was born 44 years ago in order to promote connexional activity between the Methodist Churches of the continent, strengthening the service, witness, integral development, and the promotion of a prophetic voice as the values of the Kingdom of God in the different contexts in which the churches are inserted.
The delegates were ministered through Bible studies prepared by Dr. Justo Gonzalez on the theology of Luke and Acts, for the purpose of bringing to mind the first practice of the Holy Club groups in the light of the formation of the disciples of Jesus in the Early Church. The study was deepened reflection on to social and other practices of Methodism in the Gospel as in the original Wesleyan movement, such as lay participation and leadership of women in the church.
The recognition of women’s leadership came through the historic election of the first woman president of CIEMAL – the Rev.. Lizzete Gabriel Montalvo, of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico. Nully Bishop Frank Brown, of Argentina, was elected vice president.
The new Secretary General is elected CIEMAL Rev. Luciano Pereira da Silva, of the Methodist Church of Brazil. He lives with his family Lima, Peru, where he is a national leader of Discipleship. Learn more about the life and ministry of the new leadership elected by the Tenth, and their expectations and vision for the years 2013-2018.
The Methodist Church of El Salvador was received as a full member of CIEMAL, great joy for Methodist family, which continues to strengthen the bonds of unity and cooperation for the purpose of supporting each other as their realities and needs.
Another cause for celebration was the 15th anniversary of Youth in Mission program. The youth presented a manifesto which promises to be and make disciples of all nations, and updated rules to improve mission strategy. A new continental coordinator was elected, the young Emerson Castillo Brito of El Salvador, and a new coordinator for the Southern Cone region, the young Russian Pearl Scappini of Paraguay.
Partners in Mission, representing different churches, agencies and institutions, joined the Assembly – the Rev. Thomas Quenet, of the Methodist Church of Great Britain, the Revdas. Cynthia Weems and Pamela Carter, Encounter with Christ, the Rev. Edgar Avitia, of the Board of Global Ministries, the Rev. Dick McClain, President of the Missionary Society, the Brother Humberto Shikyia, CREAS, Dr. Fernando Cascante, of AETH , Brother Donald Reasoner, translator, and a delegation from the Korean Methodist Church.
The Council of Bishops and Presidents of CIEMAL sat for the Tenth. Bishop João Carlos Lopes, Vice President of the College of Bishops of the Methodist Church of Brazil, was reelected President of the Council of Bishops and Presidents of CIEMAL, and Bishop Fernando Palomo, of Costa Rica, was elected Vice President, being the Bishop Pedro Magalhães new Secretary of the Council of Bishops and Presidents.
Delegations CIEMAL Methodist Churches – of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Uruguay and the Church Methodist Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA), actively participated in various working committees. Fraternal guests Methodist Churches of Honduras and Venezuela were present.
Representatives of the Latin American Association of Methodist Institutions (ALAIME), Confederation of Methodist Women da America Latina, and Methodists Associated Representing the Cause Hispanic-American (UP), shared reports and work strategies.
The group thanked God for the opportunity to work in unity for the purpose of pointing the Kingdom of God, the new leadership was elected Executive Committee to follow up on the five-year strategic plan that starts, and the work of the committees that submitted proposals for various issues including steps for a Continental Program and guidelines for a strategic plan.