From March 26 until April15, the Chile Partnership Committee of the Massachusetts Conference was pleased to host a delegation of three members of the Pentecostal Church of Chile (IPC), our long-time ecumenical partner. Pastor Christian Hidalgo and his wife Pastora Susana Sepulveda, together with Pastora Ada Chavez, traveled the length of Commonwealth from Newburyport to Sheffield.
The delegation had two primary objectives: to strengthen the ecumenical partnership that has existed between the Mass Conference and the IPC for nearly 30 years and to support the Sister Church relationships that have recently formed among several of our churches. Pastoras Susana and Ada also attended the Women’s Celebration conference in Portland, Maine.
Together, the group participated in a healing service in West Brookfield, jazz worship at Old South-Boston, Sunday worship at Edwards-Framingham, Central-Newburyport, and Sheffield. They met with faculty and Latino students at the Boston University School of Theology. They participated in church Bible study groups, shared potluck suppers, and offered a cooking class for Chilean empanadas. In their free time, they visited the coast of Maine, walked the Freedom Trail in Boston, and even organized their own excursion to New York City where they stayed with a friend from the Pentecostal Church of Chile.
At each event on their lengthy itinerary, they demonstrated the love of Christ and their openness to the presence of the Holy Spirit, even in a foreign land. The Rev. Jill Graham, pastor of one of the host churches commented, “The typical gracious spirit that always accompanies our brothers and sisters from the IPC was present, bringing blessing and joy to all who gathered with them.” The delegation also served as effective interpreters for the Chilean Pentecostal experience.
Members of the Chile Partnership Committee and members of local churches provided home hospitality, transportation, meals, and translation. Pastor Hidalgo said at the end of the trip, “Every possible need or concern that we might have had was addressed. We are grateful for how well we were cared for during this delegation.” Special thanks to everyone who helped provide support and hospitality to our guests.
If you are interested in learning more about the Chile Partnership—including next February’s youth delegation—please contact the Rev. Kelly Gallagher.
Submitted by the Rev. Christopher Ney, chair of the Chile Partnership Committee
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