Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Reformation Day in Cubulco

On the 31st of October we had a special Reformation event at the church in Cubulco. I believe this was the first time we ever formally celebrated the Reformation with the church in this way. Several weeks prior to the date, at a meeting I attended with the leaders of the Cubulco church Pastor Xicara had brought up the idea of doing something special on Reformation Day. He proposed an all day seminar and a church service in the evening.  This was approved by the committee and I was asked to be the main speaker at the seminar.  I agreed, but also suggested getting someone else to come in to teach on the history of the Protestant church in Guatemala.
Although, I love history and have a good grasp of the history of the church, it still took me several weeks to prepare for the seminar.  What complicated things for me was finding the Spanish equivalent of names, places, and concepts. I must say that I learned a lot of Spanish in the past few weeks and I also learned a lot more about the history of the church.
For the seminar I expected perhaps 20 people, but we had a turn out of around 45. We had a number of people from other churches attend which was nice to see as well as the teachers, translators, the obreros, and members of the central church and the aldean churches.  Although the focus of the seminar was the Reformation period, I spent a considerable amount of time reviewing the history of the church since the time of Christ. I felt that it was important for people to understand that the church started out following the example of Christ and that it was not until the church became powerful that it started to deviate from the what the Word of God teaches. Most evangelicals (this is what they call Protestants here) in Guatemala come out of the Catholic church and reject anything and everything associated with their religious upbringing. This includes things that are good and that precede the Catholic church like the Creeds. 
I also spent some time talking about the invasion of the Moors in Europe and the 800 year struggle Spain had against driving the Moors from their country and how this affected their colonization of the New World and their view of those who held to different beliefs and religions.  It is interesting to note that Spain finally drove out the Moors in the year 1492 which is when Columbus discovered the Americas.
After I spoke for most of the day, Carlos Palaez a professor from the Presbyterian Seminary finished of the seminar with a history of the Protestant church in Guatemala. The Presbyterian church is the oldest church in Guatemala and just celebrated its 130th anniversary.
An hour after the seminar ended we had a service in the church to commemorate the Reformation and Pastor Edgar preached on the need for us to continue on with what the Reformation started and continue to reach out to those who are lost and to ensure that the church stays on the right path.