Wednesday, April 16, 2008

INESIN 2007 Report

The Institute for Cultural Studies and Research (INESIN) has focused its ecumenical efforts on the need for dialogue and understanding among intercultural groups so they can define and articulate their understanding of God, faith, truth, and other aspects of the divine. In 2007, INESIN held a series of workshops on the topics of spirituality, theology, community reinforcement, and support. Groups from diverse communities were trained with the purpose of their taking what they have learned back to the grassroots of their communities. For many, this is the only way they receive an education.

Workshop titles included: God in the Motherland; Indigenous Theology in Pastoral Care; Human-Spiritual Development for Lay Servants; Systematic Indigenous Theology; Theological Dialogue: Mayans, Mexicans and Yucatans; Preventing Domestic Violence, Women of the Bible and Paul; Women Prophets of the Old Testament; Mission Ministry in the Church; Summer School of Theology; Intercultural Conflicts and Nonviolent Resolutions and Ecumenical Dialogues on Violence and Death. In addition to these educational events, INESIN sponsored and organized several spiritual retreats and intercultural worship events. Groups included indigenous groups from Zinacantán, Margaritas, San Cristóbal , Chiapas Yucatán, Quintana Roo, Ocosingo, Chanmic Huixtán , Oaxaca , and Juchitán. Over 1,000 persons participated in these events.

INESIN works closely with churches, communities and individuals to help develop community leadership at the grassroots level. Moreover, INESIN works with leaders who are responsible for nurturing the education and faith development of their communities. Workshops and community events were held in 2007 on child and youth development, environmental care, and conservation. Work groups helped those still dealing with the effects of Hurricane Stan, and provided Vacation Bible School events and ecological and natural history tours. The work groups helped build water containment sites, helped build homes, and helped start protective measures for marine turtle habitats in Puerto Arista. These events are educational as well as recreational, and help to build cohesiveness and solidarity among the groups that interact. All events were intergenerational.

Other achievements include collaboration with the Baptist Seminary of Mexico-Chiapas Extension, the Intercultural Mayan Seminary, and UNITE of Bolivia with student and leadership exchanges. INESIN personnel were able to participate in various continuing education events, among them at the School for Peace, Center for Ecumenical Studies, and the Agape Ecumenical Center in Italy .

INESIN expresses its gratitude to Global Ministries for the funds that helped support the ministry of education, research and dialogue.
Translated and edited by:
Office of Resource Development
Global Ministries
P.O. Box 1986
Indianapolis , IN 46206
Tel: (317) 713-2555
Fax: (317) 635-4323

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