Latin American update

I have many good friends in the LATF … here’s their latest press release:

La Paz, Bolivia – October 25-28, 2008
Thirty-eight years ago, the LATF (the Fraternidad Teológica Latinoamericana – now known in English as the Latin American Theological Fellowship) was born in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The 1970 gathering included 25 theologians, pastors, seminary professors and evangelists. Today the LATF is spread throughout the Americas and Spain, and it is comprised of evangelical Christians committed to the life and mission of God’s people in Latin America and beyond. The LATF, as a part of the church, facilitates friendly spaces for dialogue and biblical-theological reflection from Latin America. Today, just like back in the 1970s, we continue yearning for a Latin American church that, transformed by the Word and the Spirit into an agent of the Kingdom of God and God’s justice, ministers in every area of society.

Grounded in this tradition, vision and mission, the LATF held the Consultation “Indigenous Spiritualities, Interculturality and Integral Mission” from October 25-27 in the city of La Paz, Bolivia. In attendance were 60 people from 15 countries who engaged in rich times of discussion, prayer and praise to God. Three plenary papers and several more specific papers were presented and analyzed in three working groups: anthropological, theological and spiritual. A final summary will be made available soon.
On October 27 and 28, at the same venue, the General Assembly of the LATF was held, with 30 delegates. The LATF convenes this Assembly every four years in order to receive and evaluate the reports of the General Secretary, the Board and the Treasurer, as well as to plan the work for the following four years. During this time, the Board of Directors is partially renewed and the person is chosen who will serve as General Secretary. On this occasion, the new General Secretary was selected: Ruth Padilla De Borst, who will live in Costa Rica after February, 2009. The Board of Directors was constituted as follows: Víctor Rey, from Chile, as President; Jorge Barro, from Brasil, as Vice-President; Lindy Scott, from the USA, as Treasurer; Carlos Mondragón, from México, as Secretary; and Juan José Barreda, who lives in Argentina, Harold Segura, who lives in Costa Rica, and Marcelo Vargas, from Bolivia, as Directors at large. We here publicly thank Omar Cortés and the outgoing Directors for their years of service. We request your prayers for the new team that will seek to ensure that the LATF fulfills it mission of promoting reflection on the Gospel, creating space for interdisciplinary dialogue and contributing to the life and mission of the Church in Latin America. We also encourage all readers of this press release to join the local chapters active in your country so that, together, we may explore themes and issues that will enrich the contribution of our churches in the context in which God has placed them.
The LATF has its beginnings in CLADE I (The Latin American Congress of Evangelization) held in Bogotá, Colombia, in 1969. Since then, the LATF has convened three Latin American Congresses of Evangelization (CLADE II in Huampaní, Perú in 1979, CLADE III in Quito, Ecuador in 1992 and CLADE IV again in Quito in 2000), events that have contributed to the transformational mission of churches, agencies and communities for several decades. We invite you to intercede for CLADE V, planned for 2012 under the theme: “Following Jesus in his Reign of Life: Guide us, Holy Spirit!”. This Congress seeks to bring together God’s people from Latin American in all their diversity and richness in order to celebrate, reflect on our context, evaluate our work and seek pathways of faithfulness to God in our current reality.
In a spirit of humility and repentance, we consecrate ourselves anew to God, who loves and demands justice, to Jesus Christ, who loved us beyond death, and to the Holy Spirit, who renews and enables God’s people, prompting us to the fulfillment of our mission, for God’s glory.
La Paz, Bolivia – October 31, 2008