The Mission Partnership Committee has launched a new project inviting local congregations to enter into Sister Church relationships with Chilean churches that were severely affected by the earthquake there in 2010.
Invitations are going out to all churches in the monthly Mailing and weekly E-Mailing.
The Rev. Christopher Ney, chair of the partnership committee, says in the letter that the new project is a next step following the Lifting Up Hope campaign held immediately after the earthquake. That campaign enabled the Pentecostal Church of Chile - a longtime mission partner of the Conference - to build more than 300 Blessing Cabins for church members who had lost their homes.
While Lifting Up Hope provided emergency housing for families, serious damage to church buildings has gone un-mended, Ney says in the letter. This new Sister Church project would aid in the reconstruction of those churches.
Conference churches are invited to enter into a three-year covenant, during which time the congregation would commit to raising $5,000 to support the projects of the sister church. In the third year, the Massachusetts congregation would be invited to participate in a delegation visit to the sister church community. Smaller Conference churches are encouraged to consider partnering with other local churches in this endeavor.
"In addition to financial support, the Sister Church relationship will be built upon a foundation that includes ongoing sharing of prayer concerns, information, and the joys of our common ministry in Jesus Christ," Ney wrote. "This aspect of the partnership is perhaps even more meaningful to our Chilean pastors than the financial aid we offer."