Doing ministry together means developing relationships. “Accompaniment” is one of the purposes of the Mayan Ministry group that I am part of. One of the dear moments on this trip was when we did a little pastoral calling, an example of accompaniment .
There is a sister named Patti who works with a particular parish south of San Cristobal de las Casas. This parish in Chiapas has an ongoing relationship with a United Church of Christ in Grand Marais, Minnesota. (That is on the Lake Superior and almost up to Canada!)
Well it turns out Patti has had some health difficulties, and one of the women in Grand Marais knit her a prayer shawl. (Our church does this too, for those who are unfamiliar, this is how it works. The gift of the prayer shawl reminds the recipient of the love and concern that surrounds them from a church community. So when one wears the shawl they think about the prayers, love and concern expressed on their behalf.) It was our special task to deliver the shawl.
So, on January 27, we took public transportation to Teopisca, which is down the Pan American Highway from San Cristobal. And then we met Patti in the rectory at the church on the public square in the middle of town. We visited for a time, had coffee and cookies and then Paula did the presentation on behalf of the Grand Marais church.
We had a prayer and were on our way. It is a beautiful, large shawl! It is interesting to think that I could have been doing almost exactly the same thing making a call with our Parish Nurse in Rock Island, Illinois.