CMSI’s chair of the Board of Trustees, David Reynolds, puts it like this:
The partnership between a parish and a global partner is at heart a long-term relationship. Like all enduring relationships, it begins tentatively. Over time, often considerable time, the partners allow themselves to show vulnerability, and mutual trust and respect is built.
To enter into the story of people’s lives is a privilege and a responsibility. It can be immensely rewarding but brings with it challenges as well. For parishes that embrace this kind of long-term, honest, reciprocal engagement, we walk alongside them helping to navigate the swaths of bureaucracy that accompany international relations. We also ensure that stories are shared well between places; something which is essential when communication is difficult. This helps the partnering community pray together for one another – the first premise of all their dealings.
Last week Linda caught up with the people of Agherton. She worked with them on their partnership planning with Yei and followed up on their hosting of Bishop Levi during Kingdom Voices. It was wonderful to hear of the fun and fellowship they shared with their South Sudanese partners in August.
Today, Roger is in Dublin with the people of Killiney Parish, Ballybrack, updating them on their link with Gahogo parish in Shyogwe diocese while Linda finds herself just down the road from us in the office, joining with the people of St John’s, Malone. As they seek to refresh their partnership links through connecting another global partner, Linda is exploring a range of options with them.
Another facet of the partnership story is financial support. We love to hear of the activities and fundraisers going on all across Ireland. Remember David and Joan Johnston’s open garden and coffee morning last year? Their efforts helped support their parish partnership with Ibba, South Sudan. And what about Nigel Baylor’s birthday on facebook? These are just a few of the many activities we hear about.
So, if you are interested in starting a partnership story in your parish, please contact us at the office – phone 028 9077 5020 or 048 90775020 or email Jenny directly on firstname.lastname@example.org . We would love to walk alongside you as you experience the joy of sharing more fully in God’s global church.