Sabbatical – Mexico

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Engage Unitarian Universalism in Mexico — in the context of an expatriate community, an indigenous one, or both, to learn how our UU faith speaks in the unique cultural and historic environment of Mexico. The two different UU communities engaged in this brief placement are the Lake Chapala UU Fellowship (LCUUF) in Ajijic, and the Libre Unitarian Church of Mexico in Mexico City. Explore how Unitarian Universalism has taken root in Mexico, and learn about how UUs in Mexico engage issues of privilege and power as they arise in this context.

General Outline

The Mexico congregations will make specific plans with the visiting religious professional to reflect your areas of skill and their areas of need.  Typically your time with these congregations will include opportunities to lead worship, provide pastoral care, and to consult on congregational programs and development.  Both congregations pursue social justice projects, and visiting religious professionals can both learn from and support this work.

In the past, these UU communities have expressed their general need to to feel connected to the wider global UU community, and to gain access to the experience and wisdom of a religious professional. As an example of utilizing interested religious leaders who come for a short-term stay, in spring 2014 Rev. Daniel O’Connel engaged the Fellowship in a robust strategic planning process.

Visiting religious professionals with Spanish-language proficiency will find unique opportunities to engage with the LCUM (Mexico City) congregation since this is the primary language for its membership.  LCUM also operates an extensive prison outreach program that a visiting religious professional with Spanish-language proficiency could both support and learn from.

Location

The minimum visit is 10 days – including a Saturday worship service in Mexico City followed by worship services on two Sundays with the Lake Chapala congregation. The week between the two Sundays will be planned according to the current needs of the Lake Chapala Fellowship, the skills of the visiting religious professionals, and other opportunities of interest.

The Lake Chapala UU Fellowship can provide home hospitality for visiting religious professionals.  Alternatively, there are reasonably priced and conveniently located Bed & Breakfast options available. For those wishing to stay beyond the 10-14 day period, specific housing arrangements and opportunities for service must be worked out with the congregations.

Resources

Justice in a Global Economy, Pamela K. Brubaker et al

Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America, by Juan Gonzales, especially chapters 1, 2 and 5 specific to the history and dynamics of Mexico and the U.S.

Website of Lake Chapala UU Fellowship

Libre Congregacion de Mexico’s page on Facebook

Blogpost about Rev. Peter Morales’ visit with LCUM

Short video about UU’s in Mexico

For more information about this placement, contact Eric Cherry, Director of the UUA International Office.

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