Doing What We Came To Do
AS a long-term volunteer with Global Ministries of the Disciples of Christ and UCC, my job description is way longer than you might imagine. “Kathleen Moyer, a member of Delhaven Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), La Puente, California,serves with the Joint Table for Mission Development formed by the Christian Congregational Churches of Mexico, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Mexico (ICDCM – Iglesia Cristiana Discípulos de Cristo de Mexico), and the Fraternity of Evangelical Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) of Mexico (CICEDCM – Confraternidad de Iglesias Cristianas Evangélicas (Discípulos de Cristo) de Mexico. She will serve as a consultant for Mission Development, with emphasis on women’s development and theological education.”
This past month, I actually did what my job description says I will do! (You may not know it, but that in itself appears to be miraculous!) Every summer, the Mesa Conjunta (Roundtable….see above) sponsors a week-long event at the seminary where we live for the purpose of theological education. This year four classes were offered; I taught Biblical Exegesis and I took the opportunity to teach about women in the Bible. Nineteen students (ministers and lay leaders) attended my class for five days from 3pm – 7pm. The students participating in the Curso de Verano (Summer Session) come from near and far in Mexico—we had students who lived nearby and stayed in their own homes and students from Mazatlan, Juarez, Guadalajara and all over Central Mexico; this year for the first time we enrolled a Hispanic pastor from the States. Those from far away stayed here at the seminary all week and it was so much fun to see the dormitories full of people and laughter. Three meals a day were served which meant that I did not have to cook (woohoo!) Worship services opened and closed the week, with morning meditations prior to desayuno (breakfast) each day. A couple of days, I was fortunate enough to awaken to violin music, as a choir director/music teacher from Mazatlan practiced before the morning meditation—what a treat!
My class focused on the women who are named in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1:1-17: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and the wife of Uriah (Bathsheba.) I wrote the lectures and my Spanish teacher,Karla Ramirez, translated them for me. I read the lectures in Espanol and then for the discussions, Karla and Doug served as translators in the classroom. After lively discussions about the biblical stories of Tamar and Rahab (thank you Dr. Jon Berquist for giving me permission to use information from your book Reclaiming Her Story (Chalice Press 1992) then it was their turn to provide an exegesis on the book of Ruth. Exegesis is detective work and the students divided into small groups in order to examine the story of Ruth and then present their findings in an oral presentation the next day. They were excited, and so was I!
These 21st century detectives dug into the story and each group did an amazing job of presenting their own exegesis of Ruth! One group even presented their findings in a radio show tele novela format! Very imaginative and informative! We finished the week discussing Bathsheba and finally a discussion of women in the New Testament.
I am so thankful that I was able to teach this class, and am happy to say that the evaluations were very good! Hopefully, this will lead to more opportunities for me to emphasize theological education while here in Mexico! The other classes were in Homiletics (preaching), Theology of Family, and Theology of Worship (led by Global Ministries missionary Dr. Carmelo Alvarez). What a great way to spend a week in San Luis Potosi!