Sunflowers - signs of resurrection

Sunflowers filled the worship tent this morning (Thursday 16 Feb) and throughout the day, bright nodding heads peeped out of bags or from the courner of a workshop. The sunflower has become a symbol of resurrection within Latin America and its use in worship reminded us to seek out colour and light in our lives.

Angelious Michael, with P. Nadar and Dr. Sarojini Nadar - participants from South Africa.

Today I attended the Spanish Bible study group where we reflected on the reading from Isaiah 65 and Rev 21 (I think) about the new heaven and earth. Nestor Miguez (from ISEDET) reminded us that both texts emerged from a people under imperial rule - Persian or Roman and asked us to think about how these texts challenge imperial structures that order society into rulers and subjugated. The theme of the earth was picked up later in a workshop on Amaryan - Andean spirituality in which we discussed indigenous beliefs that human beings are born from the earth - Pachamama (mother earth).

The plenary on economic justice reiterated the need for the church to challenge neo-liberalism and support alternative models of economy.

I enjoyed the first of several discussions on ecumenism - beginning today with time to share stories within a small group about how we began to become involved with other church denominations (I reflected on my time at STETS and the practical realities of working with different denominational structures and expectations) on our ecumenical saints (for me, those who have held before me a very different model of Christiantiy and been willing to share this honestly , who I am glad each Christmas and Easter to remember celebrating elsewhere so differently but nevertheless still able celebrating the life of Christ) and one more questions which I can't remember at this stage in the day!

Amongst all the new faces and ideas, it was wonderful to be able to share lunch and dinner with good friends from England and New York.

Tomorrow will bring more for me to share. until then.