Iglesia Luterana Costarricense

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ILCO Bishop Melvin Jiménez Marín visits North Carolina

ingles-3Bishop Melvin Jiménez Marín represented the Lutheran Church of Costa Rica (ILCO) in a June visit to North Carolina, one of ILCO’s companion synods in the United States.

Jiménez was among the special guests at the North Carolina synod assembly, which included the Rev. Dr. Paul Hill, executive director of the Youth and Family Institute, and Carlos Peña, vice-president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. The central theme of the assembly, held from June 5-7, was “God’s Work. Our Hands. Passing on the Faith.” The assembly included about 800 participants, representing 242 ELCA congregations and more than 86,000 members.

In bringing greetings to the assembly on June 5, Jiménez extended “good wishes for the community in Christ” of the synod. North Carolina Bishop Leonard Bolick thanked Jiménez for his hospitality during Bolick’s visit to Costa Rica.

“Your visit here is an expression of our walk together with Christ,” Bolick said.

The assembly also motioned to congratulate ILCO on its 20th anniversary, and called upon congregations to renew efforts to strengthen the companion relationship with ILCO.

Workshops were held in which participants could learn more about ILCO and why mutual accompaniment is important.

For the past two years, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, of Hickory, N.C., has sent a delegation to visit ILCO. Barbara Mahnke shared their experiences in the Friday afternoon forums. She encouraged other congregations to visit our companion synod. Jiménez spoke of his church’s mission to serve the poorest of the poor in his country.

“Service means love in action which is evangelism,” he said. “What we look for in mission trips is that those who come will get to know a different way of being church.”

Then, participants can return home and challenge their congregation to get involved locally, he said.

On Friday, Jimenez presided over an ordination service with Bolick. The offering was collected for ILCO’s ministries.

During his time in North Carolina, the bishop also visited Lutheridge Conference Center and Camp in Arden, N.C.; Centro Latino in Hendersonville, N.C.; and Nuestro Salvador worshipping community in Fairview, N.C.

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