This message is taken from David Brondos’ most recent newsletter. He is a missionary serving as a faculty member at the El Seminario Luterano Augsburgo, or Augsburg Lutheran Seminary, the seminary of the Iglesia Luterana Mexicana (ILM) which is a member school of the Theological Community of Mexico.
The Theological Community of Mexico is a consortium of seminaries which will now be incorporating some new partners. One of these partners is AMEXTRA, the Mexican Association for Rural and Urban Transformation which works on projects in the areas of health and education programs, emergency relief, income generation, and care for the environment. AMEXTRA has historic ties with the Lutheran Church here in Mexico and has worked for many years with the ELCA. AMEXTRA seeks to develop partnerships with local churches in order to implement programs. According to Eugenio Araiza, the General Director of AMEXTRA, their vision is to have churches become involved in community activities aimed at holistic transformation.
AMEXTRA wanted to strengthen its biblical and theological base for its programs, while the Theological Community looks to relate Christian theology more with practical aspects of social transformation. Social issues such as poverty, injustice, violence, and discrimination must be challenged by religious communities. And the reality in which people live cannot be transformed without transforming the way they see themselves, other people, and the world around them. From the perspective of the Theological Community, any leadership training that divorces theology from the work of transforming communities, society, and the world should be regarded as inadequate.
Through this new partnership AMEXTRA will be able to draw on the resources and network of relationships developed through the Theological Community to expand its mission of helping local church leaders acquire the vision and knowledge necessary to promote holistic transformation in their communities. At the same time, the Theological Community will gain from AMEXTRA’s resources, expertise, and network of relationships. Students at the Theological Community will have opportunities to learn more about holistic transformation and be involved in related programs. This new partnership will help the students and churches gain a new vision for integrating community service into their mission and ministry.