Chiapas Day 04—Interfaith Dialogue, Futbol, the “Other” Perspective, and Ecological Disaster

Friends, it has been a very long day.  For those of you who followed Mr. Melcher’s posts from El Salvador in March, you will be familiar with his euphemism: Traveler’s Digestive Issues (TDI) have assaulted members of our group today, including yours truly.  As a result, even though we had the evening to ourselves, I spent my time getting medicated and retiring early, rather than catching up on the blog as had been my intent.  However, Cipro came to the rescue, and I (and the others) are feeling much more the thing now.

A New Meaning for “Ecumenical”

United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, with which this trip is affiliated, is an ecumenical seminary.  This means that people of all faith backgrounds are welcome, and we all learn together in the same classroom.  I’ve told people that it’s an incredible opportunity to learn how to express myself in an interfaith dialogue while still in my formational process as a minister.  It teaches me how to avoid stepping on other people’s beliefs while still honoring and expressing my own.

But today we walked to an ecumenical school here in San Cristobal where interfaith dialogue has a much different meaning.  This school is not for ministers-in-training.  This school is made up of a small, dedicated staff who have committed themselves to healing the deep division between Catholics and evangelical Protestants in Chiapas—a division that has fostered suspicion, fear, hatred, and even violence. Continue reading