Acompañamiento: A Pastoral Theology of Mission Essay

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Acompañamiento: A Pastoral Theology of Mission
On April 19, 1999 a bomb killed Mr. David Sanes during a military practice performed by the U.S. Marine in the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. The death of Sanes, a Puerto Rican civilian employed as a security guard, reignited the animosity of Puerto Ricans towards the U.S. Marine presence in Vieques and nurtured the birth of various movements that were petitioning the President of the United States of America to stop every practice and remove the Marine from the island. Pastor Estrada, who at that time was a Pentecostal credentialed minister of the Church of God (Cleveland) and General Secretary of the Bible Society of Puerto Rico , joined a civil cause that was unpleasant, yet he believed
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The words of Bevans and Schroeder are helpful, “The point of the church [pastor] is rather to point beyond itself [himself/herself], to be a community that preaches, serves and witnesses to the reign of God.” Accordingly so, for Estrada, the pastoral presence did not only seek to show solidarity with the cause, but more importantly to represent God to the people. “The minister called by God is a sacrament to the people.” Third, Estrada underscored that his pastoral role was one of acompañamiento. His personal commitment to accompany the Viequenses was a testimony gratitude for what God had done with him. As Crosby said, “This is the normative dimension: God raising up people who became ministers to the others of the same justice they experienced from God.” In describing the work of the Ecumenical Coalition he stated, “the role that these men and women played was difficult, in order to share hope, they abandoned their zone of comfort and entered into a world of chaos.” Estrada’s experience resonates with the Lukan story about the two men that were walking towards Emmaus and were accompanied by the risen Christ. Of the many missional themes that the gospel of Luke holds throughout the reading, there is one that is central, Jesus Spirit-filled ministry towards the widow, the needy, the excluded, the marginalized and the poor. It seems that Luke is underscoring the importance

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