Puerto Rican Brethren Hold 20th Island Assembly

(June 12, 2007) — The Church of the Brethren congregations in Puerto Rico held their 20th Island Assembly in early June. The churches also celebrated the graduation of the third class of students from the Puerto Rico Theological Institute.

On June 1, the Instituto Teológico de Puerto Rico awarded nine students certificates for completing the necessary requirements to graduate from the Church of the Brethren ministry training program in Puerto Rico. This is the third graduating class.

Lorens Crespo Reyes, graduating student and pastor of La Casa del Amigo in Arecibo, gave an inspirational message based on 1 Corinthians 4:20, “For the kingdom of God depends not on talk but on power.” José Calleja Otero, graduating student who began a radio evangelism ministry in December, was the keynote preacher for the opening worship of the 20th Island Assembly that evening.

Another graduating student, Miguel Alicea Torres who pastors the church in Rio Prieto, brought an item of new business to the assembly the next afternoon. He has begun a church project in San Sebastian as an outgrowth of his radio ministry, and was requesting recognization from the assembly delegates.

The quorum for the assembly was met with 22 delegates in attendance, plus 24 other registered guests. Carol Yeazell, interim director of the Congregational Life Teams for the Church of the Brethren General Board, brought greetings from general secretary Stan Noffsinger, and from Atlantic Southeast District executive minister Martha Beach who could not attend this year.

In other business, reports were received, budget deliberations discussed, and nominations held. The current moderator of the assembly is José Medina, a former graduate of the theological institute and a licensed minister from the Manati church. Moderator-elect is Severo Romero, with Ana D. Ostolaza and Nelson Sanchez receiving confirmation as secretary and board chair, respectively.

Next year’s assembly will be held at Castañer Church of the Brethren, which has experienced a 30 percent growth increase this past year and is discussing the need to expand worship facilities. The dates for the next assembly are June 6-7, 2008.

–Carol L. Yeazell is serving as interim director of Congregational Life Teams for the Church of the Brethren General Board.

The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To receive Newsline by e-mail go to http://listserver.emountain.net/mailman/listinfo/newsline. Submit news to the editor at cobnews@brethren.org. For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.

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