Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Partnerships: Winter 2019 Service Trips & Support

A year ago, the island of Puerto Rico was hit by back-to-back hurricanes, Irma and Maria, which left thousands of people without adequate housing, power, water, food, clothing… Many, of course, were left without hope, and the suicide rate has skyrocketed. But there is hope!

In keeping with the Synod of the Northeast’s initiative on Puerto Rico Partnerships, there are plans underway for two back-to-back relief work opportunities this winter.

Puerto Rican Partnerships Update: Autumn 2018

One year ago, just weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and other neighboring Caribbean islands, the Synod’s Mission & Ministries Commission decided to set aside funding and time to encourage the congregations and presbyteries of the Synod to consider ways to partner with Puerto Rican Presbyterians in what is still a very long process of recovery. During the 2018 Fall Synod Commission meeting, commission members had the opportunity to engage in some conversation about our regional and church-wide strategies to support Puerto Ricans in this process.

Puerto Rico Taskforce Update: June 2018

Grace and peace to you from the Synod’s Puerto Rico Partnerships Taskforce (PRPT)!

We are honored to serve you as we seek to reinvigorate our partnerships between the Synod of the Northeast and the people of Puerto Rico.

Recently, I had the privilege of traveling to Puerto Rico with the other four members of the PRPT:  Crystal Garcia (Monmouth), Leslie Latham (Western New York), Margaret Mitsuyasu (Synod Mission Coordinator), and Amaury Tañón-Santos (Synod Networker). The purpose of our trip was to meet face-to-face with ecclesial leaders from around Puerto Rico, to listen to their stories, and to begin to discern together ways that we can walk alongside our Puerto Rican sisters and brothers in this particularly painful time following the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

Here are a list of three observations during our brief time with the Presbyterians of Puerto Rico:

Actualización de la Ayuda a Puerto Rico

En los meses después que los vientos ensordecedores dejaron de gritar y las aguas retrocedieron sobre la isla de Puerto Rico, los presbiterianos/as han respondido al llamado de ayuda de los que fueron afectados. Un asombroso cuarenta porciento de los habitantes de la isla todavía carecen de electricidad, acceso a agua limpia y suficiente comida. 

A pesar de los bloqueos burocráticos (y aparente apatía) por parte de nuestra nación, las congregaciones y presbiterios en todo el noreste han puesto su fe en acción.

Puerto Rico Aid Update

In the months since the winds stopped howling and the waters receded over the island of Puerto Rico, Presbyterians have responded to the plight of those who have been affected, an astonishing 40% of whom still don’t have power, and an appalling number who still lack access to clean water and sufficient food. 

In spite of bureaucratic roadblocks (and seeming apathy) on the part of our nation, congregations and presbyteries throughout the Northeast have put their faith into action.

Synod Commits $65k to Long-Term Puerto Rican Recovery Partnerships

There are four Presbyterian mid-councils in Puerto Rico - the Sínodo de Boriquén and its three Presbyteries - Presbiterio del Noroeste, Presbiterio de San Juan, and Presbiterio del Suroeste. The Synod of the Northeast holds a historic relationship with Puerto Rican Presbyterianism: Puerto Rico was a presbytery of our predecessor Synod of New York. For more than two years, our Synod’s Mission Team has been engaged in learning and conversation with Presbyterian leaders in Puerto Rico, and the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico, on matters of mission, vocation, and ministry.