In 2015, the Presbytery of Baltimore began a new chapter in its relationship with Guatemala through the establishment of a 5-year partnership with CEDEPCA, or the Protestant Center for Pastoral Studies in Central America.
Believing in the power of the Gospel to transform lives, the purpose of this partnership is to support and learn from one another in our common efforts to address issues of justice related to gender, race, ethnicity and class through biblical and theological education, compassionate accompaniment, and the provision of safe spaces for reflection and growth. 1
CEDEPCA is an ecumenical educational organization headquartered in Guatemala that works to transform lives in Central America. They have four areas of focus: Biblical and Theological Training, Women’s Ministry, Disaster Ministry and Intercultural Encounters.
The Baltimore Partnership Steering Committee is made up of pastors and members of churches within Baltimore Presbytery who are committed to attending to this long-term relationship and encouraging others within Baltimore Presbytery to become involved.
Intercultural exchanges and cross-cultural learning are at the core of the Baltimore-Guatemala Partnership, organizing at least one trip annually to Guatemala, hosting Guatemalan visitors and sharing a monthly prayer letter.
Trips to Guatemala are organized around topics of mutual interest, offering a unique opportunity to learn from Guatemalans about their own history and its relationship to the U.S. , to study together and reflect theologically on how it relates to our ministry. Recent trips have focused on Women’s Ministry, the Enneagram, and Racial Reconciliation. For information on upcoming trips, please contact: Susan Krehbiel, Presbytery staff, firstname.lastname@example.org or the Rev. Andy Gathman, chair, email@example.com
 From the Partnership Agreement signed between the Presbytery of Baltimore and CEDEPCA in November, 2015.
History of CEDEPCA
CEDEPCA began its biblical-theological education for clergy and lay persons in 1987, during Guatemala’s Civil War. The war began with a political coup over land reform. It progressed to Mayan genocide, and culminated in the wholesale murder of Christian social reform activists. It was clear to CEDEPCA founders that life-denying theology needed to be confronted with Reformed ideas, made available to anyone who dared to explore a new theology that would prepare them for service in Jesus’ name.