DDG Companion News | July 13, 2016

The mission team from St. James (Farmington CT) in Puerto Plata in June 2016 with members of the congregation of Iglesia Episcopal Cristo Rey. This is a new team that was organized by St. James' rector, the Rev. George Roberts, who participated in a DDG-sponsored exploration team in November 2014 and returned home to form a team from St. James based on his experiences during that exploration trip. His team is now the second active team from the Diocese of Connecticut. The other team, a diocesan-wide youth team led by Alan McCollum from St. Saviour (Old Greenwich CT), was in Santo Domingo Este in early July to conduct Vacation Bible School at Iglesia Episcopal Santa Margarita. Click this image to see the complete schedule of over 50 mission teams from US-based dioceses in 2016.

 June and July 2016 - 25 Mission Teams!

The months of June and July are traditionally the busiest for mission teams coming from dioceses in the United States, and 2016 has been no exception. Fourteen teams came in June, and eleven are on the list for July. One of the services of the Dominican Development Group is to publish a current  incoming teams list that is maintained by the Mission Team Support office in the headquarters office of the Diocese of the Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo. This office is led by Missionary Karen Carroll, and the list is compiled by Karen and her office assistant, Patricia Martin. Both are bilingual and are ready to assist any team leader with logistical arrangements for their mission trips. More information about their office, along with a link to the current list of incoming teams, is available on this DDG webpage:

The mission team from Delaware with Bishop Holguín and his wife, Milagros (holding flowers, front row, right of center) and other Dominican clergy members at the dedication of the new Academic Center in Jalonga on June 17, 2016. 
Padre Ricardo Potter installs the banner for the new academic center in Jalonga. Click this image for the location of this village.
Academic Center Dedicated

One of the longest-serving mission teams in the Dominican Republic is sponsored by Christ Church Christiana Hundred in Wilmington, DE. Since November 2001, they have been working to build an academic center for young children in the village of Jalonga, about 16 miles north of the Kellogg Center in the city of San Pedro de Macorís. During their mission trip in June 2016, they received the great news that their project had received a grant of US$44,526 from the United Thank Offering to install solar panels on the project site. On June 17, the team was on hand to participate in the dedication of the new center, which was named in honor of Bishop Holguín's wife, Milagros Hernandez de Holguín.

Below are comments by Lynne Jensen, one of the adult leaders of the team, and William Stanborough, one of the senior missioners.

This was a very special day today in Jalonga! It was the celebration of the blessing of our Jalonga Project-15 years in the making-now called the Academia Episcopal- a center for young children! We celebrated our partnership with Fr. Potter, the people of Jalonga and the Diocese of the Dominican Republic! We also celebrate with all those many, many people at CCCH and beyond who have been part of this project! God is so very good! Looking to the future to continue our ministry together! The youth presented Fr. Potter with a check to help hire a director and for supplies and education materials and books! 
-- Lynne Jensen, Minister for Children and Youth 

I, like many of the seniors, have been going on the Jalonga trip for four years. Once when I was younger, I sent the author Neil Gaiman a thank-you letter for writing the first truly satisfying ending to a book that I had ever read; his story ended so well that despite how much I enjoyed reading it, I didn't feel sad that it was over; I only felt that sense of deep satisfaction and a desire to share the story with others. As a recent high school graduate, I have been experiencing my fair share of conclusions, and I have since learned to appreciate such endings as in that book, particularly because they are even rarer in real life. It is my absolute pleasure to say that my experience in Jalonga has come to such an ending. The seniors started by laying the foundations of two buildings, mixing concrete with shovels, and lugging cement blocks uphill, and now we end with harvesting corn, clearing vegetation, and painting the buildings we helped to raise. Through this project I have been fortunate enough to see for myself the miraculous and world-changing ripple effect of hard work and loving kindness through God. I have seen a community center practically spring into existence due to the efforts of the workers in Jalonga with the assistance of our church, and it's an experience that I fervently wi sh to provide to future groups of missioners. 
--William Stanborough, Missioner

For more post-trip reflections from this Delaware team, please click here.  

Tampa Deanery Starts New Church Construction in Nizao

The third team in 2016 from the Tampa Deanery in front of the new building they are constructing in Nizao with the San Timoteo congregation. For the location of this village, click this image.

The Tampa Deanery of the Diocese of Southwest Florida has begun their new project to construct a permanent building in Nizao with the congregation of Iglesia Episcopal San Timoteo. As outlined in their prospectus for this project, this will take three years, with three teams going at week-long intervals each year. This deanery has been quite successful at multi-year, complex construction projects in the past, having completed the work on the rebuilding of Iglesia Episcopal Santa Cruz in the Santa Fe neighborhood of the city of San Pedro de Macorís in 2015. 
Celebration of Bishop Holguín's 25th Anniversary

Save the date: August 20, 2016

The Diocese of the Dominican Republic will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Bishop Holguín's episcopate with a Thanksgiving Eucharist at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 20th, 2016. The location of this service and details about a reception will be announced soon. The Diocese has established this Facebook Event page for more information: http://bit.ly/29CbEup

Bishop Holguín is the third diocesan bishop to reside permanently in the Dominican Republic. Former resident bishops were the Rt. Rev. Paul A. Kellogg (1960-1972) and the Rt. Rev. Telésforo Isaac (1972-1991).  In February 2016, the Rt. Rev. Moisés Quezada began his service as Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of the Dominican Republic, and he will succeed Bishop Holguín upon his retirement, the date of which has not been announced. 

DDG Board Meets in Tampa on October 17, 2016

For more information on the 2016 convention of the Diocese of Southwest Florida, click this image.

The next meeting of the Board of Directors of the Dominican Development Group will be in Tampa, FL, on Monday, October 17, 2016. This meeting is scheduled in conjunction with the annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida, one of the dioceses having a companion relationship with the Diocese of the Dominican Republic - Iglesia Episcopal Dominicana. As soon as it is available, additional  information on this meeting will be posted here.

Correction on GEMN 2017 Meeting Dates

For more information on GEMN, click this image.
The 2017 conference of the Global Episcopal Mission Network will be held on May 24-26, 2017, in Alabama. The GEMN office recently announced these new dates, which are different from the original schedule published by GEMN in May, 2016.

Bill Kunkle, the Executive Director of the Dominican Development Group, is an elected member of the GEMN Board of Directors, and the DDG is one of several partner organizations with GEMN. Several representatives of the DDG took part in the 2016 GEMN conference held in Ponce, Puerto Rico, in May. For more information on this 2016 GEMN meeting, click here
Links to online copies of recent issues of the DDG Companion News:
For older issues on the Publications page of the DDG website, click here.

Contact the DDG:
Office: (813) 400-2722 | Fax: (813) 983-5082
Executive Director: Bill Kunkle | bkunkle@dominicandevelopmentgroup.org
PO Box 272261 | Tampa Florida 33688-2261

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