Honduras benefit dance Nov. 22

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FARMINGTON – Dance the night away with locally renowned rock and roll band, Shepherd’s Pie, from 7 pm to 11 pm on Saturday, Nov. 22 in the Landing located in the lower level of the University of Maine at Farmington Student Center at the corner of High Street and South Street. The dance is a chem-free event so everyone is welcome. The cost of admission is only $5 per person. Shepherd’s Pie will play favorite tunes from ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s.

All proceeds will benefit the 2009 Franklin Association United Church of Christ Maine-Honduras Partnership projects. Refreshments will be available. Tickets for a 50/50 raffle will be sold. Special notecard sets, depicting scenes of Honduras and the people served by past partnership projects, will be on sale.

Sewing materials to make lap quilts were provided to the women of El Junco, Honduras, during a team trip, January 2008. (Photo by Franklin Association UCC Maine-Honduras Partnership)

The Maine-Honduras Partnership is a covenantal relationship between the Maine Conference of the United Church of Christ and the Evangelical and Reformed Church of Honduras. It has been in existence since Hurricane Mitch laid waste to Honduras in 1998. Teams have gone from the Maine UCC churches to partner with members of the E & R churches of Honduras to help rebuild and repair churches, parsonages, homes, schools, and bridges – at the same time building relationships that transcend cultures, theological differences, and language barriers.

The seven churches of the Franklin Association of the United Church of Christ have been sending teams since 2004. The teams have worked alongside church and community members to build a pastor’

s house in Quimistan. In 2007 they established a relationship with the impoverished mountain community of El Junco,and two teams helped build a kitchen for the women attempting to provide a noon meal for the children. They made major repairs to the school building and brought much needed school supplies. In 2008, two teams returned to El Junco and helped build 22 pilas – holding tanks for that incorporate a wash basin – allowing families to improve their available water supply.

In addition to construction teams, the Franklin Association trips have consistently brought medical teams to help address the void of medical care and treatment to these rural communities. The medical teams work out of the clinic in Pinalejo, as well as bring care into the mountain villages for whom medical care is a rare service.

In 2009, Franklin Association will send two more teams back to El Junco – February 5-12 and February 14-22 – to work on much needed repairs to their community building, to install stovepipes in home that have no external ventilation for their wood burning cook stoves, and to bring medical assistance. As always clothing and shoes, school supplies, vitamins and over-the-counter reading glasses are brought to distribute.

While issues of poverty and hunger can be expected to continue in the communities that we work in – issues that the Partnership cannot solve – by working together on these projects the communities of Honduran brothers and sisters know that they are not alone in their struggles. If you are interested in participating in one of the February 2009 project trips contact Rev. Marcia Charles at 474-7383 or by email at revmcharles@gwi.net.

A donation box will be available at the benefit dance on Nov. 22 to accept unopened children and adult vitamins, folic acid, and over-the-counter reading glasses. Out of date vitamins and supplements can not be accepted. Cash donations are always welcome for purchasing additional medical supplies and project materials.

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