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Jan 29, 2016 | Paulette E. Martin

Churches in the Diocese begin preparations for mission trip to Costa Rica


The Rt. Rev. Hector Monterroso, Bishop of Costa Rica visits Palmer Memorial Church.

The Rt. Rev. Hector Monterroso, Bishop of Costa Rica,  visited Houston to preach at the ordination of the Rev. Alex Easley, January 20th, 2016. His visit underscores the mutual relationship between Texas and the Church in Central America. Easley became friends with Bishop Monterroso when she went to Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose, on a mission trip. Plans are made for mission trips this summer that will continue to strengthen the partnership.

"I really liked the vision he has for mission and service,” Easley said. Bishop Monterroso also taught and preached at Palmer Memorial where Easley serves.

"There is much to learn in the Diocese of Texas,” the Bishop said. He said he finds the number of young clergy and active ministries in the Diocese “encouraging.”
“I’m very happy to participate in Alex’s celebration of new ministry and experience the positive attitude in the Diocese,” he added. The same type of energetic leadership and deepening spiritual lives of missioners are what he hopes to see in visitors to Costa Rica. 
"Much of our work is to help people experience their faith,” Bishop Monterroso said.  "I think the second piece is that the experience of faith allows people to share their gifts to benefit others in need. Many of our projects help the broader community-that's our main objective. "

For Easley, the trip to Costa Rica served as a push to follow God’s call.

"The work being done by the Episcopal Church in Costa Rica goes beyond mission," Easley said. "The ministry that helps HIV-infected women support one another and themselves was a very powerful experience for me."

This year more congregations are partnering in ministry with the Church in Costa Rica including: St. Martin's, Holy Spirit, Trinity, Christ Church Cathedral, Palmer Memorial, in Houston
 among others.

"This is a worldwide movement of Jesus," Easley said. "I think it's very powerful to see the Episcopal Church in another country and worship with others using the same liturgies we know and love."

The pilgrimage/mission trip to Costa Rica consists of four or five days of work in construction, painting murals, or teaching Christian education to children, a spiritual component of prayer and reflection along with some time to enjoy the country and learn about Episcopalians there. 

Palmer Memorial is raising money to help support scholarships for the mission trip. They encourage junior and high school students to participate if they are accompanied by a parent. 

"We do not want there the obstacle of inability to pay," Easley said. "I personally am going to work very hard for anyone who wants to join us."

- Mission San Jose, Costa Rica
 June 11- 18, 2016
- Approximate Cost: $ 1,800
- Main Contact: The Rev.. Alex Easley