A top leader for the U.S.-based United Church of Christ will embark on an eight-day trip to the Caribbean this week to nurture relationships with local ministry partners and see the progress of programs.
The Rev. James A. Moos, one of five top leaders of the United Church of Christ, will travel with Felix Ortiz-Cotto, a top regional executive of Global Ministries – the combined ministry of the UCC's Wider Church Ministries and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The Rev. Moos leads the WCM.
The Global Ministries website lists seven partner organizations in Haiti and five in the Dominican Republic.
"The No. 1 point of every trip is relationship solidarity and being a part of that connection," the Rev. Moos told UCC News. "We have a lot of programs with partners globally, but it comes within the context of relationships with those partners. There are some long-standing relationships — some are 200 years old — and programs come and go, but the relationships stay."
The trip will include observation of a program aimed at keeping children out of sex trafficking in the Dominican Repulic, the Rev. Moos said.
He said the trip will include meeting local church pastors, "[m]eeting with the churches and organizational leaders to get a grassroots view of the situation."
There will also be a meeting with Patrick Villier, the head of Haiti-based CONASPEH (National Spiritual council of Haitian Churches).
The UCC has raised $4.5 million to provide relief to Haiti over the past three years following the devastating 2010 earthquake. The church's WCM plans to fund the recovery effort through 2015, according to the report.