On 25 May Daniel Genovesi was installed as the new Bishop of Uruguay at the Anglican Cathedral in Montevideo. As he begins his role in Uruguay, his wife, Mechi Tarragona, will be starting ministry as a Church Mission Society local partner.
Last year they were asked by the Anglican Church to follow God’s call beyond the borders of their home country of Argentina to serve him in this new context.
Mechi’s previous experience includes teaching, development work with families in shanty towns, counselling in Buenos Aires and serving in Wichi, Toba and Chorote communities in the Diocese of Northern Argentina.
The work in Northern Argentina began through a missionary link with the San Marcos parish in Hurlingham, Buenos Aires, where Daniel and Mechi were serving.
It was through this link that Mechi connected with AMARE (the Argentine branch of the Mother’s Union, initially developed with the help of CMS mission partners Catherine Le Tissier and Shelley Stokes). Mechi was invited to participate in the Mother’s Union parenting course and subsequently trained as a facilitator, then became one of the trainers for the Province of South America.
In Uruguay, Mechi will be working with churches to equip them as they seek to connect with and meet the needs of their communities. Her ministry will involve training and walking with groups in communities across the Diocese of Uruguay. One particular focus will be training facilitators to run the Mother’s Union parenting course, drawing on her experience in Argentina.
This new mission field brings new challenges, as Uruguay is seen as the most secular country in Latin America. Daniel and Mechi’s arrival is part of a new season for the church in Uruguay, and Mechi will be working from the grassroots to bring encouragement and renewal. She recognises that the combination of a secular society and a fragile church mean that innovative mission and strong cooperation are vital.
On working with CMS, she comments, “Being part of CMS means being part of a family. Far more than just financial support, it means I know that I am supported, loved and not isolated. It is a path that makes it possible to do mission in the community from a broader perspective… it is a blessing that I hope to increase in the future as we move forward in this journey together.”
Further new links with in Uruguay are being forged by former SAMS mission partners Carolyn and Mark Gilmore. On recent visits to the country, they have held workshops with a church drawing on material from the Partnership for Missional Church (PMC) process, which helps churches to see what God is doing in their communities and join in (PMC is facilitated by CMS in the UK). Carolyn and Mark hope to continue to use this resource to help churches to connect with communities.
CMS mission development manager for Latin America, Paul Tester, commented, “We want to be working in the difficult places, sharing Christ in secular contexts. I am excited about reengaging with the church in Uruguay.”