Sister Church in Nicaragua
Since the 1980s, PSUMC has enjoyed a sister church relationship with La Merced, a Roman Catholic congregation in Nicaragua. The association began when our church became involved in the struggle for peace and justice in Nicaragua.
At the time, the Reagan administration and a compliant Congress were attempting to destroy a revolutionary socialist government led by the Sandinistas through violent covert operations. PSUMC's minister at the time, Rev. Finley Schaef and Nancy E.K. Schaef each traveled on missions to the embattled country under the auspices of Witness for Peace. In 1986, then President Daniel Ortega honored PSUMC with a visit. Later, Rev. Schaef traveled to Nicaragua at the invitation of its government to monitor the elections in which the Sandinistas were voted out.
Father Antonio, the priest of La Merced, has visited us on several occasions, and his brother Salvador is also a frequent visitor.
In 1999, Rev. Elizabeth Braddon led a delegation of 10 of our congregation to visit. During that trip, the delegation, joined by Salvador, sang “Nicaragua, Nicaraguita” at an event celebrating Rev. Braddon’s 25 years in the ministry.
In 2001, when Rev. Braddon and Lay Leader Betsy Hansel returned to La Merced Father Antonio invited Rev. Braddon to serve the Mass along with him.
Our delegations to La Merced have visited the Quincho Barrilete project, which provides shelter, skills training and drug recovery assistance for children living on the streets of Managua.