Presbytery of Des Moines
Our Sister Parish
Historical Calendar
  • February 4-11: Southwest Regional Partners, Presbytery of Des Moines
    March 12-19:  Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Indianola (postponed due to travel ban on non-citizens entering El Salvador due to COVID-19)
    June 11-18:  Westminster Presbyterian Church, Des Moines
    June 20-27:  Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines 
  • June 3 - 10: Ankeny Presbyterian Church
  • June 13 - 20: Heartland Presbyterian Church
  • July 18 - 26: Art for El Salvador
  • August 10 - 16: Long Island (NY) Presbytery
  • October 22 - 29: Medical Delegation
  • April 6 - 13: Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines
  • July 5 - 14: Long Island (NY) Presbytery
  • July 19 - 26: Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Indianola
  • July 30 - August 11: Books for  Better World and Art for El Salvador
  • October 23 - 30: Medical Delegation
  • November 8 - 15: First Presbyterian Church, Dallas Center
  • March 9 - 16: Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Indianola
  • June 22 - 29: Central Presbyterian Church, Des Moines
  • July 17 - 24:  Art for El Salvador
  • August 20 - 24: Long Island (NY) Presbytery
  • September 13 - 19: Ankeny Presbyterian Church
  • January 7 - 14: Heartland Presbyterian Church
  • April 22 - 29: Compañeros
  • June 19 - 26: Baltimore
  • June 30 - July 4: Rooted in Hope
  • July 8 - 16: Art for El Salvador
  • July 19 - 28: Long Island (NY) Presbytery
  • August 7 - 14: Southwest Regional Partnership (IA)
  • September 13 - 20: Heartland Presbyterian Church
  • October 16 - 31: Medical Delegation
  • November 10 - 15: First Presbyterian Church, Dallas Center
  • January 13 - 24: Southwest Regional Partnership (IA)
  • February 3 - 10: Heartland Presbyterian Church
  • March 4 - 7: First Presbyterian Church, Newton
  • May 14 - 21: Art for El Salvador
  • June 9 - 14: Ankeny Presbyterian Church
  • June 18 - 25: Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Indianola
  • July 2 - 9: Westminster Presbyterian Church, Des Moines
  • August 15 - 22: Long Island (NY) Presbytery
  • August 25 - 29: First United Presbyterian Church, Atlantic
  • October 17 - 24: Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines
  • November 1 - 10: Medical Delegation
  • November 26 - 29: Rooted in Hope
  • January 22 - 28: First Presbyterian Church, Netwon
  • February 4 - 11: Heartland Presbyterian Church
  • February 18 - 25: Trinity United Presbyterian, Indianola
  • March 10 - 25: Co-Worker Internation
  • May 27 - 30: First Presbyterian Church, Wichita
  • June 5 - 12: Central Presbyterian Church, Des Moines
  • June: Baltimore
  • July 4 - 11: Art for El Salvador
  • July 19 - 27: Long Island (NY) Presbytery
  • August 5 - 2: Heartland Presbyterian Church
  • September 19 - October 5: Co-Worker Itineration
  • October 18 - 25: Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines
  • November 13 - 22: Compañeros
  • Heartland Presbyterian, Clive (January/February)
  • Short Term Volunteers Warren & Linda Erickson (February/March)
  • Mission Co-worker Itineration (April/May)
  • Ankeny Presbyterian Church (June)
  • First Presbyterian, Dallas Center (June)
  • Heartland Presbyterian, Clive (July)
  • Dental Health group, New York (August)
  • Trinity Larger Parish, Lenox & Sharpsburg (August)
  • Covenant Presbyterian, West Des Moines (August/September)
  • Compañeros Delegation (September)
  • Wakonda Christian, Des Moines (September/October)
  • Mission Co-worker Itineration (October)
  • Westminster Presbyterian, Des Moines (November)
  • Heartland Presbyterian, Clive (February)
  • First Presbyterian, Newton (March)
  • Ankeny Presbyterian (April)
  • Trinity United Presbyterian, Indianola (June)
  • Heartland Presbyterian, Clive (August)
  • Joining Hands - El Salvador medical group (August)
  • Covenant Presbyterian Church - West Des Moines (September)
  • St. Catherine's, Des Moines (January)
  • St. Boniface, Waukee (January)
  • Trinity United, Indianola (February)
  • First Presbyterian, Newton (February)
  • Heartland Presbyterian, Clive (February)
  • Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines (October)
  • St. Catherine's, Des Moines (January)
  • St. Boniface, Waukee (January)
  • Heartland, Clive (January)
  • Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines (October)
  • St. Catherine's and Wesley (January)
  • Trinity United, Indianola (February)
  • Heartland, Clive (February)
  • Ankeny (March)
  • Newton Medical (March)
  • Dallas Center (May)
  • St. Boniface, Waukee (June)
  • Heartland, Clive (July)
  • Westminster, Des Moines (September)
  • First Presbyterian Church, Newton (November)
  • Des Moines Central Academy Environmental Science Class (November)

  • St. Catherine's delegation. (January)
  • Compañeros delegation. (January)
  • St. Boniface delegation. (February)
  • Mount Vernon. (March)
  • Newton Medical delegation. (March)
  • Westminster delegation. (April)
  • Des Moines Central delegation. (June)
  • Heartland delegation. (July)
  • St. Boniface (September)
  • Heartland travels to visit El Tablon. (January)
  • St. Boniface delegation. (January)
  • Des Moines Westminster delegation. (February)
  • Newton and Sacred Heart Medical delegation. (March)
  • Ankeny delegation. (March)
  • Visit from former Mission Associate Annika Lister Stroope and Jeremy West (March)
  • Newton First delegation. (April)
  • Wakonda Christian delegation. (May)
  • Heartland delegation. (June)
  • St. Boniface delegation. (August)
  • St. Catherine's delegation (October)
  • The University of Iowa Wesley Foundation (January)
  • During their trip the Compañeros delegation met with the Pastoral Team to discuss the coffee project, the Just Light candles, Blanca’s Bags, and the designated missionary job description. Each of the meetings was productive and great opportunity for the respective volunteer teams to discuss the mission face-to-face and heart-to-heart. (January)
  • Newton and Sacred Heart Medical delegation. (January)
  • Drake student delegation from St. Catherine of Siena. (March)
  • St. Boniface, Waukee, delegation visited their sister canton, El Recreo. (April)
  • St. Henry's, Marshalltown, delegation. (June)
  • Kathy Mahler, Don Justo Coffee Coordinator, spends nine days in Berlin working with the Pastoral Team and coffee matters. (June)
  • Heartland, Clive, delegation visited their sister canton El Tablon. (August)
  • Don Hampton, Trinity United, Indianola, traveled to Berlin to assist Rev. Cook with the delegations visiting this month and with additional scheduling and computer assistance. (January)
  • The University of Iowa Wesley Foundation and School of Social Work sent a delegation to Berlin. They presented a bust of Oscar Romero to the Pastoral Team for the Casa Pastoral Chapel. (January)
  • Lewis Randa, the director of the Peace Abby near Boston, MA, presented a mold to the Divina Providencia where Monsignor Romero lived and was martyred, one to the University of Central America where there is a Monsignor Romero Center, and one to the Casa Pastoral. The moldwill be used for making a plate of Monsignor Romero for the 25th anniversary of his martyrdom, which will be the 24th of March, 2005.(January)
  • A First Timers' Delegation from the Presbytery of Des Moines arrived mid-month for a visit. There were many highlights of the trip including visits to several schools, Virginia (the sister canton of Dallas Center First), and visits to El Mozote and Perquin. (January)
  • A delegation of 14 visited Berlin between Jan. 28th and Feb. 4th 2005. The highlight of a Heartland trip is always their visit to El Tablón. This year was even more special because Bill Fisher and Joie Hand chose to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary with their friends and ‘family’ in El Tablón. The Pastoral Team went above and beyond to make this celebration a reality! (January/February)
  • Tim Maxa, moderator of the Des Moines Presbytery and Jennifer Hines, administrative assistant in the presbytery office, visited Berlin. (February)
  • Newton First Presbyterian and Sacred Heart Catholic Church visited El Salvador during the 25th anniversary celebration of Oscar Romero's death. The delegation also had clinic days in Berlin, El Tablon (2), and San Felipe Abajo and saw just under 1000 patients. Dr. Ron Charles, an orthopedic surgeon traveling with the group, performed a surgical procedure in the hospital at Santiago de Maria, opening new possibilities for future trips. The group hand-carried 1600 pounds of medical and school supplies. They provided school resources to four primary schools in the Berlin area identified by the Pastoral Team. (March)
  • The Saint Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, Drake students' delegation, painted a home and purchased a stove and refrigerator for a family in Berlin. (March)
  • Ankeny visited their sister canton, El Corozal. In addition to meetings, the group visited every home in the canton. The canton presented the group with a handmade cross for the Ankeny church. (March)
  • The delegation from St. Boniface saw the distribution and use of the “Four Barrel” water collection systems. With the rainy season beginning soon, these systems will be put to full use quickly. The visit to every home in El Recreo was a giant step in establishing their relationship with the community of El Recreo. (April)
  • A delegation of six from Dallas Center visited El Salvador from June 3-11, 2005. The week included pilgrimages to the martyr sites in San Salvador and El Mozote, a day at the beach, and visits to schools and the women’s prison in Berlín. The group spent two days in their partner cantón of Virginia, where they went house to house and left a gift with each family along with a photograph of one of our Dallas Center families. (June)
  • A 12-member delegation from Wakonda Christian visited to El Salvador at the end of June. Among other highlights, they traveled to Las Delicias to celebrate the new water tank which they financed for the canton. They visited the marginalized schools in Berlin and delivered Beanie Baby dolls for the children. The last night we listened to medical personnel from Provida located in Berlin. (June)
  • Kathy Mahler, coffee coordinator, traveled to El Salvador as a solo delegate. She, along with her son Paul who was a summer intern, spent time teaching English in the schools and immersing herself in the culture and language and every day life of the Pastoral Team. (July)
  • Topeka, Kansas delegation (July)
  • Westminster sent a delegation to Berlin. In addition to visiting their sister canton, San Francisco, Sue Hotovec visited several of the locations where sewing machines had been donated and were in use. (August)
  • Heartland visits El Salvador and their sister canton, El Tablon. (August)
  • St. Boniface Catholic Church made their third trip to El Salvador and their sister Canton of El Recreo. Twenty-five different members have now made the trip. (October)
  • University of Iowa Wesley Foundation Delegation (January)
  • A 16-member delegation from Heartland visited Berlin from February 11 through 18. There were 11 first- timers including three teenagers and three members from Wakonda Christian Church. The group delivered kitchen supplies for the Parish Team, special boots, gloves, pants and raingear for the Berlin sanitation workers and two computers -- one for the puppeteer and one for the on-site psychologist. These were all gifts from other church friends. They also delivered school books, cash donations and many other items. The group visited historical sites, met with the Mayor, visited the women’s prison and spent time in El Tablón meeting with the community leaders and spending time with the residents. (February)
  • Saint Catherine of Sienna, Des Moines. (May)
  • First Presbyterian, United Presbyterian, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Newton medical delegation. (May)
  • Saint Boniface Catholic Church, Waukee, IA, visits. (June)
  • Kansas churches visit. (July)
  • A seven-member delegation from Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Indianola visited from July 17 to July 24. They visited San Isidro and their new sister parish, Casa de Zinc. (July)
  • Gary and Diane Badgett and Amy Bickford, from Corning, Iowa, members of Corning Presbyterian Church, brought three portable machines from the church that use salt to make chlorine to purify water. (August)
  • Heartland Presbyterian Church sent an eight-member delegation to El Salvador. They visited the canton Las Talpetates and their sister canton, El Tablon. (September)
  • A Westminster, Des Moines, delegation visited and delivered Bibles to their sister canton San Francisco. (September/October)
  • The Westminster delegation completed the task begun by the previous May delegation who had spent two- and-a-half days walking to every household in San Francisco to take a picture of each of the 94 families that reside throughout the sprawling canton. This delegation shared in a Celebration of the Word with a congregation that spilled out of the packed church in San Francisco. The following day, 92 of the 94 families joined the delegation in another celebration us to receive their photos and a small packet of items they could use in their household. (October)
  • Des Moines First sent their first delegation. They participated in a march to commemorate the anniversary of the killings of the six Jesuit professors and two women at the University of Central America on November 16, 1989. (November)
  • Nancy Lister-Settle and Rev. Kate Stangl accompanied six first timers from West Des Moines Covenant, Corning, Atlantic and Dallas Center churches to El Salvador. The purpose of the first timers' delegation is to introduce Iowans to the history and reality of our Salvadoran partners. They learned about the causes and horrors of the long civil war; they visited memorials and museums; they got to know the Pastoral Team in Berlín and went to see water, building and coffee projects in the parish; they enjoyed a beautiful day at the beach; and they celebrated Thanksgiving and the First Sunday in Advent with Salvadoran brothers and sisters. (November)
  • Lois Crilly, Des Moines, went Berlin to visit Claudia, the young woman she is helping and to celebrate Claudia's birthday! Kent Newman, Meredith Bruns and Erick Davidson visited Berlin and the cantons.(December)
  • Lisa Bock, Chicago, IL, returned to Berlin to train additional residents how to sew Blanchard Court Bags, an economic development project. Don and Carmen Hampton, Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Indianola, IA, arrived in Berlin to assist in English classes at the high school for both teachers and students. They also spent a day in San Isidro, Trinity's sister parish. (January)
  • February 2003: An eight-member delegation from Heartland Presbyterian traveled to Berlin and to El Tablon, their sister parish. Heartland has partnered with El Tablon to help build four community buildings. The delegation saw three completed buildings and the start of the fourth. Borrowing a project idea from Trinity, the delegation delivered personal care packages door-to-door to "from all the families of Heartland to all the families of El Tablon." (February)
  • A seven-member delegation from Ankeny Presbyterian Church, Ankeny, Iowa traveled to El Salvador March 14 through 21. The first-time delegation experienced Berlin during the national and local elections. The delegation delivered educational supplies to two marginalized schools in Berlin, visited the coffee finca where Our Sister Parish coffee is grown and meeting with the residents of Corozal to explore a partnership of working together to make improvements in their community. (March)
  • First Presbyterian Church and Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Newton, spent March 22-30. The education team delivered 600 pounds of school supplies and visited local schools. A medical team held four clinic days with 150 adults and children seen per day. The construction team finished seventy-five percent of the 1000 square foot hospitality house which is now Reverend Cook's home. Cash donations totaling $17,300 were made to a variety of projects during the delegation's visit. (March)
  • Westminster, Des Moines, sent a three-person delegation from May 20-27. The three women walked to and photographed all 94 homes in San Francisco, their sister parish. They met with the Directiva of San Francisco to hear about the canton's efforts to raise enough money to have a solar panel installed in every home in the canton. They planted a tree near the church to symbolize the long-term nature of this commitment between San Francisco and Westminster. The delegation also presented them with a banner bearing signatures and best wishes from other Westminster members. (May)
  • Heartland lead a trip with 10 first-time visitors to El Salvador. The group joined residents of El Tablon for a day-long celebration of the completed health clinic, sewing center, bathrooms and kitchen for their community center. They helped feed more than 325 people on this day. The delegation also visited the cantons of Virginia, Munosis, San Felipe, San Isidro and San Francisco. (August)
  • Don and Carmen Hampton, Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Indianola, arrive in Berlin to spend two months teaching English classes and to assist Reverend Robert Cook.
  • Reverend Robert Cook returns to Iowa to receive the Bishop Dingman Peace Award from Catholic Peace Ministry, Des Moines, Iowa. (February)
  • Karen and Wayne Martens, Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Indianola, join Don and Carmen Hampton in Berlin. The Hamptons and Martens travel to the cantons. It is determined that San Isidro will be the canton with which Trinity establishes a partnership. (March)
  • A group of fourteen people from Westminster Presbyterian Church in Clarinda, IA, (Missouri River Valley Presbytery) visit Berlin and the cantons. The delegation was en route to La Concepcion, Nicaragua, where Missouri River Valley Presbytery has a partner relationship with a group of churches. (March)
  • Heartland Presbyterian Church, Clive, Iowa, sends a six-member delegation to El Salvador. Lisa Bock, delegation member, trains a group of Berlin residents to make custom, patchwork bags. (March)
  • Lisa Bock returns to Berlin to deliver three new sewing machines and to complete the sewing lessons. (April)
  • A delegation from Westminster Presbyterian Church, Des Moines, travels to Berlin. They celebrate the installation of the solar panel with the canton San Franciso and visit the canton San Filipe. (May)
  • Bill Fischer, Heartland Presbyterian Church, Clive, visits Berlin and El Tablon to finalize plans for the Community Center. He presented a "Document of Understanding" to the Directiva and the community of El Tablon outlining the goals and responsibilities for the project. He received support from the Directiva, Codeco, the school teachers and other community leaders to proceed with the project as planned. (August)
  • Four members from Trinity United Presbyterian Church traveled in El Salvador September 14 - 21. They spent two days and an overnight in their sister parish, San Isidro. While there, they distributed personal care packets to each home in the village. The packets were donated by Trinity members. They also met with the San Isidro parish team, the Directiva and the sewing academy. They visited the school and met with one of the teachers. (September)
  • Linda Leedberg and Stan Caldwell, Westminster Presbyterian,traveled to Berlin October 11 through 19. They visited the residents of San Francisco, Westminster's sister parish, on several occasions and delivered donated musical instruments. (October)
  • The first youth delegation visited the Parish in Berlin, with two youths from Heartland Presbyterian Church and two youths from Trinity Presbyterian Church, and with adult representatives from each of the churches. (August)
  •  Tomas Antonio Ventura from El Tablon and Jose Luis "Chepe" Guerreo from Berlin, visited the Des Moines Presbytery to make presentations to several congregations and special events. (August)
  • Milagro del Carmen Rodriguez Lopez visited the Des Moines Presbytery to make presentations to several congregations and to participate in the Commissioning Service for Reverend Robert Cook that designated him as Des Moines Presbytery's Missionary to El Salvador. (September)
  • Reverend Robert Cook moved to El Salvador, as Des Moines Presbytery's designated missionary to El Salvador and to live and work as a member of the Parish Pastoral Team at the Parish of Saint Joseph. (October)
  • An eight-person delegation from Westminster Presbyterian Church in Des Moines, Iowa, visited the canton of San Francisco in the Parish of Saint Joseph to investigate possibilities for that church's participation in the relationship. (October)
  • Drilling of a well begins in El Tablon. It is a collaborative effort between Des Moines Presbytery and CIS (Center for International Solidarity) from San Salvador. Aguaviva, a non-profit drilling company, was hired to do the work. (November)
  • Plans for the construction of the sewing/health/community meeting house in El Tablon are drawn and ground-breaking is planned for December, 2001 or January, 2002. (November)
  • The third medical delegation from Newton First goes to Berlin (April)
  • The second medical delegation from Newton First spends a week in Berlin and visits the Parish communities (April)
  • Three members of the parish team, Friar Jesus Gomez, Juanita Abarca, and Milagro Rodrigues, travel to Des Moines and visits with more than twenty congregations in the presbytery during their 10-day stay. Former Mission Associate Annika Lister Stroope serves as interpreter. (August)
  • The first medical delegation from First Presbyterian Church of Newton spends a week in Berlin. (August)
  • Annika Lister Stroope joins the Parish team as a mission associate of the Presbytery of Des Moines. She continues to support the organization of the sewing project, the natural medicines project, and prepares logistics for the first medical delegation from Iowa to the Parish. (April - August)
  • Friar Carlos Torres, who was assigned to the Parish of Berlin in January 1996, visits the Presbytery of Des Moines in March.
  • The Social Ministries Task Force of the Presbytery of Des Moines votes to designate the Parish as permanent recipient of half of the Presbytery's Rural Harvest Offering.
  • Several treadle sewing machine are delivered to Berlin by a Pastors for Peace caravan, driven by Jack Settle of Dallas Center, Iowa (August).
  • Rev. Bob Cook is invited to join the Parish team in Berlin, which is the parish for the community of El Tablon. The Parish team encourages the Presbytery to broaden its relationship to include the entire Parish of San Jose (its center being in Berlin). During this time, Bob helps establish a sewing project in several of the communities served by the Parish as well as a natural medicines project. (August 1994 - July 1995)
  • A group of 15 people from the Presbytery became the first official delegation to the community of El Tablon and the relationship was further strengthened. (May)
  • The Presbytery of Des Moines raised funds to rebuild the elementary school in El Tablon.
  • The Presbytery of Des Moines voted unanimously to officially formalize a community-parish relationship with the community of El Tablon. (May)
  • The Presbyterian Hunger Program referred a grant request to the Presbytery of Des Moines for consideration for its annual Rural Harvest Offering. THe request was from the small, rural community of El Tablon in El Salvador for financial assistance with agricultural development. Rev. Bob Cook visited El Tablon several times.