Gabi Sclafani grew up as part of the BCCUCC family. Her mom, Carol Strakosch, serves on the CEYM ministry team0f85dbf. Gabi graduated from Brown University in 2014 and is now a first-year Masters of Divinity candidate at Union Theological Seminary (NYC), and a Member in Discernment with BCCUCC. Next year, Gabi will be conducting her field education at Church of the Living Hope, UCC, which is an offshoot of the East Harlem Protestant Parish project, located in an area more commonly known as Spanish Harlem or El Barrio.

The goal of Church of the Living Hope is to “be the church” in community with people, serving the immediate needs of the 10,000 or so residents in a 5-block radius and acting as a center for culture, education, and meals. Many of the newer residents to our neighborhoods are Mexican and Central American migrants of indigenous descent. As a result, Church of the Living Hope is working especially hard to build relationships with these local indigenous communities and live into the spirit of extravagant welcome. This July, Church of the Living Hope is sending six community members, including Gabi, to Oaxaca, Mexico as part of this effort. Street FestivalThere, they will stay at Org Armonia, an educational and cultural center serving some of Mexico’s poorest residents, where they will engage in service projects while getting to know the community and witnessing Guelaguetza, an annual indigenous festival celebrating reciprocity.

Gabi is raising money to help get the church to Oaxaca. Our goal as a group is to raise $9000 in order to cover our costs and make a significant donation to Armonia. But we need your help! Please consider donating to our trip.

Please make checks payable to Church of the Living Hope, Memo: MEXICO

Given to Gabi Sclafani or Carol Strakosch or sent to:

Church of the Living Hope
161 E104th St
NY 10029

Or give by PayPal through the church’s website: and accompany this donation with an email to so we can earmark it for “MEXICO”