Ms. Maralee Gutierrez Cruz

Ms. Maralee Gutierrez Cruz's picture
User Profile
Ms. Maralee Gutierrez Cruz
Church Info
Home Church Address
The Falls Church Anglican
6565 Arlington Blvd.
Falls Church, VA 22042
United States
Church Website URL
Organization Name
Casa Chirilagua
Type of Organization
Non Profit
Your Position/Title within your Organization
Managing Director
Organization Address
3846 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22302
United States
Organization Phone Number
Organization URL
Work of Ministry
Community Development
Description of Organization
Casa Chirilagua is an organization building relationships, in a predominantly latino neighborhood, to develop youth, strengthen families, equip leaders, and engage the community to participate in holistic transformation through Christ's love.
Organization Years In Operation
Does your ministry offer internships?
Yes, high school internship(s).
Yes, college internship(s).
Strengths of Organization
Our commitment to building relationships. Our commitment to "radiate love" in everything we say and do.
Would you consider your role part time or full time within justice and mercy ministry?
Full Time
How many years have you been in ministry among the vulnurable, marginalized, and under-resourced?
What training did you receive that equipped you for justice and mercy ministries?
Most of the training I received was as a young leader in the latino church and in "mi comunidad" (my community). I am not self-made, but am truly who I stand to be today, as a result of my family, and countless Godly men and women the Lord has allowed me to journey alongside. I also was a youth directory in la Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal, M.I., then the Youth Coordinator for COMHINA, a Hispanic agency which mobilized latinos to serve among the marginalized; this helped broaden my worldview significantly. I then went on to serve as a Wycliffe missionary where I received and was part of several leadership and missionary trainings. However, most of my experience and training came from my leadership roles in church, mi comunidad, serving alongside Godly men and women who are committed to the Lord's call on their lives, and walk humbly before our Lord.
What are your primary concerns for the ministry?
My primary concern is "inclusivity" at all stages of leadership and that the leadership of organizations truly represent the diversity of the body of Christ, not only the Church of the North, but the Church of the South.
What spiritual disciplines help sustain you in your rhythms of life among the vulnerable, marginalized, and under-resourced?
As best as I can, I am diligent about maintaining my prayer life and time in the Word every day. In this season of life I'm growing in my commitment to taking time for a Sabbath, and finding laughter and joy with the Lord, and with those dear to me. Additionally, I am accountable to a number of Godly women and men who bless me with their time, encouragement, and prayers.
How would you like fellow Anglicans (bishops, churches, the average parishioner) to grow in regards to justice and mercy issues?
Increase the diversity of our leadership and congregations to reflect the true body of Christ.
What are your favorite books related to justice and mercy issues?
Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paolo Freire The Next Evangelicalism by Soong Chan Rah The New Global Mission by Samuel Escobar Toxic Charity
Anything else you would wish us to know?
I really love to laugh. I also really love to eat enchiladas and Mexican "mole" (pronounced mole-lay)!
What do you wish people knew about justice ministry in general or specific arenas of justice work?
It really is hard work, and requires not only a mindset but a "heartset", your heart has to be committed to this as much as your mind. You have to be willing to have tough conversations, along with a posture of learning and humility. As you continue to seek the Lord in your service, He gives you greater insight and discernment to serve according to his mind and heart.
Tell us a bit about your story and your heart for justice and mercy.
I started in ministry at a young age however, it was while serving as a missionary with Wycliffe that I understood and witnessed the difference made when united, the courageous, Christ-centered, advocate on behalf of and with the marginalized. I sat across tables with ambassadors and ministers of governments who could/would change policies. These policies would impact the communities we sought to serve, communities who had at times been forgotten or isolated by their very own countrymen and goverments. Years of ministry came full circle as I realized how systemic poverty, injustice, and the lack of equity has kept communities in depths of oppression unrecognizable to many. Our faith stands in HE that has come to free the oppressed and redeem the oppressor. Ad so we hope, pray, listen, speak, and act...together.