Ministries: Spanish Language
Spanish language ministry at St. Christopher’s is continuing to move forward, with two of the milestones of which I wrote in the February update having been reached. The Presiding Bishop’s visit to Iglesia San Pablo in early February to celebrate Hispanic Ministry in the diocese was a great success. The Presiding Bishop did an awesome job of preaching in Spanish, and our own Bishop Smith celebrated the Eucharist beautifully in Spanish! St. Christopher’s/ “San Cristóbal” was one of seven Spanish language congregations represented at the service, with projections of another two emerging in the course of the next year or so.
Our confirmation classes wrapped up in mid-February, and were well attended – and at times quite lively with lots of questions and discussion as those new to the Episcopal Church learned about the scripture, reason, and tradition that form the “three-legged” stool of which we often speak as foundational. We learned a great deal about one another and about our faith, discovering that despite our diverse backgrounds, we had far more in common than we might have thought. At this writing, we anticipate that eleven members of our 12:00 o’clock family will be either confirmed or received during the Bishop’s visit in March for our 50th anniversary celebration. It is evidence of the interest of an emerging core of members in religious education and spiritual formation.
To enhance the opportunities for education and spiritual formation in our Latino family, we are continuing along the path outlined in February’s newsletter, including “Episcopal 101” classes during Lent in Spanish to familiarize those new to the Episcopal Church with our traditions, history, and practices.
This Lenten season will also bring with it a wider range of services in Spanish than were possible last year – after all, Spanish language ministry only began near the end of March 2010, with Lent just about over. This year, you will see more traditional Lenten and Holy Week services in Spanish to complement those in English.
Longer-range plans include:
Training acolytes to make our 12:00 congregation more self-reliant and less dependent on people who already serve at the 8:00 and 10:30 services and have graciously stayed over week after week to help out at the 12:00.
Offering Sunday School classes (in English) in the Fall for the younger children who attend the 12:00 service with their parents.
Continuing to build and strengthen the bonds between the 8:00, 10:30, and 12:00 families that now make up St. Christopher’s as we grow into our next 50 years.
At the diocesan level, plans are being more fully developed for the Pastoral Institute for Lay Leaders, the Women’s Leadership Christian Formation Program, Youth Leadership Training, a Family Retreat at Chapel Rock, and a Spanish Cursillo.
We invite you to journey with us as this adventure continues to unfold!
In His Peace