Dear Parishioners and Friends of Christ Church,
For 10 days in June, I will be attending a course offered by the Episcopal Church at large. It is called the “Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course” and will be held at the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, TX beginning the evening of June 18. I am very excited about this course. Canon Phyllis Jones, the Chief Operating Officer of the Diocese of New Jersey, will also be attending from our Diocese. I will be using my continuing education time to attend this course.
This Course will include the following: The history of Latino Christianity; looking at Latino religious cultures and traditions; learning about the Virgin of Guadalupe in history and practice; experiencing and learning about Latino liturgies, sacraments, ceremonies and music; learning how the Episcopal Spanish Prayer Book is an evangelistic tool; learning about multi -cultural congregational dynamics; making an onsite visit to a border town, Laredo Texas, including dialogue with ICE agents and undocumented persons. All of this is in the context of worship and fellowship with people from all over the country who are interested in learning more about Latino ministry.
Some facts about Latino ministry at Christ Church: We have had a service in Spanish for about 5 years. Fr. Ramon has been with us for 3 years. Our 12:30 Sunday congregation has grown from about 4 people when we started to 67 people last week (written 5/10). That is huge growth. The Sunday School for the 12:30 service now has 21 children registered – all fluent English speakers. There are people from this congregation who serve on the Vestry, the Altar Guild, as Acolytes, Lectors and Ushers. The 12:30 parishioners are seeking a spiritual home and are willing to give of themselves in service to our Lord.
What I hope to Accomplish: As you know, I do not speak Spanish and know little about Latino culture (although I am learning on both counts). My Sabbatical last year was extremely helpful to me to see that we are on the right track. Two years from now, Fr. Ramon will leave us and move on to his next church plant. His assignment with us is a 5-year Diocesan program. It is assumed that after 5 years we will be able to sustain the ministry that was begun by him with us. That is one of the reasons why I am always a part of the 12:30 service, and why some of our English-speaking parishioners are involved on many levels, including attending the service. I suspect many of you did not know that we have a Sunday School class at 12:30 with a current registration of 21 children. Thank you to Sunday School teachers Dale Chant, Phyllis Long, Ursula Fanelli, Barbara DelaCuesta and Barbara Avallon.
Come Hear my Report after I take this Course: After all services on the weekend of July 8-9, I will report to you about this Course. Please plan to attend to hear and ask questions. If you cannot be present, I would be happy to schedule another time also. Just ask.
PS. Please see the article about the Bishop coming to Christ Church.
Posted by The Rev. Joan Mason on Jan 02, 2017
Annual Meeting Election ResultsThe Christ Church annual meeting was held on Sunday January 22, 2017. Elections were held for a Senior ... Read more
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