Blue’s Clues: Latino-Hispanic Congregational Development and Sustainability
This is the nineteenth post in Blue’s Clues, a series on the resolutions and reports of the Episcopal Church’s General Convention. The index of posts is here, and my index of resolutions and likely votes is here.
This is the last report in the “Task Forces of General Convention” section of the Blue Book. Fear not, church geeks, we have plenty more to go. But today, as we finish up this section, let us celebrate. I’ve saved what might be the best task force report for last.
The task force’s mandate comes from a resolution last convention (2015-A086) that told the office of Latino/Hispanic ministry at the Episcopal Church Center to do a whole bunch of stuff. This included leadership training, coaching, resource development, cultural-competency training, and more. You really want to read the opening of the task force’s report to get a sense of their impressively large mandate. To fund all this, General Convention gave just over a million dollars.
That million-dollar investment was impressive, but we should be spending even more and doing even more. In the US, the Latino/Hispanic demographic is one of our fastest-growing populations. Outside the US, there is tremendous need for resources and training in Province IX, and there is even greater potential for church growth. But, today, let’s celebrate what got done for this fairly modest investment.
These are some of the programs that were expanded or begun during this triennium:
- New Camino is a two-day conference intended to encourage and equip Dioceses to start and support Latino/Hispanic ministries
- For those who decide to serve Latino/Hispanic people, social media training, digital evangelism, cultural competency programs and specific social media and evangelism resources
- A cultural-competency program in conjunction with three Episcopal seminaries (Seminary of the Southwest, Bexley-Seabury, and Bloy House)
- Training for thirty-one mentors / coaches that will work with congregations, lay leaders, clergy, and diocesan staff serving Latino-Hispanics
- A fully scalable lay formation program: The Academia Ecuménica de Liderazgo (formation materials aimed to foster Latino/Hispanic lay leadership)
There’s more. Are you impressed yet? I only knew about some of these efforts before I read the report, and even the two or three I knew about would have been considered a victory for our investment. The Latino/Hispanic Ministries office does remarkable work supporting some of the more vibrant congregations in our church. Wow.
I’m not going to go on about all the amazing work that’s been done. Read this report. It will inspire you (and I don’t usually say that about General Convention reports!). Sometime when you begin to think we’re not doing the right things to make disciples of all nations and to teach people about Jesus Christ, read the report.
My only disappointment is that they didn’t include a continuance request. I believe that’s because the Latino/Hispanic Ministries office will carry on what needs to be carried on. There are no resolutions to evaluate.
But whenever you see a funding request for Latino/Hispanic ministry, vote yes. This is some of the most effective use of resources in our church. We should all be learning from what they are doing with great success.
Kudos to the task force and all who do this work. Let us all support the work in whatever way we can.
Disclosure: My employer, Forward Movement, has done some work with Anthony Guillen and his team in the Latino/Hispanic Ministries office. And sometimes a Forward Movement staffer has helped out with the Latino/Hispanic Ministries work. This is how I’ve been aware of some amazing accomplishments.