by Rev. Eliana Maxim, Associate Executive
The largest growing “minority” population in the US is Latino-Hispanic, and this includes the PC(USA). This brings unique opportunities and challenges to our existing congregations. How will our churches reflect the changing demographics? How will we nurture the growth of all-Latino worshiping communities? And how will the church respond to the spiritual and physical needs of this community?
Over 90 PC(USA) pastors gathered in Guatemala City in mid-July for the annual PC(USA) Hispanic Pastors Seminar to discuss ministry, mission, culture and the future.
The keynote speaker was theologian Rev. Dr. Edesio Sanchez Cetina who centered his presentation on the book of Deuteronomy and urged the participants to consider the pastoral role in a deuteronomic context: prophetic, cross-generational, temporal and educational. He also called on Latino congregations to partner with families to ensure faith formation occurs in the home as well as at church, in a continuing effort to strengthen both families and the church.
Cynthia Bolbach, Moderator of the 219th General Assembly, also spoke to the gathering about the new form of government, conversations around the passage of amendment 10-A and missional partnerships with the Presbyterian Church of Guatemala.
It was exciting to hear about the remarkable ministry taking place across the US with so many different Latino faith communities. Significant educational ministry is being done with lay leaders, immigration activism grounded in theological truths and an awareness of the Latino community’s responsibility to “grow” the church of the future.
Latinos who were a part of the Presbyterian Church in their country are coming to the US in search of a church home. They may worship in a different language, their praise music may indeed sound very unlike what we may be accustomed to, but these sisters and brothers of are ready to stand side by side with the PC(USA) and its vision for the church in the 21st century. Will we be ready to stand along with them?