Around the Parish, February 22, 2018

Sisters and brothers,

A portion of our Hispanic sisters and brothers gathered on Sunday immediately after worship to discuss how we, as a parish, might be more welcoming to them.  Trying to navigate English, when Spanish is your primary language, can be tough.  Some of “our” folks are opting to worship elsewhere so that they can at least understand the liturgy.  And then, given some cultural differences, and you’ve made worship challenging.  So I commend their dedication.

At our Vestry Workshop last Saturday it was clear that they (the Vestry members) are in full agreement that we need to do what is necessary to support our Hispanic sisters and brothers.  So beginning this Sunday you will note a few changes.  We will try not to go overboard, but we do want to make a real effort to begin making our worship as bilingual as possible.  Meanwhile we will be laying the groundwork for establishing a Latino/Latina social/worship group with the possible future goal of offering the Mass in Spanish.  This will be a daunting undertaking.  And in order to make any of this successful, we’ll need EVERYONE pulling together.

On Sunday, we will have 20 copies of a bilingual missal.  It will have the Mass in English on the left hand side, and in Spanish on the right.  This will allow folks to follow along in both languages.  I will begin offering small pieces of the liturgy in Spanish (as best as I can – be patient with me) and invite some of our brave English-speaking folks to consider trying their hand at saying some of the responses in Spanish.  Chances are, future missals will be printed in this fashion.

Some may wonder why we are doing all this and may wonder if it is even necessary.  I think it is important for us to always be on the look-out for those segments of our community that are under-served or overlooked.  Certainly, gay/lesbian/transgender Latinos/Latinas fit into this category.  And we have an obligation to minister to them.  I realize this will be a challenge and could very well stretch our community.  Let’s pray that it does.  After all, our Communion is now predominantly Hispanic, and those are the parishes that are growing.  Let’s do this!

Shalom!

Fr. Dewayne

To read more: Around the Parish 2/22/2018

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