mayo 21, 2012
abril 12, 2012
The fourth triennial National Lutheran Hispanic Convention will be held June 19-22 at Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Mich. The theme for the convention is “Celebrating Our Vocation.”
The “family friendly” event — which will be conducted primarily in Spanish — includes a children’s program as an option for attendees and their families.
All ordained and commissioned church workers and laypeople who serve a Hispanic ministry — as well as seminary students enrolled in the Center for Hispanic Studies at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and LCMS mission executives — are encouraged to attend the conference.
“Of course, any person interested in Hispanic ministry in the LCMS is welcome to participate,” said the Rev. Aurelio Magariño, president of the convention and a staff member of the Hispanic Lutheran Mission Society of Metro Washington, D.C.
Organizers of the event include Magariño; the Rev. Dr. Leopoldo Sánchez, vice-president of the convention and director of the Center for Hispanic Studies; Deaconess Teresita Rodriguez, secretary and treasurer of the convention; and Deaconess Ligia Morales de Borges and the Rev. Laerte Tardeli Voss, convention members at-large.
The convention will provide opportunities to discuss issues that are relevant to those who serve Hispanic ministries and will offer worship, fellowship, networking, plenary sessions and workshops sponsored by the Center for Hispanic Studies. Voting delegates also will elect officers for the Fifth National Hispanic Convention in 2015.
Plenary speakers — who will share their perspectives on the convention’s vocation emphasis — include Lorna Virgili, owner of the National Hispanic Communications Group in Washington, D.C.; the Rev. Giacomo Cassesse, pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Miami; and the Rev. Dr. Douglas Rutt, director of International Ministries for Lutheran Hour Ministries in St. Louis. LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison will address the convention during its opening worship service.
“At the end of the convention, participants will return to their ministries refreshed and empowered to continue their mission,” said Magariño.
In reference to the convention children’s program, Magariño said, “Hispanics value family and community. Children are very important in the life of the Latino church. We believe they need to have educational and recreational programs that will enrich their spiritual lives, even as their parents participate in the convention.” Plans for the children’s program include Bible study in the morning and outings to local attractions in the afternoon.
Convention planners say they are grateful to the Synod’s Michigan District for inviting the convention to use the campus of Concordia University, which allowed them to keep registration costs low. The convention also received funding from the LCMS Office of National Mission and the Synod’s Texas and Michigan Districts.
Registration is $50 for each Hispanic church or mission, which includes two voting delegates and their family members. Lodging and meals are extra. Registration for nonvoting attendees is $35.
For more information about the convention, visit www.facebook.com/4cnhl or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For a preliminary agenda, visit https://4cnhl.wordpress.com. To download a PDF of registration materials, click here.
noviembre 22, 2011
IV Convención Nacional Hispana Luterana
1) ¿Dónde será la IV Convención?
En el Campus de Universidad Concordia Ann Arbor, Michigan (http://www.cuaa.edu/)
2) ¿Cuándo será la IV Convención?
La Convención empezará el martes 19 de Junio de 2012, 1pm con la inscripción y concluirá el viernes 22 de Junio a las 11:00am con el Culto de Clausura y Envío.
3) ¿Cuál es el tema la IV Convención?
El tema es: ¡Presentes! Celebrando Nuestra Vocación
4) ¿Quién está organizando la IV Convención?
La Junta Directiva que ha sido elegida en la Convención pasada: Presidente, Reverendo Aurelio Magariño email@example.com, Vicepresidente, Dr Leopoldo Sánchez firstname.lastname@example.org, Secretaria y Tesorera, Diaconisa Teresita Rodríguez email@example.com, Vocal, Diaconisa Ligia Borges Liyetita@yahoo.com, Vocal, Reverendo Tardeli Voss firstname.lastname@example.org
5) ¿Cuál es el programa de la IV Convención?
Aún no tenemos disponible todos los detalles y horarios del programa, pero podemos adelantar que tendremos momentos de cultos, de ponencias, talleres, testimonios, devocionales, tiempo de negocios, tiempo libre y también para turismo y deportes.
6) ¿Por qué la IV Convención se estará llevando a cabo en la Universidad Concordia, Ann Arbor?
En primer lugar, porque fuimos invitados por el Distrito de Michigan y por la Universidad de una manera muy cariñosa ofreciendo apoyarnos con la estrutura, logística y organización del evento. En segundo lugar, por la razón económica, pues sin duda ninguna el costo será mucho menor si fuera en un hotel o centro de convención, por ejemplo y eso posibilitará que mas personas puedan participar. Y en tercer lugar porque será la primera vez que realizaremos la Convención Nacional en esta linda región del país y estamos seguros que los participantes quedarán encantados en viajar hasta Ann Arbor/ Detroit y disfrutar las bellezas del lugar.
7) ¿Quiénes pueden asistir a la Convención?
Son invitados todos los obreros (pastores, diáconos, diáconisas, misioneros [as], profesores [as] que trabajan con Ministerios Hispanos en la Iglesia Luterana Sínodo de Missouri en Estados Unidos. También son invitados Líderes de Distritos y Directores de otras Organizaciones de la Iglesia que tienen alianzas con los ministerios hispanos. Estudiantes de teología también están siendo convocados. Asimismo líderes latinos también pueden participar. Todos son bienvenidos de traer sus familiares.
8) ¿Cómo puedo estar enterado de las novedades sobre la Convención?
En primer lugar debe entrar en contacto con la secretaria Teresita por e-mail (email@example.com) o por teléfono (313-999-3096) y actualizar sus datos. De esta manera usted estará recibiendo las cartas circulares y el paquete de registración. En segundo lugar usted puede accesar el blog de la Convención (https://4cnhl.wordpress.com/). Y en tercer lugar, usted puede hacerse miembro de la página de la Convención en Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/4cnhl), que ya cuenta con 138 seguidores.
9) ¿Quién representará LCMS en la Convención?
Hemos invitado al pastor presidente Matthew Harrison para predicar en uno de los servicios y también para hablarnos sobre los planes para el ministerio hispano en LCMS, pero aún no recibimos confirmación de su presencia. Luego les informaremos.
10) ¿Para cuál aeropuerto debo reservar mi vuelo?
El aeropuerto de la ciudad de Detroit, (DTW) Website: http://www.metroairport.com/. El aeropuerto está a 24 millas de la Universidad, más o menos 25 minutos. El Comité de Recepción estará listo para ayudarlo en el transporte.
11) ¿Qué atractivos existen en el local de la Convención?
En una corta distancia del local de la Convención usted podrá visitar sitios como el Museo de Henry Ford, Greenfield Village, Ford Factory Tour, la ciudad de Windsor en Canadá, Belle Island, Greek Town, Mexican Town, GM Renaissance Center, y mucho más. El Cómite de Recepción está preparando tours para algunos de estos sitios.
12) ¿Qué temas serán tratados en las ponencias?
En las ponencias tendremos la oportunidad de crecimiento en el tema general de la Vocación Cristiana en las perpectivas socioculturas, teológica-histórica y pastoral-misiológica. Las presentaciones serán: 1. La vocación del cristiano en la sociedad hispana (Lorna Virgili, Owner, National Hispanic Communications Group, Washington D.C.); 2. Lutero y la vocación en perspectiva histórica (Giacomo Cassese, Pastor, Hope Lutheran Church, Miami, FL.); 3. Lutero y la vocación en perspectiva pastoral-misionera (Douglas Rutt, Director, International Ministries, Lutheran Hour Ministries, St. Louis, MO.)
13) ¿Qué temas serán abordados en los talleres?
En los talleres tendremos la oportunidad de aprendizaje y intercambio de recursos y experiencias en asuntos prácticos para la vida y el ministerio del obrero. Entre los temas destacamos “Ministerio a la Familia Hispana”, “Ministerio con Jóvenes bilingues y biculturales de 2da y 3ra generación”,
“Ministerio de la Iglesia en un Mundo Digital”, “Ministerio Hispano y sustento economico”, “Ministerio de Misericordia y Acción Social”, “Ministerio con inmigrantes indocumentados”.
14) ¿Cuál es el costo de la Convención?
Aún no tenemos esta información pero luego que tendremos usted será comunicado. Estamos trabajando por el menor costo posible porque deseamos mucho que usted pueda venir.
15) ¿Qué pueden hacer los niños y jóvenes durante la convención?
Ellos estarán recibiendo clases Bíblicas durante la Convención por las mañanas y por las tardes se les llevará de paseo a distintos sitios.
marzo 25, 2011
Hermanos y hermanas en Cristo,
Mrs. Ruth Kempff, wife of our own Mark (Marcos) Kempff, entered eternal rest on Wednesday, March 23, 2011.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus on the Concordia Seminary campus. Mrs. Kempff’s earthly remains have been cremated and will be transported to Venezuela for burial following the funeral.
Ruth’s beloved husband Marcos, along with family and friends, invite you to join in a celebration of her life immediately following the service, in Koburg Hall.
Memorials may be made to Concordia Seminary St. Louis – Center for Hispanic Studies, Scholarships for Deaconesses.
To Mark and his family we offer our condolences and our prayers of thanksgiving that God gives us comfort and hope in the time of grief.
Leopoldo A. Sánchez M., M.Div., Ph.D.
Director of the Center for Hispanic Studies
The Werner R. H. Krause and Elizabeth Ringger Krause
Endowed Chair for Hispanic Ministries
Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology
801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO. 63105
marzo 14, 2011
Dr. Leopoldo Sánchez, Vice-presidente de la IV Convención compartiendo sobre Ministerios Hispanos al Consejo de los Presidentes de los Districtos de LCMS
It is not news that the Hispanic (Latino) presence in North America is growing, Dr. Leopoldo Sanchez said in his opening remarks to the COP. Yet it would be incorrect to categorize the culture as monolithic, he noted. Rather, it comprises a vibrant spectrum of cultures, reflecting the experiences and coming together of groups and nationalities as varied as Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, indigenous peoples of Central and South America, Argentineans, Brazilians and Chileans. Broadly speaking, Sanchez explained, the term “mestizaje” describes this coming together of the cultures that make up Latin American and the Caribbean.
What we are experiencing, Sanchez told the COP, is the advent of the “Global South” on the world stage. Sanchez defines the Global South not only as Mexico and Central and South America, but as “that part of the world south of North America and Europe … including countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia, where Christianity is growing by leaps and bounds.” In their ethnic and cultural histories, many Latin Americans can have roots in all these continents, Sanchez added.
In the Americas, unlike Anglo cultures, which increasingly appear secular and even hostile to the church, Latin cultures generally maintain some respect for the church, Sanchez said. People may be nominally connected to the church (historically the Catholic Church), but nevertheless they are asking important questions about God, faith and spiritual life.
“In many ways, the post-church paradigm does not fit,” Sanchez told the COP. “Even children of Latin American immigrants to the U.S. are joining some church — either Catholic or Evangelical/Pentecostal.”
His own experience is perhaps typical, Sanchez said. In Panama, while his family was nominally Catholic, no one had ever called him a “sinner” until he encountered a Pentecostal street preacher. After seeing Sanchez spend time with Pentecostal Bible groups, his father, who “thought it was weird to walk around with a Bible” made sure Sanchez retained some connection with the Catholic Church.
In Williamsburg, Iowa, Sanchez was finally introduced to the Lutheran church. There, Sanchez said, “people were not afraid to talk about the Bible … but they were also not afraid to have a liturgy, albs, candles and a hymnal — an indication that the church has a salutary tradition.”
Sanchez said that throughout the Global South, Pentecostalism is making great gains because, in part, its form of the Christian faith resonates with the “spiritual” component of Global South life, in particular with the belief in God’s immediate work in everyday affairs. Yet, in some respects, it also runs counter to that same life. Especially in Latin America, and among Latinos in North America, the message can become virulently anti-Catholic. In that respect, Sanchez noted, our own Lutheran doctrine, traditions and forms of worship can offer, along with a solid biblical foundation, another thread for outreach to Hispanic communities.
In ministering to Hispanic communities in this country, Sanchez offered the following:
· Remember that you’re dealing with poor or developing communities and churches. These are not stable, wealthy communities, but rather communities and people living on the margins. Mission goals have to be realistic, e.g., is self-sustainability in five years a realistic goal? Not likely.
· Be aware of the cultural differences: Anglo culture is driven a lot by goals. Global South culture is more process (and relationship) oriented. Time is seen qualitatively rather than as a checklist for getting things done. Be flexible with the use of time. Negotiate a way to achieve worthy goals while building trust through relationships.
· Commit to the long haul. You are not dealing with people who were raised Lutheran. Catechetical and theological formation is needed as well as evangelism. Participation in the life of the church will grow over time. (Yet it must be part of the discipleship process rather soon. “Going ‘Protestant’ does not guarantee retention of Latinos in the church,” Sanchez said. “They must be trusted with tasks and leadership.”)
- Remember that Hispanic life in this country is often transient. A family may be members of your community for only a short time. Be prepared to “hand them over” to the next congregation on their itinerary. Think of the church, not only congregationally, but also synodically, as a network of congregations where transient families are welcomed and nourished.
- Understand there may be some hesitation and suspicion about an Anglo church doing outreach, as in, “Maybe these people just want me to speak English before I can become Lutheran.” Don’t make learning English a condition for hearing or proclaiming the Gospel.
- Don’t underestimate education. In addition to human care, some of our strongest outreach opportunities are provided by our schools. Our parochial schools and our Concordia University System are likely the most underutilized means of Hispanic outreach in our Synod.
In many ways, Global South people in North America live in a “Galilean” context, in an in-between world, Sanchez said. For example, “While Americans often view Mexican-Americans as too Mexican, Mexicans themselves often view Mexican-Americans as way too American.” Yet these “Galileans” are capable of critiquing “what gets in the way of the Gospel in both cultures,” Sanchez said. “They can be great bridge-builders.”
And as with the Galileans of Jesus’ day, Sanchez added, Mexican-Americans today are among the poorest people in the U.S. As with Latino growth in general, their growth is currently fueled, not by immigration, but by birth rates.
In concluding his remarks, Sanchez briefed the COP on the 2012 Hispanic convention and asked for their financial and prayer support. The gathering, he said, is scheduled for June 19-22 in Ann Arbor, Mich.
As part of its regular business, the COP approved the placement of 14 vicars and 13 pastors. Also, it ratified the placement of 50 ministers of religion — commissioned
octubre 22, 2010 Deja un comentario
Galilean Neighbor On My Mind
Besides saying that everyone is a sinner in need of repentance, which is of course true, a more recent, creative, and biblical attempt at defining more clearly who the “lost” neighbor might be in our North American context is CNH District President Robert Newton’s churched-unchurched paradigm for missions. He reminds us that we no longer live in Jerusalem, or in a churched society that assumes Christian values like in the good old days–if there was ever such a golden era. Instead, we live in Babylon, or in an unchurched society that assumes no Christian values and is often hostile to the Gospel. So goes the argument.
There is some truth to the Jerusalem-Babylon paradigm. Under this paradigm, it is not uncommon for Lutherans to think of Jerusalem as the church, the ones “found,” the insiders, as it were. Babylonians are typically thought as the unchurched, the ones “lost,” the outsiders. Babylon (or we might say, Rome) in our day and age is often thought of as atheist, agnostic, secularist, relativist, or some other label that could describe in broad strokes who the lost are supposed to be in a North American context.
Yet this paradigm has its limits. It sees Jerusalem or the churched in rather romantic terms. Here one is reminded, as was said before, that the “lost” in Scripture includes those of the house of Israel, the insiders in dire need of repentance. Jerusalem often has to be called to repentance. Hmmmm.
Now, insofar as Babylon or Rome is hostile to the church, one is indeed reminded of John’s depiction of the “world,” the sphere of Satan’s activity, the prince of this world. But here the world also includes the unfaithful leaders of the house of Israel. Once again, insiders! Hmmmm
On the Babylonian side, the paradigm can help us to some degree to identify who the lost neighbor might be in a North American or even North Atlantic context. There is indeed much hostility to the Christian faith in the U.S. coming from some of those groups already mentioned.
But we must also be aware that some neighbors or sets of neighbors always end up falling through the cracks of our mission paradigms. And so the neighbor brings into question our use of familiar categories. For Scripture also speaks of people who do not seem to easily fit into our categories.
These are the neighbors on the margins, as it were. Mexican American theologian Virgilio Elizondo has spoken eloquently of such borderlands people as the Galilean neighbor. As one who comes from the U.S.-Mexico border, Elizondo reflects on what it means to be neither here nor there and in two places at once. Mexican Americans, for instance, are neither American enough for the North Americans nor Mexican enough for the Mexicans. Both at the same time, and neither one. A marginalized group. Not Catholic enough for the Mexicans, not Protestant enough for the North Americans. Not mestizo enough for the Mexicans, not White enough for the North Americans. Not Spanish-speaking enough for the Mexicans, not English-speaking enough for the North Americans. Not good enough for either side, a mixed breed of sorts.
The experience of Mexican-Americans is, in a sense, the experience of Jesus, the man from Galilee, a border town where nothing good comes from, a place that is neither here nor there, neither pagan like Rome (Babylon) nor as pure in religious terms as Jerusalem Jews would like. The Messiah cannot come from such a messed up place! In both places at the same time, but accepted in neither. Jesus came to save sinners in both places, and yet both Rome and Jerusalem killed him.
Mission clue no. 1: Borderlands people, those on the margins, are seen with a fair amount of suspicion by Jerusalem and Rome. Are they like us or not? Are they “in” or “out”?
Mission clue no. 2: Galileans also see both Jerusalem and Rome, churched and unchurched societies, with great suspicion. Unchurched society may want Galileans for their cheap labor. Churched society may not let them use the kitchen or might even suggest to them that they should be like them a little more and speak like them to be considered full members of the body of Christ.
Analogies only take us so far. But I wonder: Should we speak of missions not only in Jerusalem and Babylon, but also in Galilee? That move would help us see sets of neighbors currently unaccounted for in our mission paradigms. Galileans are, broadly speaking, people in the margins. There are many of them. They live both in Jerusalem and in Babylon, in churched and unchurched societies, and in the places in between. They are borderlands people not exclusively in economic terms (say, the poor), but often in social and ecclesial terms too. The neighbor is flexible enough to warn against stiff categories.
I think, for instance, of the odd, neither here nor there, strangers in the borderlands that Philip reached out to in Acts. As a deacon, he serves poor Greek-speaking Jewish widows who were being marginalized in the Jerusalem church by the Hebrew-speaking ones. We have those today too. The poor with the weird accents and customs. Are they “in”?
As an evangelist, Philip brings Jesus to the Samaritans, though from a Jerusalem perspective these odd fellows are not pure enough to be insiders. God even has to wait for Peter and John to confirm that the Samaritans were “in” by withholding from these Samaritans the gift of the Spirit. And this after they had already believed in Jesus and were baptized! An odd thing to do, but a necessary one for the sake of the Gospel. Not for the Samaritans for sure, but to teach Jerusalem that the Gospel is also for people in fuzzy religious categories. We have Samaritans around too. The mixed breed people. And those for whom the problem is not secularism, but perhaps too much religion. Are they “in”?
And then we have the Ethiopian eunuch. Is he churched or unchurched? Yes! A God-fearer Gentile. He is “in.” But also a eunuch, unable to enter the temple. He is “out.” Neither here nor there. Churched-unchurched categories appear to be insufficient. A man on the margins. We have people like that today too.
But Philip does not ask questions about who belongs and who does not. He simply proclaims Jesus to the Ethiopian in catechesis and then baptizes him in the name of Jesus. Done!
Missions in Galilee is missions among people in fuzzy categories. They include marginalized people like the “poor,” the “religious,” and the “uncommitted” both in or around Jerusalem and Babylon, or in between both.
Rejected by Jerusalem and Babylon, Jesus, a Galilean, on the cross, stretches his hands beyond our mission categories to neighbors everywhere, bringing odd, marginalized characters into his Father’s kingdom.
Galilean neighbor on my mind.
Perhaps our church needs to stop thinking of herself romantically as some pure Jerusalem. So called insiders are sinners in need of repentance too. Check.
Babylon will always be there, of course. Let the hostile atheist, agnostic, secularist, and relativist of the North Atlantic get at least some of the church’s attention.
But do not forget the Galileans in our midst. Or the Greek-speaking Jewish widows, Samaritans, and Ethiopian eunuchs of our day. Like Philip, the church is called to go out of her comfort zones and centers of power towards the loveless and forgotten margins, without deciding in advance who belongs and who does not.
Where is the Synod’s satellite office–or dare we say, central office–for mission and mercy affairs in forgotten rural areas where churches seem to be dying, urban areas with a mixed bag of poor and religious people, or the marginalized U.S.-Mexico border Elizondo speaks about in both geographic and social terms? Hmmmm
Perhaps that is, at least partly, what it means to be a confessional and missionary Lutheran church, namely, a daily dying to self in order to make room for neighbor, especially those at the margins of Jerusalem and Babylon. Jesus died for those who crucified him, for Jerusalem and Babylon, and everyone else in between. We follow in the footsteps of the Galilean and his Galilean disciples.
A church that dies to self in order to make room for those Galilean neighbors on the margins will draw criticism from both Jerusalem and Babylon. She will either be criticized for not being “confessional” enough or for not being “missional” enough. She will share in the sufferings of the Galileans of today and in doing so will also share in her Lord’s sufferings.