Unlike a course at a park district or community college, the Spanish as a Second Language program of the church is about changing the perception in congregations of our neighbors. Those who attend report being more aware of those in their neighborhood and in their church life. Some have even begun examining how their church can be in ministry differently with those who speak Spanish – moving from a model of granting space for a ministry to happen to engaging in the ministry together.
48 congregations have completed a course of Spanish as a Second Language
To help that transition happen, our program added an important volunteer to ensuring the success of the class. We call those persons “ambassadors.” We have trained ambassadors from each local church who then help to promote the program and ensure that the program becomes a part of the life of the congregation. Even though one class will not allow full conversations to take place, it is a starting point for a journey in ministry together.
This fall, we trained and deployed nearly 11 ambassadors for our newest round of classes. The next trainings for ambassadors and teachers will be Feb. 22 or March 1, 2015.
We celebrate as this past round included classes at:
● Beth Eden (Rockford) ● Living Faith (Waukegan)
● Calvary (Villa Park) ● Oregon
● Community (Hazel Crest) ● Prince of Peace (Elk Grove Village)
● Grace (Blue Island) ● West Chicago
● Grace Calvary (Chicago) ● Westmont
With these classes, the NIC has a total of 48 congregations that have completed a course of Spanish as a Second Language. Many others have expressed interest, and demand is growing.
The next class term will be March 8-May 22. A congregation may select any 6 weeks during that time that fit their needs.
Your congregation can be a part. To host a class, consider this as a guide:
1. Approach your pastor and then see whether there is interest in the congregation.
2. Remind those in your congregation that the class costs about $30 per person to hold.
3. Select an ambassador to come to a training on Feb. 22nd or March 1st.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of that ambassador and to confirm the details of location and times. All classes will be finalized and posted on-line at www.umcnic.org/ssl by March 2. Visit that webpage for more information or for more details on how your congregation can host a class.