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Conference Hispanic Ministries celebrated

Posted: September 15 2018 at 02:56 PM
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The Liturgical Dance Academy from La Luz de Cristo perform during the Hispanic/Latinx celebration’s closing worship service.

More than a hundred people gathered at Epworth United Methodist Church in Elgin on Sept. 8, 2018, to celebrate the many Hispanic/Latinx ministries in the Northern Illinois Conference. The day included testimonies from five different pastors, one from each district, serving Hispanic congregations, workshops, and worship with communion. Music was led by Dr. Rev. Tercio Junker who put together a team of musicians from different churches and the Liturgical Dance Academy from La Luz de Cristo performed in the closing service.

The NIC Hispanic/Latinx Ministry Team organized this event as an opportunity to celebrate the 24 Hispanic Ministries/Congregations in the conference.

“This was an opportunity to get together to worship, to have fellowship and to support each other,” said Rev. Fabiola Grandon-Mayer, Chair Hispanic/Latinx Ministry Team. “It’s not easy to be  a Hispanic/Latinx in this country, but when we get together as one body, we listen to others’ testimonies and we realize that we are not alone in this journey.” 

How does it help our local ministries be connected as Hispanic/Latinx in our Conference?

“Being organized and integrated in the Conference helps us to get to know each other, gives us identity, keeps us united and at the same time we receive support, advice, and tools that we need as Hispanic leaders,” said Omaira Mora, Pastor at “Ministerio Fe Y Esperanza” at Elgin:Wesley UMC. “It also strengthens and consolidates the participation of Hispanics within the Conference by giving us the opportunity of voice and vote.”

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“I think that having organized events in which churches come together are a big benefit to the church. Being together, even if only for a day, is a benefit because we are reminded of God’s worldwide mission for the church. Sharing our difficulties, I believe is extremely important because not everything is perfect all the time. As the body of Christ, we are called to be in fellowship, be honest, and encourage each other in faith and mission of making disciples and nurturing those already in the faith,” said Paula Hernandez who is a 20-year-old member from First UMC in Crystal Lake.

Pastors shared their ministry highlights, struggles, and successes leading Hispanic churches including Nino Espinoza who said celebrated seven years of mission work in the Blue Island area with 50 people in the church. Jesus Molina of Stone Park Mission in Melrose Park celebrated 16 years of ministry and the attraction of millennials to the church while also helping to encourage several clergy leaders to go out and serve on their own.

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Bishop Sally Dyck delivered the sermon in the closing worship and shared her experiences from her recent trip to the U.S./Mexico border with the General Board of Church and Society (read more in her October column.)

The Hispanic/Latinx ministries continue to grow and flourish in the Northern Illinois Conference and have spawned new traditions along with longstanding programs such as the Hispanic Women’s retreat which started more than 30 years ago.

Follow news and updates from the Hispanic/Latinx team on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HispanicLatino-Ministry-Northern-Illinois-Conference.

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