I was introduced to new ideas at the Nuevo Amanacer (New Dawn) 2018 Conference last week at Kanuga Retreat Center in North Carolina. Over 400 people attended from the United States and Latin American countries at this bi-annual gathering of the Latino/Hispanic Ministries of the Episcopal Church.
After living in San Antonio for 10 years, I appreciate how a worship service in Spanish with Latin music can be awe-inspiring. I’d often go to the Cathedral for the Sunday morning service in Spanish not understanding all the words, but understanding their love of God as the source of all life.
But that was over 15 years ago. I learned last week that 2nd Generation Latinos enjoy a worship service in English since they speak English in school and with their friends. But it is still important to retain their heritage through Latino music. Other key elements of the mass can be in both English and Spanish such as the Gospel reading as well as the consecration of the sacraments. The peace is easily translated (Peace = La Paz).
I’m a 2nd Generation American, too. My mother’s parents were born in Poland and emigrated to the U.S. in the late 1890’s. My dad’s father came from Ireland to America through Ellis Island in the early 1900’s. My dad’s mother was adopted and we were never sure of her background.
I have early memories of my mother’s mother going to church every morning at a small Polish church in Perry, NY. Although I’d moved from Perry in high school and hadn’t worshiped in upstate NY since college, the parish continued until it was consolidated with other local parishes. Since July 2012, the parish campus was sold to Pastor Fabian Hernandez and serves as Iglesia Christiana Jesucristo es el Poder.
We have had immigrants in the U.S. since the country was founded by European settlers (~15 generations) and will continue to open our shores and homes to those who leave their countries for many reasons.
As a 2nd Generation American, I am grateful that I was accepted and made to feel at home. In today’s world, we must continue to make all people feel welcome in God’s kingdom.
Blessings, my friend