Br. Chris Leaves for Guatemala

Before seminary, I was part of a team providing pastoral care to migrant horse groomers.  It was a wonderful experience.  I also struggled to understand the men as they shared their heart breaking stories of migration.  As a result of these experiences, I began learning Spanish.  It’s been a long road — due to the generosity of Trinity Church, I’ll be taking a big step forwards fluency.  

On May 26, I’ll travel to Antigua, Guatemala for four weeks of Spanish Immersion. I’ll be staying with friends of the Jeanes family; a parishioner very kindly donated their airline miles. Additionally, the tuition of all day Spanish lessons for four weeks is quite inexpensive.  All of this has made my trip possible.  I’m grateful to Fr. Paul for letting me combine all my vacation and continuing education time into this four-week venture.  

According to the Episcopal Church’s Strategic Vision for Reaching Latinos/Hispanics, the United States is the second largest Latino country in the world — second only to Mexico.  Yes, the United States has more Hispanics than Spain!  Later on in the same report, we read:

In the midst of various challenges resulting in the Episcopal Church’s membership decline, our church also faces the unprecedented opportunity to embrace the changing times with excitement, zeal, and hope. The dramatic increase in the numbers of Latinos/Hispanics in communities throughout the country should be seen as an evangelistic opportunity and hope for the church.

The ability to speak Spanish will significantly increase the impact of my ministry in the years to come, providing a welcome to people who might not otherwise have felt at home in the Episcopal Church.  I’m so grateful to Fr. Paul, our Vestry, and the entire parish for making this possible. Hasta luego!

La paz,

Hermano Chris 

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