Prediqué en Príncipe de la Paz Iglesia Luterana esta mañana, para Primers Communión y Confirmación. Luego almorzaron allí.
First Communion and Confirnation are a really big deal in family-centered Latino culture. It is a privilege to be a part.
Church is packed. Standing room only. Boys in suits and some in white tuxedos. Girls in white dresses with tiaras, or floral hairpieces and trains. Gifts of large candles, crosses, white Bibles, dolls, large cross candies, And more. Then the sacred moment when the bishop dips the wafer in the wine and places it on the tongue. Expectant eyes wide from the sting of wine. In this culture they like it when the bishop confirms and gives first communion. It’s a connection with the wider church. After the service a barrage of flashing cameras – a million photos.
PdP is under the leadership of Adriana Rivas-Johnson, devoutly Lutheran, from Columbia. Her husband Silas plays guitar in the band. She is studying at the Lutheran Seminary Program of The Southwest. They focus on ministry in a Latino context.
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” 1 Cor. 3:6
Pastor Manuel Morales from El Salvador (father of Lucia Morales who works in our office) tilled the soil for many years. Adriana is watering. A couple years ago worship attendance hovered between 70 and 80. Last year they were getting 120 consistently. Hoy dia (these days) they’re getting consistently 135-140, approaching Santa Cruz (160 average). They’re close to doubling in a few short years.
I’m grateful for Adriana’s leadership, and look forward to her ordination in a couple years. I’m grateful for Kerry Nelson’s interest in and hard work with PdP. I’m thankful for LSPS. Overjoyed at Manuel’s work and his Instituto that trained lay leaders for ministry. And for the Spirit who gives the growth. I’m excited about PdP.
Now, we need ten more like ’em.