Thursday, October 21, 2010

Live From Las Vegas I: A Latino Kick-Off To Convention

The Diocese of Nevada Convention kicked off tonight with a Fiesta reception at Todos Los Santos. I have been to a lot of opening receptions for church conventions -- but never anything remotely like this. Think of words like packed, loud, joyful, celebratory, festive. There was a large mariachi band, the kind that normally gets paid $400 per hour, playing for us for over 2 hours, just out of piety and personal affection.

Fr. Bernardo and his incomparable wife, Delores, outdid themselves. The feast was Mexcican, Ecuadoran, Honduran, Salvadoran. I spoke with Fr. Leslie who, God and the Standing Committee willing, will be our next Latino priest. I saw Fr. Hilario who serves at St. Luke's now, and with the new grant from The Episcopal Church, will begin model Latino/ Hispanic ministries at St. Matthew's and St. Thomas in the near future. I met his charming, sophisticated diplomat wife, Ruth, who has recently come here from El Salvador and is eager to begin work in Christain formation.

But the most fun was watching Episcopalians from around the diocese who have heard of what is happening here but had not seen it. There were Chuck and Hallie of Carson City dancing to the Latin beat. I saw amazed delight on many a fellow Anglo face. Veteran Nevada Episcopalians said this was the biggest and best kick-off for Convention ever.

A simple point: What we Anglo Anglicans call Latino/ Hispanic ministry sometimes looks a whole lot like Anglo ministry done by our Latino/ Hispanic brothers and sisters. We were all blessed tonight.

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