BLa Familia Metodistas
By: Sherri Gragg
¡Avivamiento 2018! is a gathering of Hispanic Ministries across the conference for an evening of worship and vision casting.
After a long hiatus, Hispanic Ministries has reintroduced the Texas Conference to ¡Avivamiento! On February 3rd, the gathering of Spanish-speaking churches throughout the Conference recommenced, providing a venue for Hispanic members of the TAC to worship and fellowship together, and learn more about the bright future of Hispanic Ministries. Bishop Scott Jones delivered the evening’s message.
The excitement was palatable in the sanctuary of First UMC Pasadena as the praise team took their places. As the first notes of worship music filled the room, the congregation stood and began clapping in unison while a procession of 42 children filed into the sanctuary. Each pair of children held a brightly colored Latin American flag between them, one for each country of origin represented by Hispanic members of the Texas Conference. As they took their places at the front of the sanctuary, the congregation erupted in joyful praise.
“There is something to get excited about when seven hundred people get together to worship the Lord,” said Director of Hispanic Ministries, Rev. Arturo Cadar. The event offered the 25 Hispanic worship communities within the Texas Conference the chance to come together as one family. The carefully planned evening began with a shared meal. The women of Crossroads UMC spent hours upon hours lovingly preparing tamales, rice, and charro beans for their brothers and sisters in Christ. Hispanic congregations throughout the Conference pooled their resources to lead the service in vibrant and creative worship. A worship band led by Rev. Roberto Blanco began the evening’s praise. They were followed by a children’s dance team, a dramatic presentation, and a joint choir.
Bishop Scott Jones
Bishop Scott Jones both greeted the congregation and read his chosen passage of scripture in Spanish prior to delivering the evening’s message. Jones affirmed his deep love for his “familia Metodistas,” while challenging those in attendance to spread the love of Christ to all people. He warned against the danger of the church “turning inward” rather than reaching outside of the sanctuary doors to share the gospel with those in need. His challenge is powerfully relevant for the Texas Conference where, in the Houston area alone, 13 UMC churches are located in neighborhoods that are sixty percent Hispanic. “We must be a church that looks like God’s plan for the whole world,” Jones said.
Hispanic Ministries is excited to embrace the Bishop’s challenge to take the gospel to a hurting world. Cadar envisions ¡Avivamiento 2018! as a launching point for the next era of Hispanic Ministry. “The purpose of the event is to keep our congregations informed of the approach that Hispanic ministry will have over the next few years so that we can all work together to achieve the goal we have proposed to make disciples of all nations and to increase the Hispanic membership of our conference,” Cadar said.