The TAC Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month with Herencia Festival
By: Sherri Gragg
The Texas Annual Conference joins the fiesta with free event honoring National Hispanic Heritage month.
Each year, from September 15 to October 15, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month. In 1978, President Lyndon Johnson began a week-long observance honoring the rich culture and history of Hispanic Americans as well as their valuable contributions to our country. Twenty years later, President Ronald Regan established National Hispanic Heritage Month. This year, the Texas Annual Conference will join the fiesta as it hosts the first annual Herencia festival on the campus of St. Luke’s Houston, October 20th from 2:00- 8:00 p.m.
Houston is an incredibly diverse city, and its Hispanic American heritage is a vibrant part of the rich cultural landscape. According to the World Population Review, 43.8 percent of Houstonians identify as Hispanic. The Rev. Arturo Cadar, Coordinator of Mission Field Development, is concerned that United Methodists have not historically done enough to let Hispanic Americans get to know us. “We need to do a better job,” Cadar said, “Herencia is about telling the Hispanic community, ‘We care about you. We want to meet you, and for you to meet us. Come have fun with us.’”
The free event will feature tents from local UMC Hispanic congregations eager to get to know their neighbors. Each congregation will bring authentic Hispanic dishes to sell. United Methodist Hispanic worship communities will bring their praise teams too, who will minister in song, drama, and dance throughout the afternoon. The family friendly event will have an abundance of entertainment for children including inflatables.
United Methodist Communications is supporting the event through advertising. They also designed a t-shirt, 3,000 of which will be on hand for attendees to take home as a free memento of the day.
According to Cadar, the event is part of a strategic plan for the TAC to reach a Hispanic membership of 15,000 by the year 2022. As the Hispanic Ministries team prays and prepares for Herencia, they are expecting great things from God. “We are shooting for the stars,” Cadar said, “We are hoping the Lord will surprise us.”