Historical and Theological Context
The roots of Hispanic Presbyterians in the United States and Latin America are deeply planted in the soil of nineteenth century missionary work carried out by foreign or national boards. The first roots are grounded in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Puerto Rico. Presbyterians have more than a century-long history of involvement with Hispanic\Latinos . There are third and even fourth generations of faithful Presbyterians among Hispanic\Latinos of the Southwest.
Doing theology means to incarnate the gospel in the ecclesiastical, social and cultural context. It is impossible to do theology in a vacuum; it must be existential. We do theology every Sunday and every day in our churches and in our lives. The theological task of the church consists in discerning what God expects from us in the place were He has placed us, so that we may contribute relevant and transforming solutions to our people. If we are going to accomplish God’s mission it is necessary that our theology is harmonious with our existential realities in light of the Scriptures applicable to our people.
Our culture and history are gifts from God. As Hispanic/Latino-a Presbyterians we serve and worship with a Hispanic flavor and identity. How Hispanics/Latinos-as incarnate, realize and live their faith is going to be reflected in their ecclesiastical and social life. The liturgical work of the church must be reflected in its theological task. Our Hispanic\Latino churches serve and worship according to their experience and theological convictions. Worship, Koinonia, Kerigma, Eucharist and Spirituality are intrinsic part of this. In order to be authentic, transcendent and enriching, liturgy must be true to the cultural reality.
God uses ones cultural, social and racial identity as legitimate gifts, and as means of revealing God’s love and justice to the world.