Build up the body of Christ. Support the Pentecost Offering.

Centering Latina voices, theology and language for Lent

Unbound continues inclusive Lent and Advent series with ‘A Journey to Arise: A Mujerista Lenten Devotional’

by Rich Copley | Presbyterian News Service

LEXINGTON, Kentucky — For Lent 2022, Unbound — An Interactive Journal on Christian Social Justice is offering a devotional series focused on the Latina community.

A Journey to Arise: A Mujerista Lenten Devotional,” will debut on Ash Wednesday, March 2, and run through Easter, April 17. It will continue an award-winning series of Lent and Advent devotionals that started in Lent 2020 with “Ashes to Rainbows: A Queer Lenten Devotional.” Subsequent devotionals have focused on women who are Black, people with disabilities, and immigrants and refugees.

Unbound’s managing editor, the Rev. Lee Catoe, says the devotionals have become “the highlight of Unbound,” which was published in the style of an academic journal before Catoe took the top post in 2019.

“I really wanted to kind of bring into the conversations more spiritual and more personal and more public theology and to invite voices that are not often asked to be in dialogue when it comes to public theology, and when it comes to theology in general, and how they experienced God and see God,” Catoe says.

The idea to focus on Mujerista Theology, which centers the voices and experiences of Latinas in America, came from conversations around another Unbound project: “A Matter of Faith: A Presby Podcast,” which the journal produces in conjunction with the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.

“A Matter of Faith,” which launched in early 2021, recently added a Spanish version, which comes out the last Thursday of each month.

“When we got to really work with and talk with our siblings in that space, I just thought that we need to hear a deeper theological reflection on Lent and what that means to that specific context when it comes to women and other people who identify in that space and in that community,” Catoe says.

One key feature of the series is that it will be published primarily in Spanish, and people who want to read English translations will have to click an additional link to reach that version. Catoe says the point is to de-center English and give readers a window into the regular experiences of Spanish-speaking people in the United States.

“A Journey to Arise: A Mujerista Lenten Devotional,” debuts on March 2, Ash Wednesday.

“Welcome to the rest of the world, where we all have to identify like, ‘Here’s my primary language,’” says the Rev. Alexandra Zareth, Associate for Leadership Development & Recruitment for Leaders of Color in the Presbyterian Mission Agency, who helped coordinate contributors to the devotional.

Zareth says writing her contribution in Spanish was a gift because “it’s the language of my heart. It’s my prayer language. It’s a much more natural progression. I think I can write from my heart in such a different way.”

Through the devotional, Zareth and Catoe say people will see the unique perspective on God and the Lenten season through writers such as activist Yenny Delgado and artist the Rev. Lis Valle-Ruiz.

“How the Holy Spirit is seen within this Latina space is going to be beautiful, and it’s going to come through, and I think how we relate to God is going to come through in our devotionals,” Zareth says. “All of these pieces of what it is that we do and how do we respond to God’s grace in our lives, it’s going to be a little different, I already know it, just because I know the contributors. And I think it’s going to be awesome.”

Learn more about “A Journey to Arise: A Mujerista Lenten Devotional,” by watching the video at the top of this story.

Unbound is part of the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy, which is one of the Compassion, Peace & Justice ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.

New episodes of “A Matter of Faith: A Presby Podcast” are released on Thursdays and can be found here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

  • Subscribe to the PC(USA) News

  • Interested in receiving either of the PC(USA) newsletters in your inbox?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.