Week of Action to highlight Hispanic-Latina community


‘Our stories are part of the PC(USA) story’

by Darla Carter | Presbyterian News Service

The Rev. Antonio Colón and Sandra Otero are among the pastoral leaders will will serve Tuesday during the Presbyterian Week of Action. (Contributed photo)

LOUISVILLE — The rich heritage of the Hispanic-Latina community will be lifted up and celebrated on Tuesday, Aug. 24, as the Week of Action returns for a second year.

The theme of the day will be “Vivencias Hispano-Latinas: Unidad en Cristo,” which means “Hispanic-Latina Experiences: Unity in Christ.”

A committee of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Bearing Witness team is organizing the day that’s intended to reflect “who we are and how our stories are part of the PC(USA) story,” said the Rev. Rosa B. Miranda, associate for Hispanic/Latino-a Intercultural Congregational Support.

The public is invited to take part, starting at 9 a.m. (Eastern Time) at www.pcusa.org/weekofaction, for a full day of sharing and expressing “our gratitude to God through listening to our stories, reflecting on Scripture, and worship knowing that our hope comes from God,” Miranda said.

The Rev. Tamara Leonard Lara

In keeping with the Week of Action theme “Shades of Oppression, Resistance and Liberation,” the day also will explore some of the challenges faced by the Hispanic-Latina community.

The programming “is structured with the intention to share some of our celebrations and challenges through the Matthew 25 vision: eradicating poverty, dismantling racism and building congregational vitality,” Miranda said.

Special guests will include the Rev. Tamara Leonard Lara, the Rev. Guillermo Yela, the Rev. Antonio Colón and Sandra Otero, who all are 1001 New Worshipping Communities pastoral leaders. They serve impoverished communities that have roots in Latin America. Many of the people who live there have had to migrate because of adversity, such as natural disasters and the impact of international policies that have limited employment opportunities back in their countries.

The Rev. Guillermo Yela

Rev. Dr. Agustina Luvis Núñez and Yenny Delgado, a theologian and PC(USA) ruling elder, will talk about racism and discrimination that has been used to silence community voices, including faith communities. “The Hispanic-Latina community in this country has lived under discrimination and faced racism every day, but there is also discrimination and racism that needs to be addressed among us. It has deep roots in the Doctrine of Discovery and the ways in which our Native people were conquered and colonized,” according to the day’s organizers.

Rev. Dr. David Cortés- Fuentes will share the vision of the Community of Shalom in Matthew, a vision that many Spanish and Portuguese Language congregations have shared as core to their mission and outreach.

Ruling Elder Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri was co-moderator of the 223rd General Assembly (2018).

Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri, co-moderator of the 223rd General Assembly  (2018), will read a children’s book, “The Marvelous Mustard Seed,” in Spanish to help teach youngsters to learn and live “the values of God´s reign.”

In addition to the focus on the Hispanic-Latina community, there will be an afternoon segment on systemic and racialized poverty. It will explore the biblical call to end poverty and will include representatives of the Compassion, Peace and Justice ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency as well as the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.

“We hope that participants will feel engaged, rejuvenated, and recommitted to taking action to address root causes of poverty,” said the Rev. Rebecca Barnes, coordinator of the Presbyterian Hunger Program. Also, “we hope that we all become ever more ready to examine our own lives, our church life together, and our systems and structures in society to uncover any and all ways that people are being treated unjustly — and to find relevant, effective, and faithful ways to act.”

Here is the schedule (All times Eastern):

9 a.m. — Hispanic-Latina Ministries in the PC(USA)
9:15 a.m. — Our Hispanic-Latina Heritage
10 a.m. — Daily Prayer
10:30 a.m. — Our Hispanic-Latina Heritage in the Denomination
11 a.m. — What is the Leadership Innovation Team?
11:30 a.m. — 1001 New Worshipping Communities, serving communities that have been historically                impoverished, oppressed, and marginalized
12:30 p.m. — Mission Engagement and Support
1 p.m. — Panel Discussion: Racism and Discrimination Within and Towards our Faith Communities
2 p.m. — Racialized Poverty — the Poor People’s Campaign
3:30 p.m. — The Mission of the Caucus Nacional Presbiteriano Hispano Latino
4:30 p.m. — Community of Shalom in the Gospel of Matthew
5:15 p.m. — Reading: “The Marvelous Mustard Seed”
5:30 p.m. — Portuguese Language Presbyterian Ministries
6:30 p.m. — Our Mission Co-workers
7 p.m. — Closing Worship

This is the fifth of seven stories detailing each day of the Week of Action.

Other Week of Action previews

Aug. 23: Middle East Monday will set the tone for Week of Action

Aug. 25: Week of Action LGBTQIA+ day includes homage to Mister Rogers

Aug. 26: Responding to a crisis in Indigenous communities is the focus of Week of Action Thursday

Aug. 28: ‘The struggle does not define us’

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