ELCA Hispanic Leaders Meet

12/9/1996 12:00:00 AM


Hispanic clergy and lay leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America talked about ways to build a strong Hispanic
community within the church at a recent Los Angeles conference,
"United in Mission."  The group of 163 took the first tentative
steps toward developing a unified vision and strategy for
ministry that reflects the diversity within the Hispanic
community in the United States.  The Nov. 10-12 meeting included
discussion, workshops and Bible study.  The Rev. Rub?n Dur?n of
the ELCA's Division for Congregational Ministries, urged
participants to be clear in their mission and expectation.
"Growing a church takes time, and good plants do not grow in
isolation.  We need to create networks among ourselves and with
members of other communities," said Dur?n.  "We must participate
fully in the life of the church and the development of church
leadership," he said.  The Rev. Gregory Villal?n, of the church's
Commission for Multicultural Ministries, called for new
strategies and structures for Hispanic communities and
congregations.  He asked Hispanic leaders to review the changing
role of the pastor.  The pastor "is becoming more and more a
trainer of lay leadership.  We need pastors, but we need them in
a new role," said Villal?n.  Music from a new Spanish hymnal, was
introduced at the conference.  "Liturgia y Canci?n" will be
published in 1997 by Augsburg Fortress Publishers, the publishing
house for the ELCA.

For information contact: Ann Hafften, Dir., ELCA News Service,
(312) 380-2958 or AHAFFTEN@ELCA.ORG; Frank Imhoff, Assoc. Dir.,
(312) 380-2955 or FRANKI@ELCA.ORG; Melissa Ramirez, Assist. Dir.,
(312) 380-2956 or MRAMIREZ@ELCA.ORG


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