April 25, 2014

The spirit of God moves, moves, moves. Oh brother, let it move your heart!

Editor’s notes: This reflection was written on the eve of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts’ gathering to elect a new bishop. Click aquí.

Every time I hear those popular lines in one of our services I imagine the moments in which the Spirit of God has been felt in the hearts of leaders and members of our Latino communities of faith. Enveloping and accompanying them with harmony and sweetness along unpredictable roads, moving previously envisioned plans forward along with newly imagined ones. 

Last year, while in the process of seeking a new bishop for our diocese, we felt the love and movement of the divine very closely. While the process is, and has been, both lengthy and complex, the fact that it was centered and enveloped in the prayers of congregations both within and outside our diocese has allowed members of the discernment and transition groups opportunities to meditate in silence and to reflect before making decisions, thus managing to reach a true initial consensus. The Spirit of God really moved them, giving them the necessary guidance, openness and clarity to choose the first group of five candidates and then to allow for the addition of two more candidates nominated after the first five. 

We are now only hours away from the Special Convention, where once again we will be immersed in simple but solemn prayer. Enveloped in silent reflection over the last meditation offered by our previous bishop who guided and nourished our spirits for more than twenty years. The cathedral will vibrate with the fervor of prayer, allowing God to move within our hearts. Lay male and female delegates from individual congregations, as well as members of the priesthood and the deaconship, will vote in all necessary rounds until what all of us know—and God has always known—is determined. It will be a moment of jubilation, and if everything turns out as expected, on the 13[1] of September of this year, our diocese will start a new chapter in its life dedicated to serving diverse congregations, programs and initiatives.

For many of our Latino communities this bishop's election is the first one in which they will actively participate. This time, they have not only been present in sessions where what is desired of the new diocesan bishop has been discussed but they’ve also attended public forums offered in their own areas where they’ve asked questions specifically related to their communities of faith. The most important result of all of this is that they will be able to vote as delegates of their own congregations, and as a result of having gotten to know the new diocese and episcopate through the process of choosing the new bishop, I am sure that they will increasingly continue to participate in the community. Ultimately they will be able to ask for greater integration of their cultures into larger events that take place in the cathedral, such as conventions, confirmations and ordinations among other important celebrations and activities of our diocesan communities.

It has been enormously inspiring seeing the Spirit of God moving among our community and also seeing our brothers and sisters allowing it to move in their hearts!

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