October 25, 2011

The Spanglish Congregation

NPR is currently doing an excellent series on how Latinos, the U.S.’ largest minority group, is “making their mark on religion, technology, education, Hollywood and the workplace.” There are many good stories in this series, but I believe two stories and one interactive feature are particularly important for leaders of the Episcopal Church:
  • U.S. Hispanics Choose Churches Outside Catholicism: While focusing on how evangelical churches are drawing Latinos from Roman Catholicism, much of what is said also applies to The Episcopal Church. Latinos currently constitute the fastest growing segment of The Episcopal Church.
  • How Latinos are Reshaping Communities: This is an interactive map showing population change by state and county. Yellow, orange and red represent the areas with the greatest growth rates - and you will note that many places with growing Latino populations are not where you might expect. And be sure to check out the larger map
  • A Look at Iowa's First Majority Hispanic Town: Latinos are changing the face of communities across the U.S. including in areas that have traditionally been majority white. As Iowa’s first majority Hispanic town, West Liberty is an example of one community that has embraced a multilingual, multicultural existence.
In our first year, ECF Vital Practices has made a concerted effort to provide articles, resources and tools that will help Episcopal congregations across the country embrace this new reality. In partnership with the Episcopal Church Center's Office of Latino Ministry, we are focusing on three key areas: successful models of shared leadership in English and Spanish-speaking congregations, best practices in stewardship/generosity, and intergenerational ministry.

You will note in the list below that while some of the material has been made available in both English and Spanish, a few have not. This reflects the relatively high cost of translations and the fact of limited budgets. Here’s a short list of what we have been able to do so far:
Stories on Shared Leadership:


Strategic Planning and Team Building: