Jesus dijo: Dejen que los niños vengan a mi.
Y nosotros decimos: Dejen que los niños vengan a nosotros.
On September 27, St. Paul’s, Rock Creek hosted the Celebration of Latino Ministries, Compartiendo el Camino/Sharing the Journey. This was truly a bilingual, multicultural event with many participants from English-speaking congregations as well as Spanish-speaking congregations. We focused on the plight of the unaccompanied minor children who are arriving in our area. Our speakers for the evening were Luis Cardona, Coordinator for Prevention of Youth Violence in Montgomery County, and Sonia Umanzor, Minister of Community Affairs for the Embassy of El Salvador. Both are working passionately for the welfare of these children. Bishop Mariann touched hearts with her sermon and left the Great Hall ringing with her refrain to the Gospel message, “Jesus said, ‘Let the children come unto me,’ and we say ‘Let the children come unto us.’”
“Jesus said, ‘Let the children come unto me,’ and we say ‘Let the children come unto us.’”
The music was joyful and sung with gusto in both English and Spanish. Following the prayers we broke into small groups to discuss the concept of welcome…What is it? When have you experienced it? How is it important in our lives as Christians? Participation was lively and language barriers seemed to fall away. As we passed the peace and sang together there was a sense that we are really one family, brothers and sisters united by our faith and our desire to follow Jesus. The Spirit was alive and we were enlivened by her. Before giving the Blessing, Father Allan Johnson-Taylor, shared his own story of leaving rural Nicaragua for this country on a two-year migration which took him to many countries and many places in this country before becoming Rector of St. Paul’s Rock Creek Parish. From the Great Hall, the spirit of fiesta spilled over as we shared food and conversation, dancing and joy. We can be one in the Spirit, one in the Lord. It is exhilarating when it happens.