The following is a letter from Bishop Mariann to the Diocese:
Dear Friends of the Diocese of Washington,
We are thrilled to report that the Diocese of Washington has received a $100,000 grant, approved by the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, to support the launch of a new bi-lingual worshipping community, Misa Magdalena. Here is how the Rev. Sarabeth Goodwin, diocesan Latino missioner, described the new worshipping community in our grant application:
We wish to plant a sacramental, bi-lingual neighborhood church in the Aspen Hill neighborhood of Silver Spring, a Maryland suburb with one of the highest concentrations of Latino populations in the Washington DC metro area. Our target population will be drawn from the unchurched and under-churched community neighbors, many of whom are culturally Roman Catholic but do not attend church. The neighborhood is comprised primarily of immigrants who are stable and well rooted and New Generation Latinos, those who were born abroad or in the US, many of whom are highly acculturated but appreciate their Latino language.
We are blessed by this new collaborative endeavor, the leadership of Sarabeth Goodwin and the enthusiastic partnership with St. Mary Magdalene parish in Silver Spring, and I am not the only one who thinks so. The Rev. Tom Brackett, the Episcopal Church’s missioner of new church starts & missional initiatives, commended Sarabeth and the Diocese of Washington for the strength of our application.
The grant is “a huge vote of confidence in the work we are doing in the diocese,” Sarabeth notes, and says she is excited to continue the work of establishing Misa Magdalena as “a vibrant Spanish language congregation working in partnership with St. Mary Magdalene Church to spread the good news of Christ’s love.”
I have spoken frequently about the importance of parishes collaborating with one another in ministry. It is no less important for us, as a diocese, to collaborate with the wider church. This is a wonderful example of such collaboration, and I look forward with great anticipation to our work in Aspen Hill, and on other initiatives that deepen our shared commitment to congregational vitality and evangelism.