Dear St. Paul’s family,
Since early April, when we announced our plan to right-size the budget, plans have been underway to provide for the continuation of our Spanish-language ministry and our formation programs, after we lose Fr Carlos and David Tremaine. In this letter I want to update you on the Spanish-language plans.
I am committed to doing everything in my power to continue our Spanish language ministry, and my three years of Spanish language study will help me to lead this effort.
We will say good bye to Fr Carlos after the 1:00 Misa on June 23. I hope we will have a wonderful celebration of his ministry among us, which has benefited not only Spanish speakers but other areas such as our Stephen Ministry.
We will also say goodbye to the Mariachi band; I am currently seeking a single musician with the skill and experience to lead us in worship using guitar and/or keyboard.
On June 30 we will start a three-month experiment, moving the Spanish service into the chapel (if the congregation approves) for greater community. The current average attendance is around 40, so the group will fit (although I hope it will outgrow the space).
I will be the primary pastor of our Spanish-speaking members. I will preside most Sundays at 1 pm, and I will preach once a month. Some bilingual colleagues and friends are going to help out: Dr. Orlando Espin, a distinguished Cuban theologian, will preach twice a month. The Rev. Colin Mathewson will usually preach and preside when I am not available. Canon Jeff will preside occasionally.
Our Spanish-speaking parishioners have risen to the challenge of this transition and will be offering support with liturgical, fellowship, and formation ministries, as well as translation needs. As we are making this change during the summer we will have several weeks before the First Communion classes start in the fall, so that gives us some time to find teachers for the children (who all speak English fluently, so Anglo teachers are most welcome!). We already have a wonderful new parishioner leading a book study for adults.
This three month period will be a test to see if we can maintain the worshiping community without burning anyone out. We will re-evaluate in mid-September.
In order for me to pace myself, I will probably miss occasional 8:00 am services. I hope you will understand!
Your sister in Christ