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Jan 30, 2017 | Paulette E. Martin

'Juntos en Mision' a New Resource in Spanish to Help Newcomer Ministries

[Houston, TX—January 30, 2017] The Episcopal Diocese of Texas announced today the release of Juntos en Mision: Invitación, Bienvenida y Conexión, a digital training series for Spanish-speaking congregations. Juntos en Mision was developed to help parishioners learn to invite, welcome and connect visitors and new members as well as strengthen their existing ministries. The five-part video series, redeveloped by the diocese’s Commission on Hispanic Ministry from the popular Invite Welcome Connect program, is available for online viewing or download with accompanying checklists and resource lists at no charge.

Juntos en Mision is meant to support newcomer ministries in congregational development, help to build relationships with new and existing parishioners and encourage members to be proactive about including others into their communities in the church’s ministry and life of faith. No training is necessary to facilitate the program.

“I am grateful to our Commission on Hispanic Ministry for the work they did in preparing the scripts for this valuable training,” said the Rt. Rev. Andy Doyle. “We know how important it is to welcome new people in a manner that invites them to return as part of our community of faith, and this training provides the first step in that effort.”

Cost of producing the video series was underwritten by the Diocese and is available to any Spanish-speaking congregation in the U.S. or abroad. “The series will be online so anyone for whom it might be valuable will be able to access it,” Bishop Doyle said.

In 2015, The Episcopal Diocese of Texas did a marketing study on ministry to the Spanish-speaking community, gathering data from numerous focus groups. Feedback from Hispanic non-members revealed there was little or no knowledge of the Episcopal Church, although the worship service and ethos of the Episcopal Church appealed to them, once informed. Active church members revealed a need for resources to help them reach into their communities.

The Commission developed the line: “God’s love has no boundaries” (Dios no tiene fronteras) as a unified statement to reflect the diocesan efforts to help Spanish-speaking congregations reach their broader communities. The Diocese also built a dozen mobile-friendly websites for Latino congregations, anchored by www.iglesiaepiscopaltx.com, developed informational cards about the Episcopal Church in Spanish and helped to train local parishioners in social media over the last year. Juntos en Mision is the latest resource to be completed. A new digital newsletter to help the Latino congregations connected and share information will launch this spring.

For more information on Juntos en Mision: Invitación, Bienvenida y Conexión please contact ­­­Paulette Martin, or call 713.520.6444 or visit www.epicenter.org/juntos-en-mision.

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