2024 Hispanic lay leadership conference recap

Intentional Discipleship:
Hispanic Lay Leadership Conference 2024 Recap

Nearly 250 Episcopalians attended the annual Hispanic Lay Leadership Conference at Camp Allen, June 14-15, 2024. This year, participants gathered to immerse themselves into the fullness of intentional discipleship within their worship communities.

Conference Opening:

The conference began with worship led by the Chavez y Amigos musical group, followed by conversation and reflection with Mission Amplification leaders Estela Lopez and Rev. Alex Montes-Vela who shared tools on how to be a disciple who can multiply disciples outside of the walls of the church. Friday ended on a high note with fun, food, and great music led by Chavez y Amigos, allowing for fellowship and reconnection.

Conference Activities:

Saturday morning began with morning prayer led by lay leaders Virginia Cordova and Fernanda Canizares, followed with music led by Jaime Munoz. The plenary was delivered by Elmer Romero who discussed the ecclesial community, discipleship, and the role of the laity in building of the kingdom of God. From his personal practice, faith experience, and as a lay Episcopalian, Romero addressed what an ecclesial community should be, the method and pedagogy in ecclesial communities, the role of the lay person and/or animator of the communities, the popular method of interpretation of the Bible, popular religiosity, and communities and lay ministries.

Conference participants were given the opportunity to attend one of four workshops. Workshop leaders were Elmer Romero, Francisco “Pancho” Argüelles, Rosilvi Garcia, and the Caminando Con Cristo team.

After lunch, the participants gathered one last time in the chapel. Several lay leaders from the Hispanic/Latino churches throughout the diocese were recognized for their faithful and outstanding work in their community.

Formation Plan Developed:

Throughout the year, the group developed a formation plan and turned it into what it is now called, Caminando Con Cristo (Walking With Christ).

Highlights:

At the end of last year’s conference, Bishop Hector Monterroso appointed a group of lay and clergy leaders to work on a formation plan at the diocesan level, centered around the intentional discipleship approach. This year, after a year of work on the formation plan, a group was commissioned by Bishop Monterroso as the Executive Committee and Board for Caminando Con Cristo. It is led by lay leaders and supported by clergy, and is intended to form lay leaders in their spiritual growth and leadership development through prayer, study, and service.

Recognition:

After the commissioning, the Commission on Hispanic Ministry (COHM) honored the Rev. Albert R. Rodriguez for his many years of work in impacting Latino/Hispanic ministry in the Diocese of Texas and beyond. COHM Co-chair, Rosalinda Rodriguez, delivered an extensive history of his ministry. The Rev. Canon Anthony Guillén, Missioner for Latino/Hispanic Ministries for The Episcopal Church, submitted a video honoring the work of the Rev. Rodriguez.

His work has been fruitful and he was deserving of the COHM’s recognition.

Closing:

The conference ended with participants in high spirits, and participants left with the necessary tools to go out into the world to make and multiply disciples for the kingdom of God.

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