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Jun 18, 2019 | Paulette E. Martin

Hispanic Lay Leadership Conference Expands with International Presence

Nearly 265 Episcopalians attended the 2019 Hispanic Lay Leadership Conference
at Camp Allen on June 14-15.

“We are on the right path,” assured the Rt. Rev. Hector Monterroso, bishop assistant of the Diocese of Texas to the nearly 265 Episcopalians who participated in the Hispanic Lay Leadership Conference June 14-15 at Camp Allen.

Monterroso’s message at the gathering not only ensured that the Hispanic ministry is indeed growing, but that there will be a need for more Hispanic clergy in the coming years.

Tools to Strengthen Our Ministry was the theme of the conference, hosted by the diocesan Commission on Hispanic Ministry and it is held to raise up and train leaders within the Diocese’s Spanish-speaking congregations. The lay leadership conference, in its fifth year, is an invitation-only gathering.

This year, the commission extended the invitation to the Dioceses of Guatemala, Brazil and Costa Rica. Clergy from Jamaica and New York also participated—making it the largest Spanish-speaking conference in the Episcopal Church.

Aside from having international and national presence, another highlight of the conference was that lay leaders had the opportunity to host their own workshops, allowing them to share their knowledge and leadership skills to attendees.

“Two years ago I came to the conference as a participant and now I’m hosting my own workshop. You can all do this,” said Virginia Cordoba, lay leader of San Mateo, Bellaire.

Cordoba, gives credit to Bishop Monterroso’s words she heard two years ago about everyone taking the roll of becoming a missioner and an active leader of the Church.

Her words also correlated with the plenary speech given by the Rev. Canon Altagracia Perez-Bullard, canon for congregational vitality for the Diocese of New York.

“A great leader is one who spends time developing other leaders,” said Perez-Bullard.

Perez-Bullard also encouraged leaders to go past the red doors of their church if the intention is to build long lasting and dynamic ministries.

“It was an extraordinary experience. We are so grateful to God for this invitation,” said the Most Rev. Naudal  Alves Gomez, bishop primate of the Anglican Church of Brazil.

The next conference will take place June 19-20, 2020 at Camp Allen.

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