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Oct 27, 2017 | Paulette E. Martin

San Romero Vicar Encourages Leaders to Find Their Voice

Uriel López, vicar of San Romero Episcopal Church, a new congregation in West Harris County that meets at St. Christopher’s, Houston has had to start from zero. Prior to working for the Diocese of Texas, López served as the rector of Church of the Redeemer in Elgin, Illinois—a bilingual episcopal church with thousands of members. After being called to lead the creation of San Romero, López formed a core of twenty leaders that are helping to create new ministries in the diocese.

Finding leaders to join San Romero wasn’t an easy process.

"I’ve started from scratch. It has been very difficult for me, as an introvert to go out and talk to people I do not know,” López explains. “I always told myself: go, and don’t force anything, just let God direct you.”

López also reached out and extended an invitation to nearby Episcopal churches to see if anyone was interested in starting new ministries. 

The group of twenty has received formation and leadership training from López for 6 – 8 months. They usually meet on Saturday nights in one of their homes. During the gathering, the group participates in a bible study and also receives spiritual direction.

“The group is very united. The goal is for them to get to know each other and grow together in faith,” López said.

López believes the personal attention he has given each of the members, correlates to their commitment and dedication to San Romero. Gaining their trust has allowed him to help them find their true potential.

“Truthfully, I didn’t expect that this group would be so devoted to their faith and their time,” López said. “A lot of them work long hours and still make the time to meet.”

Although most of the members have never had any experience in church leadership, López believes they have come a long way.

“One the members barely knew how to read, and now that person is confident to start a bible study. There are other members who direct the youth ministry and lead others to prayer,” López explained.

Some Sunday’s López sees up to 60 people attend a service in Spanish. Although the church is almost a year old, López’ primary focus hasn’t been to increase numbers but rather to strengthen the foundation he already sees.

His principles also resonate with the name chosen for the church.

“San Romero is someone really close to my heart. Romero found his voice almost towards the end of his life; and although he is Roman Catholic figure, he teaches us to find our own voice, to be prophets and speak with the truth. In a missionary point of view, the member of “Amigos en Cristo” and I really identify with him,” López said.