The Adventure Continues

Our Church Council granted me a sabbatical for three months during the summer of 2010. My intention was to learn Latin American Spanish and to explore Latin American cultures here and abroad. Now that I have had some opportunities to lead mission trips to Yuscaran, Honduras, and to visit Mexico three times, the adventure continues.

Seeking New Horizons

Seeking New Horizons

Thursday, August 19, 2010

La Fiesta en la Iglesia

The fiesta (party) at the church was not only a great deal of fun, but it was also remarkable in at least two ways as I think about Trinity.

First of all, it was celebrated on the day of the feast of the Assumption of Mary. That is also the name of the particular congregation where the fiesta was held. Some of the other Lutheran pastors here spoke of how they annually celebrate the life of the congregation on a special day. That would be easy for us, since there is already a day named ¨Trinity Sunday.¨ It is the Sunday after Pentecost, which is 50 days after Easter. I think it would be wonderful fun to reflect on the name of our church each year, and to celebrate in a way that would bring us all together around the ministry we now share, and have shared down through the years.

Secondly, the fiesta was a very major event for the whole community. There were lots of vendors just outside the church grounds, selling cooked food, pastries, rides, and various kinds of toys. On the church grounds the fireworks were being set up all afternoon, to be set off after dark. The church was decorated inside with more Easter lillies than I have ever seen in one place. There was ethnic dancing and at least two musical groups, one of which provided music to which we danced something like a polka. There was fantastic food including a delicious chicken dish, and another with tender pork. Of course there was rice and beans, with the usual condiments of hot peppers, red and green salsa, onions, and cilantro, but there was also a variety of soda and plenty of beer. However, the most remarkable thing is that there was no charge whatsoever for any of this: not the entertainment, nor the food, and not even the beer. The people of the congregation provide everything for everybody and use the event to give a wonderful gift to the community! There were hundreds of people there. It was not the congregation of our hosts, but it was in the neighborhood, and so we went.

I have never seen or heard of a congregation giving such a lavish party for the community. I have no idea of how one would organize such an extravaganza, but it was marvelous to behold!

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