Thursday, February 12, 2009

Charting a new course in bilingual ministry

We've set a date to begin our new bilingual ministry "Somos El Cuerpo de Cristo" "We are the Body of Christ" Sunday, March 1st. 7:00PM. Keep your fingers crossed and please keep praying for this fledgling ministry.

The idea is to use music to bridge the language barriers, and make the liturgy active, culminating in the action of gathering at the table for the meal. The key for this liturgy will be interaction and participation. I imagine us trying to develop a sort of liturgical sign language, focusing on music, dance and the visual arts as the universal platform for the spoken word.

There have been so many false starts in attempting bilingual ministry here. The prevailing two church model, or tenant/landlord, has been a bust, twice. Trying to fold a new model of a unified diverse congregation into an old envelope has been disappointing. But there have been glimmers of hope from that attempt. Sparks to cup with your hands so that they may grow to a new flame. So, I think it is time for a new approach. New skins to hold the new wine of a bilingual inclusive congregation.

I'll keep you posted on how things are developing. Especially on the "demons" in the form of unexamined expectations this brings up in the "established" group. There has been a lot of that, and its not really surprising. It's sort of like the kick when you fire a shot gun. Enthusiasm in whatever form it takes, digs squarely into the shoulder of the one who pulls the trigger. The bigger the blast of enthusiasm, the bigger the kick.

All I can say so far is for a leader to expect that and know how to exercise self care so that you can keep the vision moving forward. Keep your shoulder loose, so to speak, so the kick back doesn't set you down on the seat of your pants. The biggest thing you can do is to keep standing. Whatever that takes.

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