Now that there finally seems to be some good news out there regarding the pandemic, many of us have been starting to think about being back in our buildings. For us, that means the continuation of several experiments that have been on hold.
Right at the top of that list is an experiment we call, "La Misa in English". In our research, we realized that 2/3 of the Latino population in the US was also born here in the US. Of those, 95% speak English and around 70% actually prefer to receive their information in English, rather than Spanish.
Knowing that insight allowed us the opportunity to wonder what an Episcopal liturgy aimed at these English-speaking Latinos would look like. In other words, how can we authentically do an "in-culture" service rather than in-language.
On the surface, the answer is pretty easy: we are folks who follow the Book of Common Prayer, so just follow that. But what are the cultural elements that should be a part as well. (I cal it the Latino Flavor!) As an example, the music will be from the Flor y Canto hymnal, rather than the 1982 Hymnal. There will also be a stronger use of Latinos from the Cloud of Witnesses calendar. And certainly, during Advent, the traditional posadas will play a role.
And now that we can consider emerging out from the pandemic and eventually gathering for worship, it is time to start planning the role out of the experiment. So, if you have ever wanted to do Latino ministry but were limited by language, this is your invitation to join us in this experiment. Simply hit "reply" to this email and we'll add you to the list. As our normal way of doing this, we are looking for diversity in geography and congregation size, so don't think that you wouldn't be right to try this.
Speaking of experiments, there are three new ones I want to share with you:
8560-Digital Church: Creating a prototype Episcopal digital community that is sacramental and is constantly inviting people to an in-person congregation as well.
8561-Evaluating Church Impact: Creating easy-to-use tools for congregations and the church to measure the impact they are having.
8562-Typewriter Poetry Evangelism: Teaching and using Typewriter Poetry as a form of person-to-person evangelism for congregations to use.
Have an awesome March!
With much gratitude,
The Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija is the founding director of the TryTank Experimental Lab.