Participants at the second National Hispanic Lutheran Convention, July 19-22 in Irving, Texas, want to see more Hispanics in national-level LCMS positions.
More than 200 people attended the gathering, held every three years. It is sponsored by the Irving-based National Lutheran Hispanic Mission Society to support and encourage Hispanic ministry in The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.
Convention attendees discussed the need for a staff person to direct LCMS Hispanic ministries on a national level, and adopted a resolution that calls on Hispanic congregations to nominate candidates and to petition the Synod’s 2007 convention to “employ an executive for Hispanic ministries.”
In a related resolution, the convention voted to work with districts, congregations, and other LCMS entities to raise funds to support the new position.
The convention also voted to:
- explore ways to train more Hispanics as church workers. The resolution asks the LCMS Board for University Education and LCMS universities to “adopt an objective plan to recruit, support, and graduate a minimum of 100 Hispanics in the next 10 years.”
- support the statement on immigration prepared by LCMS President Gerald Kieschnick and Rev. Matthew Harrison, executive director of LCMS World Relief/Human Care. The resolution also asks the Synod in convention to affirm undocumented immigrants as brothers and sisters in Christ.
The convention also elected officers to three-year terms:
- Rev. Angel Perez of Casselberry, Fla., president.
- Rev. Samuel Gomez, Escondido, Calif., vice president.
- Rev. Benito Perez-Lopez, Leisure City, Fla., secretary.
Elected as members at-large were Rev. Hector Hoppe, Ballwin, Mo., and Melissa Salomon, Chula Vista, Calif.
Dr. Leopoldo Sanchez, director of the Center for Hispanic Studies at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, addressed the convention theme in his keynote, and several workshops also focused on aspects of the convention theme, “God’s Purposes in My Life, My Family, and My Church.”
The convention also included a Hispanic worship service at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Irving, and a banquet with entertainment provided by a mariachi band from El Paso, Texas.
During the banquet, convention-goers honored Rev. Carlos Puig of Sugar Land, Texas, for his 30 years of service to LCMS Hispanic ministry. Puig, who began his service as a lay minister, has served as a pastor, as director of Hispanic ministry for the Synod’s Board for Mission Services, as ethnic resources editor for Concordia Publishing House, and as a missionary to Panama.
Updated Sept. 12, 2006