Thursday, April 17, 2008

Viva Pentecost

Thanks to those who have offered words of encouragement. It is with great joy that I can report that the bilingual baptism, holy communion worship re-enactment went really well! We challenged ourselves as a group to take on the task of integrating an Anglo/Hispanic marriage as a springboard to the parents have joined the church and want their new son baptised by the almost exclusively older, traditional congregation located in the changing neighborhood. We not only had the parents from Mexico attending, we had the madrina y padrino, the godparents, and congregational sponsors at the font. After lots of struggles over how to be appropriate to contexts, thinking about how far we could move the congregation and yet allow every to embrace this, I focused upon the fact our service was to take place on Pentecost. I read the statements in English, immediately followed by Spanish and then collectively the respondents or congregation, responded in either language. We prepared people in the bulletin, in the announcements before the service and right before the congregation would be joining in.
Here is what I used to help them embrace this-

Today is a special day- today is the festival day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was sent to the disciples who were called to make disciples of all nations. We will be carrying out this vision of Pentecost this day as we add a new member to the body of Christ.
Today we will baptize Emilio Bautista Edwards, the son of Michael and Marielena Edwards who recently joined this congregation. We are thrilled to have Marielena’s family and the Sanchezes, who will be Emilio’s godparents, here with us today from Mexico.
On the day of Pentecost, the disciples began to speak in many languages at once by the power of the Spirit. Today we will experience a small part of what this was like. So that everyone may fully participate in the joy of the baptism, we will be using English and Spanish. For your responses, including the creed, you will hear me speak in English, then our Assisting Minister Jack will speak in Spanish and then you will be invited to respond either in English or Spanish together. I will motion to you that it is time to respond. I know this will feel different but we encourage you to allow yourselves to picture the Pentecost time and also know that we are embracing all present here today.

I also obtained a fair trade Peruvian stole which was mainly red but with the many bright colors woven together that are common for that culture. In my abbreviated sermon, I thanked the "family" for giving it to me. Not only did the stole represent the fire of Pentecost, but in all of the many colors, we can see that though we may seem different, in our baptism we are all bound together in the body of Christ.

It was a wonderful, albeit stress-creating project. I hope to do it again in an actual setting someday.

1 comment:

Ivy said...

Thank you for sharing. How wonderful and God willing you will have an actual opportunity in the future to apply what you learned through this project. See you in the fall.