Hispanic-Anglo Churches Blend Cultures and Languages

by Sandra Brands. Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. Accessed April 14, 2017.

Culture change can be influenced by external, as well as internal factors, and for many urban congregations, changes in the demographics of the surrounding community have prompted change. The growth of Latino-American communities and an increase in Spanish-speaking populations has prompted many Anglo congregations to reach out to new neighbors and offer ministries addressing the needs of new immigrants and providing Spanish-language worship and programming. This article by United Methodist journalist and storyteller Sandra Brands details the particulars of a number of congregations of different sizes and styles, and also addresses the ways in which predominantly Hispanic or Latino congregations have in turn created specific English-language ministries to meet the needs of diverse bilingual and multi-generational communities. The examples in this article offer a positive view to the potential for integrating existing (primarily Anglo) congregations with the new (primarily Spanish-speaking) worshipping communities that they have helped to nurture. Congregational cultural change is not likely to be formulaic or linear, and these examples help to show the power and blessing in that complexity.