Category Archives: Hispanics

From the Pew Forum: Hispanic Churches Add English Services

Editor’s note: the link for the full story is no longer active. Newsvine has the article, which you may access here.

This little gem arrived Aug. 28 from my Pew Forum feed. It deals with a lot of topics found in my congregation. As we grow and take on more English-speaking members, we are learning how to communicate to a broader audience.

Our congregation is roughly 55 years old and started an English-language service four (?) years ago. It’s going well enough but the attendance is still far below the 12 p.m. Spanish-language service. There are many in our church who are perfectly fluent in English but who prefer the Spanish service for its “fervency.” The songs have more of a salsa beat, there’s a bigger crowd and the people seem to get into it more than at the 9:30 a.m. English service.

By comparison, the English service music is more staid, with choruses that repeat a lot — although this is changing. We seem to be singing older songs; by older, I mean gospel music of the 1970s. A lot of Andrae Crouch and others of his type.

I’m not sure how we crack the code on worship during the English service. It seems like the pastor has to prime the pump quite a bit more during the English service. What does one do? I’m committed to making the English service not only work but grow by leaps and bounds. We seem to have hit a temporary plateau. Any growth minded people have any ideas on how to work past this without sacrificing the spiritual health of those already in fellowship?

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Filed under Christianity, Hispanics, Latinos, Pentecostalism

From the NYT: For Some Hispanics, Coming to America Also Means Abandoning Religion

A friend of mine sent me the following New York Times article on the phenomenon of Hispanics losing their religion as they assimilate to life in the United States. The article closed with the following passage, which, even in an article full of thought-provoking passages, found disturbing:

Jesus Cerritos, a 37-year-old construction worker who immigrated from Mexico 18 years ago, said he spent his weekends running errands, going to Wal-Mart and watching television. His children, ages 11 and 9, tell him that church is boring and that they have no desire to go, but Mr. Cerritos has mixed feelings.

“Here, the people get more materialistic,” Mr. Cerritos said. “The culture here is really barren. There’s no traditions.”

If he were still living in his hometown of Guanajuato, he said, “I would probably go to church.” Continue reading

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Filed under Hispanics, Nominal Christianity, Religion