Sunday the 18th of August I celebrated the transition to the program year with the folks of Emanuel, Dallas. This 113 year old former Augustana (Swedish) Lutheran parish in east Dallas saw its neighborhood changing and began offering ministry in Spanish in the 1970s. They also have hosted a variety of social ministries for the homeless and poor in their midst.
Now they continue that work and have worship in Spanish and English each week. They are served by Pastor Cindy Carroll and a group of parish lay ministers who help with translation and service. Today we worshipped in a fully bilingual manner as we celebrated the conclusion of two of their youth’s summer projects as horizon youth interns through the ELCA.
We also celebrated the beginning of a year of internship with Emanuel hosting a Methodist student from Perkins School of Theology at SMU. She will be working and learning with them as Emanuel continues to discern its future. Their neighborhood is changing again as gentrification is taking homes and pushing out those they have traditionally served.
The blending of people and worship and music this morning was a great example of the authentic diversity the ELCA has committed itself to. They community gathered for worship and fellowship reflects the diversity and history of this congregation. We even celebrated the birthday of 94 year old Marilyn, who has roots in the Swedish founders of the church, by singing the traditional Mexican birthday song Las Mañanitas.
Emanuel is a small congregation that faces many challenges but today was a day of hope and promise as we gave thanks for our citizenship in heaven that unites us despite all the world would do to divide. #NTNL #EmanuelDallas #InMissionTogether #EnMisionJuntos