For over a decade the people of Iglesia Luterana San Gabriel in Alvarado have hosted a Cabalgata (Mounted Procession) to honor the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe. This fits their context in Alvarado in which horses culture is a big part of the community life.
The bishop of the NT-NL Synod, ELCA has multiple times participated in the parade riding in the lead party with a processional cross. This year was made even more special in that Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton had agreed almost a year ago to join us for this event and the Conferencia Latina NT-NL ELCA service at Iglesia Santa Maria de Guadalupe, Irving (mentioned in a previous post).
The day began with worship led by the San Gabriel choir. I was honored to preach and Bishop Eaton presided. After worship Bishop Eaton joined me as we participated in leading the procession, on horseback, through the 4 mile parade route. Following the lead party were floats, dancers, and well over 200 mounted riders on horses. As we traveled the community people would come out to watch and receive a blessing. Often bringing out their families image of the virgin of Guadalupe to join in the commemoration.
Following the parade there was food, music, and festivities. We were honored to sit at table with the original founding members of San Gabriel. Those who in 2006 became part of a house church that has grown to be a strong contributor to our mission together.