Saturday August 8th was a joy and long awaited celebration of 15 confirmations and 10 first communions in a fully bilingual service at San Gabriel, Alvarado. A member congregation of the Conferencia Latina of our NT-NL Synod, ELCA. We were to have celebrated this time the first weekend of June. But with spiking Covid-19 numbers we postponed. Now 2 months later we have learned and had the service al fresco with masks, gloves, and only immediate family and padrinos y madrinos in attendance.
It was a joyful occasion and the shade provided by the large outdoor patio and tarp shade covers San Gabriel members and Pastor Jesus Escamilla put together meant the breeze kept us cool enough for the young people as they gathered in their traditional dress. Some even had the Virgin of Guadalupe on their masks. A reminder of the importance of Our Lady in Mexican Christian piety.
What an important time in these young people’s life. They are a fully bilingual and increasingly bicultural generation. In their eyes above their masks I see future lay leaders and rostered leaders. Proclaiming the good news in their lives as disciples of Jesus. Our text was John 16 and I focused on this line. “Todo lo que es del Padre es mío. Por eso les digo: “Recibirá de lo mío y se lo anunciará a ustedes”. I challenged them to be those who declared what God has done for them to all. To live into this freedom for the sake of their neighbor. To be Unidos en Christo despite what the world would do to divide us.