Sixteen years ago Arturo Guevara, born in Mexico and at the time living in West Chicago, IL, stopped to pick up a friend for a night of partying in the city. As he was waiting for his friend to get dressed he overheard people talking about God in the living room. He was inexplicably drawn to the conversation and ended up ditching his friend and staying for the Bible study which was being hosted by members of Iglesia de la Resurrección, a Latino Anglican church started out of Church of the Resurrection. He went on to give his life to the Lord and experienced radical conversion. Today Arturo is a lay pastor helping to start Iglesia Piedra Principal, a new Anglican church in Oak Park, another suburb of Chicago and is composing worship songs in Spanish which are beginning to be sung in other congregations. This story is only one of many that could be shared of what God is doing throughout the Anglican Church in North America through the Caminemos Juntos movement.
Caminemos Juntos’ (which means “Let’s Walk Together” in Spanish) vision is to “unify, mobilize and multiply” new Anglican latino churches in hopes of reaching the millions of Latinos in North America. (There are 55 million Latinos in the US alone). This year Caminemos Juntos is hosting it’s 6th annual conference focused on North American Latino ministry and church planting from August 4-6th at Rancho Hills Church in San Diego, California. Currently there are over 50 Latino congregations within the Anglican Church in North America with regional concentrations in California, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and Mexico.
What’s unique to this year’s conference? First, there will be a pre-conference songwriters retreat held in collaboration with United Adoration with the goal of writing and releasing fresh worship songs in Spanish for the Latino church. Second, there will be a “Visión Tijuana” prayer and vision tour across the border to Tijuana, Mexico with the purpose of praying for new congregations to be started in Tijuana and understanding what God is doing on both sides of the US/Mexico border.
Speakers this year include Archbishop Foley Beach, Bishop Tito Zavala of Chile and the Province of South America, and other national Latino leaders.
The conference will equip current Latino leaders and church members, as well as those from other groups who desire to begin reaching out to the Latino community. Workshops and plenary sessions will be accessible to both English and Spanish speakers through in-ear translation and bilingual sessions.
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