One of EHF’s goals in 2019 was to increase outreach and engagement with the Spanish-speaking congregations and communities across the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. We started with some basic steps like translating our standard materials into Spanish and attending the diocesan Hispanic Lay Leadership Conference last summer.
We learned that many of the parishioners at predominantly Spanish-speaking churches were still not aware of the resources available to their congregations through EHF. As a result, we have contracted with Rigoberto Ojeda, a leader at Christ Church Cathedral, to reach out to the Spanish-speaking communities in the diocese and provide an introduction to EHF resources.
Ojeda’s work began got in December and he was able to connect with congregations over the holidays to make an introduction.
Born in Mexico, Ojeda has lived in Houston since 1984. He brings a variety of experience to this work and has been eager to connect congregations to the work of EHF.
“Hispanic congregations are in search of learning opportunities related to health, nutrition and mental health,” Ojeda said.
They bring devotion and faith, but he says they are underrepresented in much of the work of EHF due to language, availability, and relevance.
According to Ojeda, mental health has been a topic of great interest from several congregations. This coincides with the interest in mental health overall by EHF congregations and EHF’s Congregational Engagement team is moving to address this in a new way in 2020.
Hispanic congregations in the diocese have greeted him warmly and Ojeda says he looks forward to continued work with them in the Spring as he focuses on increasing Latino participation at the In Common gathering in Austin, February 28-29 and the In Common gathering in Houston, March 27-28.Pictured: José Sánchez, of Antena Houston
The Congregational Engagement team has also partnered with Antena Houston to provide support to congregations seeking to create just and inclusive spaces among multilingual communities and groups. Learn more about this organization in the our eNews: Language Justice for All