Monday, June 25, 2007

Part-time pastors juggle to fill churches’ needs

An Associate press article says that many more churches are being run by bi-vocational pastors.

Part Time Pastors Article


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Washington Trip

I attended the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast, hosted by Esperanza. A couple of us from the Latino Leadership Circle were there. I had the opportunity of connecting with Hispanic Clergy from around the nation and neighboring countries, to pray and act on behalf of the Hispanic Community in the United States. Of particular concern was the current Immigration Reform Bill. To our dismay the bill was almost dead when we arrived in Washington. But after much lobbying by the President, media attention, particularly Latino Radio Personality, Piolin's more that 1 million letters, our lobbying on Thursday and our prayers, the bill was resurrected. My colleague, Pastor Jose Humpheys said that "it was as if everything aligned." We felt that we were part of history as we received the news that Thursday night that the bill was back in the Senate.

President Bush made an appearance Friday morning at the Esperanza Breakfast. He expressed that Hispanic Clergy

will be instrumental in getting an immigration reform bill passed. Other notable speakers were Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Gov. Howard Dean, Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) who received the Esperanza Leadership Award, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Carlos M. Gutierrez, and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton(D-NY).
he Esperanza Spirit Award was given to Dr. Virgilio Elizondo and to the Rev. Eldin Villafañe, Ph.D., for exemplary ministerial service. And the Esperanza Advocate Award was given to Mr. Juan Hernández and to Mr. Eddie Sotelo “Piolín” for advocacy on behalf of the Hispanic faith based community.

The Immigration reform bill is currently in the Senate and looks to be heavily amended, and rightly so, its implementation seems unclear in many cases and at least 3 million of the undocumented would be left out if it were to be implemented as is. Nevertheless, this bill represents an opportunity to set things in motion and give a path of legalization to over 12 million good and hard working members of our society. Please continue to pray for this reform.


Click here to support Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Headless Army

A couple of weeks a go I was at Princeton with the Latino Leadership Circle, for a strategic retreat and on our off time we had an opportunity to walk through the campus. We came across an intriguing statue outside McCormick Hall called "Big Figures". The sculpture is composed 20 bronze figures created by Polish sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz. The figures, which form the sculpture stand 9 feet tall and weigh 600 pounds each. Abakanowicz, who says she became “obsessed by the image of the crowd, manipulated like a brainless organism and acting like a brainless organism,” describes her work as “a sign of lasting anxiety.”

The sculpture is a great metaphor for clueless leadership. The figures are Tall and heroic looking and tall. They don the garb of public figures, like politicians, businessmen and many clergy. Their formation speaks of succession or of a historical parade of men. They look gallant and intimidating, but a vital part of their anatomy is missing, the head. I got to thinking of how easily we follow such "figures" in life. It seems that much of leadership is devoid of true direction and understanding. Abakanowicz's "Big Figures," presents us with headless leadership. As leaders are we simply headless suits and is society simply following a brainless cadre?

In Colossians 1:18 Paul, using the body as a representation of the church, says " And he [Christ] is the head of the body, the church;" The guidance of church leadership and ultimately the church itself is divine. As followers of Christ, it is Christ himself who directs us individually and who provides the "senses" to church.
If our ultimate guide is Jesus Christ (John 14:6) then we are not direction less, but heading on a clear path of life (John 10:10). I pray we don't lose our "head."