Hispanic celebration in Thumb

In celebration of Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month, the Rev. Sari Brown conducted bilingual services. She serves Harbor Beach and Port Hope United Methodist churches. ~photo courtesy of Sari Brown

Two Blue water congregations enjoy sights, sounds and flavors of Hispanic-Latino Month.

Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month is observed between September 15 and October 15 each year. In 2017 Pastor Sari Brown, Blue Water District, led her congregations in the celebration.

Harbor Beach and Port Hope United Methodist churches both engaged in fully bilingual worship on Sunday, September 24. Hymns, responsive readings, scripture and sermon were all experienced in both Spanish and English.

Sari notes, “In Harbor Beach, my family and I were the only Spanish-speakers, but the experience was inspiring and educational for all.” Port Hope has a Hispanic Ministry with families of local farm workers. “Some of the mothers of our Hispanic Sunday School students joined us,” Sari reports. “One of the men accompanied a Latin American hymn on guitar, and we had a high school youth share a message about the experience and contributions of Hispanic people in American society.”

Children share their creative expressions of diversity during the benediction of bilingual worship on September 24. ~photo courtesy Sari Brown

Pastor Brown’s husband, Ricardo Angarita, served as a local Methodist pastor in the Colombian Methodist Church. He preached on the theme, “The Truth Will Set you Free,” with a focus on how Christ liberates people to enjoy the richness of cultural diversity.

The celebration was multi-generational. Sari explains, “During the children’s message the children were given markers and paper and asked to draw an image of what it looks like to love people who are different from us.” Their artwork was displayed during the benediction.

The observance was not limited to one Sunday worship. On October 5, Harbor Beach UMC hosted a tamale-making class. Church women and mothers of the Hispanic families had “a wonderful time learning to make this delicious traditional Mexican food and then enjoying the result of our labors together!”

Going to the Harbor Beach kitchen on October 5th to enjoy the flavor of Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month. ~photo courtesy Sari Brown

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