Latino Ministries

Latino Ministries

The contributions of Latino people are powerful economically, politically, socially, and faithfully. The Latino community is:

  • the fastest growing ethnic community in the ELCA
  • the largest growing ethnic group in the United States
  • the largest minority community in the metropolitan New York area.

How do we live out the challenges and rewards of Latino ministry in a changing church and society?  That is the purpose of the Latino strategy of the Metro New York Synod. Latino congregations and ministries are a community united in Christ – strong, faithful and prophetic – responding to God’s call and the needs of the world.

While speaking in Spanish is an ability we share in common, we also represent 21 distinct countries and cultures as well as Puerto Rican and U.S.-mainland-born Latino cultures of our society. The 14 Latino congregations of the synod are led by five full-time and nine part-time pastors, some of whom serve in a bi-lingual or tri-lingual context. These pastors come from eight different countries, and are assisted by 10 congregational or synodically-rostered deacons.

We are deeply sensitive to the needs of people from around the world, especially immigrants. Yet as we focus on what our immediate communities need, we also work to be resources for others; to share what God has given us; and to become healing agents of reconciliation.

Our Lutheran Latino community is: 

  1. Catholic – born from a reform movement within the Christian church. Our Lutheran tradition is an integral member of the Christian church worldwide (also known as "the church universal"). 
  2. Confessional – Lutheran Confessions are statements that Martin Luther and his followers wrote to clearly and firmly state their beliefs. These scripturally-based confessions are not negotiable. They define and unite us while giving us hope for our future. Used for teaching basic aspects of our faith, they describe what makes us distinctive as Lutherans.
  3. Ecumenical – part of the one holy catholic and apostolic (referring to Jesus’ apostles) church in the world. We share and celebrate with other Christian groups what God proclaims through God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  4. Evangelical – the gospel of Jesus Christ is our foundation, the starting point for our mission, unity and life.
  5. Liturgical – sustaining Bible-based models of Christian public worship to celebrate God. Our patterns for worship grew out of the 16th century Protestant Reformation and continue to enrich us today.
  6. Sacramental – Baptism and Communion (also known as "the Lord’s Supper") are sacraments and instruments of the Holy Spirit. Also known to us as "God’s means of grace," they strengthen us as members of the Body of Christ.

Progama de Diaconía en español