Church of God Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Cleveland, TN—September 15, 2021–Church of God Hispanic Ministries is coordinating the observance of Hispanic Heritage Month across the United States – beginning today -and culminating in Hispanic Heritage Sunday in churches across the U.S. on October 10, 2021.

In 1968, the U.S. Congress approved the celebration of a week to highlight the contributions of Latinos/Hispanics to the advancement of the USA. On September 4, 1974, National Hispanic Heritage Week was approved for September 10-16. Then, on August 17, 1988, Congress declared September 15 through October 15 would be known as Hispanic Heritage Month. In these proclamations and public laws, it is asked that people of the United States, especially the education community and organizations concerned with the protection of human rights, observe this month with appropriate activities and ceremonies.

Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, many faith communities in all fifty states and Puerto Rico, join civil and government organizations in celebrating and recognizing the social, economic, educational, and religious contributions that Latinos/Hispanics have made for more than five hundred years to the history, culture, and development of the United States.

Latinos/Hispanics have favorably contributed to the shaping of this nation. From high positions in government, to the field of science, armed forces, education, sports, culinary arts, the film and theater industry, music, dance and other arts, Latinos/Hispanics have and continue to be present.

Every second Sunday in October the churches of the Church of God, especially the Spanish-speaking congregations, celebrate the presence and participation of Latinos/Hispanic in the USA. This celebration is an ideal time to learn about the great diversity that is represented in the Latino/Hispanic Church of God churches and communities.

“Unfortunately, Latinos/Hispanics are quite often lumped together as one uniform group primarily because of the color of their skin and because they speak Spanish,” stated Dr. Carlos Moran, director of Church of God Hispanic Ministries. “However, Latinos/Hispanics are not monolithic. First generation Latinos/Hispanics have deep connections to their respective culture, history, and linguistics roots. There are at least twenty Latin American countries represented among Latinos/Hispanics in the USA, they are multicultural, multiethnic, multigenerational, and bilingual. “

The office of Hispanic Ministries of the Church of God encourages the USA Church of God congregations to join the Spanish-speaking churches in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Sunday, October 10, 2021.

“Honor the fact that Latinos/Hispanics are part of this nation without abandoning or diminishing their language, culture, food, family, and traditions,” Moran said.

Moran went on to suggest possible activities for observing Latino/Hispanic Heritage Month and Hispanic Heritage Sunday in the Church of God in the USA.

– Program a formal dinner with typical dishes and music from the Latin American countries represented in your congregations and communities.

– Ask for volunteers to bring flags, special attire, musical instruments, samples of arts and crafts of the Latin American countries represented in the church and community.

– Have special worship services, where Latino/Hispanic components are included. Invite worship leaders that can lead songs in Spanish. Play a video of children, young people and adults singing in Spanish.

– Run a Latino/Hispanic Fair for the community. Have volunteers dress in typical attire, setup food stations with samples of Latin American dishes, banners, have a band play in different Latin American styles. Use this opportunity to demonstrate the Christian message with a Latino/Hispanic flavor to the community.

– Exhibit books, arts and crafts, and resources that accentuate the contributions of Latinos within and outside the church.

– Invite guest speakers who talk about concerns, matters and situations that Latinos/Hispanics are facing such as housing, poverty, health, underemployment, and immigration.

– Invite a missionary that can share stories about ministry in Latin America.

– Share a children’s coloring book that shows the beauty of Latino/Hispanic heritage.

– Sermons and Sunday school classes with themes related to this celebration.

(Source: Church of God Hispanic Ministries)

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