SANTO DOMINGO

More than 100 leaders ― including teaching and ruling elders and PC(USA) national staff ― and the Evangelical Dominican Church met here from Aug. 8-13 to participate in the Hispanic/Latino Pastoral Development Seminar.

The 35th edition of this seminar focused on the theme: “People with a theological mindset, part 2: the word in action.” It included a keynote presentation about Deuteronomic literature by the Rev. Edesio Sanchez-Cetina, an expert in bible translation from the United Bible Societies.

 Workshop topics included “Multicultural ministries in the Hispanic context”; “Financial planning for the church and for the pastor’s family”; “The art of being a pastor’s wife or husband”; and a dialogue about actions adopted by the 220th General Assembly (2012) related to Hispanic/Latino leadership development.

The Rev. Hector Rodriguez, associate for Hispanic/Latino(a) congregational support, shared that this is the first time in 35 years the Hispanic/Latino Pastoral Development Seminar has been held in the Dominican Republic. He and Marissa Galvan-Valle, co-director of the event, said it was “a very successful experience for the participants.”

They expressed appreciation for the presence and support of General Assembly Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons, Associate Stated Clerk Loyda Aja, Racial Ethnic and Women’s Ministries Director the Rev. Rhashell Hunter,  Theology Worship and Education Director the Rev. Chip Hardwick,  Board of Pensions Regional Representative the Rev. Ernesto Badillo, Associate for Multicultural Congregational Support the Rev. Raafat Girgis, and national Hispanic/Latino(a) leaders Yudit Bermudez, Norma Sayago and the Rev. Tony Aja, among others.

Each year, leaders from all around the United States and Puerto Rico attend the seminar to study, reflect, rest and share issues related to the life and mission of the PC(USA) from the Hispanic perspective. At the same time, Presbyterian Hispanic leadership is in direct contact with local PC(USA) church partners in order to strengthen denominational relationships and to find ways to increase mutual cooperation in mission.

The next Hispanic/Latino Pastoral Development Seminar may take place in El Salvador, Central America.