— What are the opportunities & challenges?
— What are the lessons from successes . . . from failures?
— How can a lesbian priest effectively serve a Latino congregation?
Answers to these questions appear in our new (2013) documentary film:
Building the New Community
Multicultural & Latino Ministries
in the Episcopal Church (55:44)
Working on a documentary film project on multicultural congregations, I reconnected with the Rev. Anthony Guillén, whom I filmed twelve years earlier when he was helping build a flourishing Anglo/Latino congregation in what had seemed to have been a dying Anglo Episcopal church in Oxnard, California, with a mainly Latino population around it. Now I found Guillén to be head of Latino/Hispanic ministries for the Episcopal Church USA. He asked me to film some of his current work helping build Latino and Anglo/Latino congregations in Las Vegas, Nevada. It faced some challenges, I saw, and held some important lessons. Meanwhile, revisiting his previous congregation in Oxnard, I found a church community battered by some of the storms and weakening conditions affecting the Episcopal and other mainline churches. But a new priest had recently arrived and seemed on the road to helping bring this small, but now unified, Anglo/Latino congregation back to life. And she was openly gay. How would it work?
Rev. Anthony Guillén 1999
Rev. Anthony Guillén
Las Vegas, Nevada
Discussing the experience of a new
Latino ministry with Anglo church leaders.
From Building the New Community
The “New Community”
The “New Community” is the name of a new initiative the Rev. Guillén has launched with other “Ethnic Missioners” in the Episcopal Church–that is, with the heads of Asian, Black and Native American ministries, as well. But their goal is to come together, not as so many “minorities” in the church, but as part of a new movement to build the “new community” of the Episcopal Church. What does that mean? Filming their planning session and their conference launching this movement in San Diego, CA, in March 2012, where over 500 participants from diverse ethnic groups, and various nations in North and South America, engaged in intense conversations about what this might mean, held promising, even inspiring, answers to this question. For a glimpse of that event see here:
Roughcut material from Building the New Community