Nuevo Amanecer 2018

September 14, 2018

A new dawn, indeed! Sandra Montes and Melissa Rau of Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) had the honor of participating with approximately 400 attendees in Hendersonville, North Carolina for the Nuevo Amanecer Conference—a bi-annual gathering to celebrate Latinx and Hispanic ministries, organized and hosted by the Episcopal Church and Kanuga Conference, Retreat and Camp Center. The theme, “We Build, Equip, and Inspire” was woven throughout the plenary sessions, workshops, and worship services.

Much like a family reunion, people from all over the world descended upon Hendersonville, North Carolina for the sake of celebrating how Spanish speaking sisters and brothers live into their Episcopal identity and how allies might support that effort. All workshops and plenary sessions were offered in Spanish and English, so all could understand and enjoy what everyone had to share without having to worry about a language barrier. The music, singing, and worship was inspiring and led by a choir of amazingly talented volunteer singers and liturgical dancers.

The three keynote addresses were given by the Rt. Rev. GP Daniel Gutierrez—XVI Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, the Rt. Rev. Rafael L. Morales Maldonado—VII Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Puerto Rico, and the Rev. Stephanie Spellers—Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Evangelism, Reconciliation, and Stewardship of Creation of the Episcopal Church. One extremely potent and impactful quote that resonated with the entire crowd was made by Bishop Gutierrez when he boldly stated, “For Latinos and for every person of color—we are not an outreach project. We are the Church. Latinos are not a ministry. We are the Church.”

Words can’t fully describe the wonder of Nuevo Amanecer. One good word that comes to mind is, “easy.” The time participants spent together building each other up, learning from one another, and inspiring each other was natural and life-giving. ECF was a proud sponsor and looks forward to Nuevo Amanecer 2020!