Resolution #9: Spanish Language-Latine/Hispanic Centered Day of Discernment
Secretary of the Convention
October 25th, 2021
The Convention passed this resolution on October 23rd, 2021.
Resolved, That the 172nd Convention of the Diocese of California recognizes that despite repeated efforts at racial justice and racial reconciliation initiatives, the Diocese of California does not provide formal discernment events, workshops, or materials focused on the specific cultural and linguistic needs of Latine/Hispanic Spanish speaking Communities;
Resolved, That this Convention requests the Office of Vocations to sponsor a Day of Discernment for the Latine/Hispanic Communities of the Diocese to be held concurrently with all planned Days of Discernment; and
Resolved, That this Convention requests the Office of Vocations create a design team composed of Latine/Hispanic lay leaders and clergy to develop and conduct the Day of Discernment for Latine/Hispanic Communities.
The terms Latino, Latinx, Latine, Hispano and Hispanic, are often used interchangeably to describe a group which makes up about 39 percent of the population in California. Members of this population differ in terms of which of these designations they use to self identify. The choice for self-identification is based on regions, context, history, political perspective, personal preference, and other variables. This process, one of self-determination and is another indication of the beautiful diversity and self-agency of this vibrant Community. For the purposes of this resolution and the accompanying explanation the term Latine/Hispanic will be used when referring to this Community within the Episcopal Church.
Latine/Hispanic Spanish speakers hav were present in the geographical region that became the state of California before the state formally existed. They have contributed vastly to the economic, social, and political structures that are the bedrock of the State of California. Despite their contributions and presence in the area, they have been treated as second class citizens and experienced segregation, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and linguistic discrimination.
In the Diocese of California there are four Latine/Hispanic congregations with Spanish as the primary language. Two of these congregations with Spanish as the primary language are missions. The other two congregations with Spanish as the primary language are specialized ministries. There are only two vicars serving the four Latine/Hispanic congregations with Spanish as the primary language. One vicar serves full-time and the other vicar serves part-time.
The leadership of The Episcopal Church has made numerous documented calls for racial reconciliation. The Diocese of California seeks to be a leader in the pursuit of racial reconciliation as evidenced by the passage of the Support for the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act Resolution at the 171st Diocese of California Convention.
The Diocese recognizes the importance of enriching personal practice of discernment, and the importance of congregants being able to be part of a local discernment committee, expand their expertise, explore the call to holy orders, learn tools for spiritual development that are grounded in the baptismal covenant, and explore spiritual paradigms that help to frame their daily lives and current and future vocations. Culturally and linguistically informed discernment opportunities are critical for the spiritual development of Spanish speaking Latine/Hispanic members of the Diocese.
There is opportunity for the Diocese of California to play a critical part in racial reconciliation through strengthening its support of Spanish speaking congregations in the Episcopal church, specifically in the area of formal and informal discernment for ministry for those who desire to take part in lay ministry or want to pursue ordained ministry. It is imperative that the Diocese create a Spanish language Latine/Hispanic centered Day of Discernment to be held concurrently with the current English language Day of Discernment to assure equity, racial justice, access and opportunity for Spanish speaking Latine/Hispanic Communities to be fully supported in their efforts to live out the baptismal covenant and to develop and strengthen their various spiritual and vocational gifts.
Contact: The Rev. Liz Muñoz
Vicar of Santiago/St. James Church, Oakland
Member, School of Deacons Board of Trustees
Padre Javier Torres
Vicar of Holy Trinity/La Santisima Trinidad
Consultant to Office of Transition Ministry
El Buen Pastor & Guadalupe Specialized Ministries
Manuel Morales Gonzales
Music Director & Liturgical Leader for El Buen Pastor and Guadalupe Specialized Ministries
The Alameda Deanery
The Peninsula Deanery
The Southern Alameda Deanery
The Contra Costa Deanery
The San Francisco Deanery