Members of Transfiguration in Cranston have stepped outside their comfort zone, to canvass the neighborhood on recent Saturday mornings. They’re on a mission to let their neighbors know that a new Hispanic/Latino congregation is being planted at their church, and the first service is just around the corner at 5pm on Palm Sunday.
In recent years the Cranston neighborhood surrounding Church of the Transfiguration has seen an influx of immigrants from around the world, with the majority being from Spanish speaking countries. The Vestry of Transfiguration decided it was time to pastorally respond to the spiritual needs of the neighbors just outside church doors, and with the guidance of The Rev. Mercedes Julian, Diocesan Hispanic Missioner, Transfiguration began talking to another Cranston church that found itself in this very situation a few years ago.
Just down the road on the other side of I95, Church of the Ascension has founded a vibrant Hispanic/Latino congregation that is well integrated into that parish community. Ascension’s Spanish speakers and English speakers worship in separate services, but the congregations work together on much of the mission and ministry happening there. They learn from each other about their different cultural traditions and support each other in celebrating them, which has brought much new life to the whole community.
Ascension is happy to help Transfiguration experience this new life too, and The Rev. Mercedes Julian has commissioned 12 people from church of the Ascension to actively help Church of the Transfiguration knock on doors and launch their new service. Ten people from Transfiguration have been matched up with Ascension’s volunteers, to canvass the neighborhood in multi-lingual pairs, inviting neighbors to the new Spanish language service, as well as all the other exciting things happening at Transfiguration.
What can you do to help? Attend their first service to help get them started -- especially if you speak Spanish. It will be a Holy Eucharist on Palm Sunday, April 13th 2014 at 5pm. And, of course, pray for Transfiguration in your own parish and personal prayers.