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Celebrate Heritage Month together

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month is celebrated annually between September 15 and October 15. Here are resources that will help your church participate in this observance.

Coordinator of Latinx Ministries, Michigan Conference

I think Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month is important because it celebrates the culture and the tradition of people that are from Latin America and/or have roots from Latin America.

My family and I have roots in Mexico, and we celebrate our heritage year-round with family gatherings that uplift our traditions. At Easter, we crack cascarones (confetti filled eggshells) over our heads. At Christmas we eat tamales and celebrate on Noche Buena (Christmas Eve). At our family reunion and birthday parties, we break colorful piñatas filled with candy. Our culture, traditions, and family are important to us, and we celebrate that throughout the year.

Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month invites everyone to participate and learn and enjoy the traditions and culture of Latin America. Religion, spirituality, and healing are a big part of Latinx culture. My great-grandmother was a curandera (healer) and would use indigenous healing practices. My father instilled in me the importance of going to church and my suegra (mother-in-law) has shown me the importance of prayer and cantos (songs). I invite you to celebrate Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month at your local church.

I put together a list of resources that you can use at your church. You can use one of the prayers during Sunday worship and/or one of the songs. Learn more about the culture or use one of the books in your Sunday School. Here is the link to the webpage.

There is also a list of resources that you can use with your children’s ministry. It is always good to celebrate diversity within your children’s ministry. Here is the link to the children’s ministry playlist.

This past year, I have had the opportunity to spend time with Latinx youth and young adults. I have learned so much from them. I have learned that these young people are proud to be Latinx or Latine. They want to support their communities.

My work as the Coordinator of Latinx Ministries is to create opportunities where this is possible for the youth and young adults. I work with the Michigan Conference Committee on Hispanic/Latino Ministries to make that happen. I hope that as part of the Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month you can also support this work by donating to the EngageMI project NEXT GEN: MINISTRY WITH 2ND AND 3RD GENERATION LATINOS (Formerly Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy) CCMM#3010. Link to support.

I know that there has been a lot of hardship this past year and a half. I lost my art teacher to COVID-19. She was a very talented Latina artist. One way that Latin countries deal with grief is through the tradition of Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). People build an altar to remember the loved ones that have passed away. They take a day or two to celebrate their loved ones by being together as a family and sharing stories. Grief is not something to hide from, but something to acknowledge and to be done in community.  

Different cultures have much to teach us. I am grateful for the traditions that I can draw on to deal with life’s hardships and to celebrate life. My hope is that we all can expand our understanding of different cultures so you can all continue to grow, learn, heal, and connect.

The Michigan Conference