‘One in Christ’

LCMS Black Ministry and LCMS Hispanic Ministry both held events this summer, after postponing them during the pandemic.

On July 27, during the 2022 Black Ministry Family Convocation at Trinity Lutheran Church in Mobile, Ala., LCMS Southern District President Rev. Eric Johnson referenced Galatians 3:28: “Paul said that there is neither Greek nor Jew, neither slave nor free, that we are all one in Christ, and that’s an important message that we need to continue to put forward in these divisive times.”

It was a theme that echoed through not only the convocation but also the Hispanic National Convention the following week. Both gatherings were due to take place last year but were postponed due to COVID-19.

Black Ministry Family Convocation

From July 27 to 30, more than 240 people gathered under the theme “Empower the Next Generation.” The convocation was the fruit of work done by the Black Clergy Caucus, LCMS Black Ministry and the Black Ministry Think Tank.

The gathering gave many an opportunity to discuss Black Ministry in the Synod, consider its heritage and importance in the church’s life together, and deliberate on ways to empower the next generation. “You are on holy ground,” said the Rev. Dr. Ulmer Marshall Jr., pastor of Trinity. “Of the 35 or so churches and schools that Rosa Young started, we are the only one that is still standing. To God be the glory.”

Hispanic National Convention

The seventh LCMS Hispanic National Convention was held in Orlando Aug. 2–5 under the theme “For We Are All One in Jesus Christ.” The event, organized by the Hispanic Missionary League (HML), served as the U.S. debut of the new Spanish Lutheran Hymnal, published in 2021 after a 14-year process. (For more on the hymnal, see this article.) All attendees at the convention were given a free copy of the hymnal.

Outgoing HML President Rev. Germán Novelli-Oliveros said, “The Himnario Luterano is already a blessing for churches in Latin America, and surely shall be an extraordinary resource for Hispanic congregations in the U.S. It will strengthen our worship lives in our congregations and homes and will support our pastors as they prepare and plan their Divine Services.”

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Erik M. Lunsford 

Managing photojournalist for LCMS Communications.

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