Church celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

A mariachi band and dancing were featured at a previous Fiesta de Colores held at Lakeside UMC Pine Bluff. Their next fiesta is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 4. COURTESY PHOTO

A mariachi band and dancing were featured at a previous Fiesta de Colores held at Lakeside UMC Pine Bluff. Their next fiesta is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 4.
COURTESY PHOTO

National Hispanic Heritage Month, observed in the United States from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, celebrates the culture and traditions of Hispanic Americans. The observance begins in mid-September because the 15th is the anniversary of the independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua; the 16th for Mexico; and the 18th for Chile.

One Arkansas congregation that celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month each year is Lakeside UMC Pine Bluff. To kick off this year’s observance, church member Jairo Ledesma shared his experience of attending the MARCHA (Methodist Associated Representing the Cause of Hispanic Americans) annual meeting, where he met with other Hispanic United Methodist youth and adult leaders from around the globe.

All month, their worship services will include presentations that acknowledge the contributions of their own constituents and church members to the Hispanic community in Pine Bluff and the smaller surrounding towns.

“On October 4, we will again have our authentic Hispanic meal prepared by our Hispanic members and all the other Hispanics we serve with our translation services,” said the Rev. Alicia Frye, the church’s associate pastor. “This is always a time of great fellowship and unity, and the entertainment is always a fun surprise!”

All United Methodist congregations are encouraged to spend time learning about or developing ministries with the Hispanic community. (See Hispanic Heritage Month resources from the United Methodist Church)