Episcopalian Church Seeing Growth from Latinos


The Episcopalian Church is using marketing techniques to lure Latinos into its ministry with apparent success because they feel the church is more welcoming to Latinas, the gay population and recent immigrants.
That’s according to a report from NBCLatino.com. It says a July 2009 report entitled, “The Episcopal Church’s Strategic Vision for Reaching Latinos/Hispanics” crystallized two things the participants already believed to be true. Namely, that there was an opportunity to reach out to non-immigrant Hispanics and that many U.S. Latinos are looking for something more when it comes to religion.
Anthony Guillen, 59, a missioner for Latino/Hispanic ministries, based in Los Angeles says Nevada, Oregon and Washington D.C.  have seen particularly impressive growth, according to the NBCLatino article. Episcopalians in Nevada doubled in the last three years while Oregon saw their number of congregations triple.
“The Hispanic community is younger – it’s no longer predominantly immigrant,” says Father Richard J. Aguilar of Miami. “We wanted to look at what a Hispanic is – many are young, educated and working.”
Hosffman Ospino, an assistant professor of Hispanic ministry and religious education at Boston College, says that 70% of all Latinos arriving in the U.S. are Roman Catholic. Yet, by the second generation the number is 60% and by the third generation Catholic identification drops to 50% or less. “Unless churches find a way to speak the language of this generation, not Spanish but their cultural language, they will risk losing them,” he says.