Written by Pastor Peter Hanson, Lead Pastor
In the summer of 2014, we welcomed the creation of the St. Paul Area Synod’s brand new mission to the Latinx [*] community in and around New Brighton. Though one of the faith communities supported through Christ the King’s Local Mission Partners team, Cristo Rey has always been more than just a partner. Meaning “Christ the King” in Spanish, Cristo Rey is a faith community planted, taking root, and growing up completely within the existing faith community of Christ the King.
Even though it has gotten financial and organizational assistance from the Synod and the ELCA, Cristo Rey has always been a part of CtK. Our staff and church councils overlap. Children and youth from Cristo Rey regularly take part in BAM, Confirmation, Youth Musical and more. We have intentionally gathered for bilingual worship on such occasions as Ash Wednesday.
At various times Ana Becerra, Cristo Rey’s Mission Developer, has likened the Christ the King/Cristo Rey relationship to a reversible jacket (“it’s the same, but it looks different depending on which side you’re wearing out”) or to one house with two different doors (“once you’re inside, you realize you’re in the same place!”). It’s true that there are important linguistic and cultural differences between Christ the King and Cristo Rey. At the same time, we are united in Christ and in shared mission we have to be God’s hands, feet, voice, and body in this world. We may say it in different languages, but the meaning is the same: We are Christ the King! ¡Somos Cristo Rey!
Two more things before I go: