Monday, June 30, 2008

What is La Vela?

La Vela (meaning candle in Spanish) is one ministry with two expressions. The first is a Spanish-language mission start with the goal of developing the first Lutheran Latino congregation in Guilford County and only the third in North Carolina. This is “La Iglesia Luterana La Vela” or “La Vela Lutheran Church.” The second expression - “La Vela Latino Center for Spiritual Care” - is an outreach ministry to Latinos which offers two main services: 1) pastoral care and spiritual growth opportunities and 2) hospitality to the immigrant Latino community through cross-cultural activities with non-Latinos.

Pastor Kristina Johnson, director and mission developer of La Vela provides pastoral care to Latinos in crisis or in need of care. She also recruits and trains volunteers to serve in a variety of supportive roles. La Vela builds community around language exchange partnerships, prayer and worship, both Lutheran and ecumenical. At the root of all we do is relationship around the promise and invitation that, in Jesus Christ, we are all one body. Our symbol is the candle, "la vela" because we seek to be a candle of hope in times that not infrequently seem dark and uninviting.

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