BROOKLYN PARK, MN (September 21, 2011) – More than 350 people attended the Hispanic Heritage Festival, an outreach of Redeemer Covenant and La Bendición Covenant churches to their increasingly multicultural neighborhood.
The event held Saturday in Redeemer’s parking lot was the third time the congregations have jointly sponsored the festival. The city was so impressed with the first two festivals, the city asked to co-sponsor the event this year.
The mayor and a community liaison from the police department brought greetings. Nearly all of the city’s aldermen attended.
They also partook of the foods, dancing, and items for sale. Fare from South and Central America as well as the Caribbean were served. Music and dance performances from the countries also were showcased. Click here to see additional photos.
Twenty different country tables displayed items and crafts from each culture. Visitors were able to ask representatives about their respective countries and cultures.
Steve Larson, pastor of Redeemer, says the festival is different from others such as Cinco de Mayo because it highlights all of the Hispanic countries.
Festival organizers said the event offers attenders an opportunity to understand the commonalities that exist among the countries. Although the countries have unique identities, they have experienced similar histories, says La Bendición pastor Juan Lopez. “As Hispanics, we share the same heritage of conquest and independence, the same language, and many cultural roots that unite us.”
The festival also represented the continued shared ministry between La Bendición and Redeemer Covenant that began in 2008. At that time, Lopez asked Larson if the Hispanic church plant could use the English-speaking church’s building for a Thanksgiving dinner. Both congregations now meet in Redeemer’s building.
A joint soccer ministry that attracted youth from the multicultural community is featured in the August issue of The Covenant Companion.
The denomination’s newest missionaries to Colombia, Julio and Katie Isaza, spoke at Saturday’s event as well as at the combined Sunday worship service of both congregations. The message was delivered in both Spanish and English.