Convocation Speakers and Seminars

Convocation speakers

Rev. Pablo Ayllon, Associate pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church.

Rev. David Eades, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church.

Rev. Frank Matthews, Hispanic Ministry Facilitator for Central Virginia.

Rev. Hernando Saenz, MNA Hispanic American Ministries Coordinator.

Rev. Alex Villasana, Pastor, Christos Community Church.

Seminar Descriptions

* Simultaneous translation to Spanish via headsets available for all seminars.

Strategies for reaching Hispanics: Hernando Saenz

Churches are discovering that to be relevant in their community, they must intentionally break down cultural barriers and engage Hispanics. That is not an easy thing to do. Many Americans view Hispanics as a homogenous group, when, in fact, Hispanics are not a single race but a mixture of many races and ethnicities and various levels of assimilation into U.S. culture. In this workshop, we will address the question: Who are today’s Hispanics and how can your church reach them?

The tension created by language: Pablo Ayllon

To some people, the idea of reaching and assimilating Spanish speakers into the life of an English speaking Reformed and Presbyterian church sounds like an impossible task. Not only is it possible, it can generate deep and rich body life. That type of body life does not just happen. It requires a deep commitment from the church leadership and considerable amounts of effort, patience, and cultural sensitivity. The process can be lengthy and tedious, but the rewards far outweigh the efforts. In this workshop, we will identify common obstacles and present creative ideas for pursuing unity and diversity in the church.

The tension created by time: Alex Villasana

Americans think of time as a precious, even scarce, commodity. Success and time management go hand in hand. Clocks and schedules rule daily activities. Supervisors evaluate staff members based upon time and performance driven policies. Hispanics not very interested in schedules or punctuality. For them, the present reality always gets the priority. They measure success in other ways. These conflicting views of time and priorities can destroy the ministry. In his workshop, we will focus on the importance of developing systems that account for the different perspectives on time and performance, setting realistic expectations, and goals.

State of Hispanic ministry in the PCA: Hernando Saenz

The vision of Mission to North America Hispanic American ministries is to create a movement of PCA churches and presbyteries reaching all generations of Hispanics in the United States. In fulfillment of this vision, our passion is to see new churches planted, new leaders developed and existing churches equipped for thriving ministry. Pastor Hernando Sáenz will address the current condition of Hispanic ministry in the PCA, answer questions and present plans for the advancement of the ministry.

Tertulia: Frank Matthews

A Tertulia is a safe and informal meeting of people, from all walks of life, to talk about current affairs, arts, politics, sports, etc. Tertulias have had a significant impact on the social and cultural fiber of most Spanish speaking countries. Many PCA churches have misconceptions and fears about reaching out to their Hispanic neighbors and we need a safe space to talk about it. In this tertulia we will share some “do’s” and “don’ts” when reaching out to Hispanic neighbors and learn from one another’s experiences.