By Jorge Berrios,
Primera Iglesia Metodista Unida Hispana de Nashville
On the weekend of October 10-12, 2014 two Hispanic churches came together for a retreat, which was centered on a theme about the language of God’s love that brings us together.
The Primera Iglesia Metodista Unida Hispana de Nashville (First United Hispanic Methodist Church in Nashville) and the Ministerio Hispano Ebenezer (Hispanic Ministry Ebenezer) experienced this loving fellowship at Cedar Crest Camp located in Lyles, Tennessee.
The camp environment provided a relaxing atmosphere, isolation from the everyday hustle and an approach to God through the sound and beauty of nature's abundance at Cedar Crest. The retreat provided the space and opportunity to reflect and experience God’s love and the different ways we can express love in our lives.
Adults, children and young people were involved in different dynamics to build community. In addition, age groups were connected to find a common ground among them. There were also periods to share with families and as a single congregation. Despite the rain that permeated most of the time, it was far from being a drawback because it helped us to stay more united under one roof enjoying leisure moments that were a great blessing.
Some of the men chose to spend the night in tents while others decided to stay in the rooms of the facilities of the camp making the event more fun and varied.
As I approached the camp I had the excitement of a child when I saw my tent from a distance, and even though it was the tiniest of the tribe, it was be my home for the weekend. There I began to feel the true spirit of being God's people. I remembered the chorus that says, "We are the people of God, we are a special people." And in a special way we experienced the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ as a faith community. In the quiet times, periods of talks, spaces for meals to recreational moments, we felt the love of God touching our lives.
This was indeed a great way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month! Brothers and sisters dwelling together in unity from different Hispanic countries with the same language, but above all, sharing the language of God's love. I felt at one point that even though we were two churches, we really were one congregation with one love, the love of God.