Wouldn’t it be wonderful if immigrant church leaders had a place to gather and grow together in understanding how to live into the good news in their new Virginia contexts?
This is what actually happens through Mennonite Hispanic Initiative’s Instituto Biblico Anabautista (IBA) study center.
IBA’s purpose is to promote theological-biblical training of Spanish-speaking leaders who will serve Mennonite Church USA in various ministries.
Liz Hernandez coordinates one of the two IBA study centers in Harrisonburg. Every Monday evening the IBA’s Christology II class meets at Eastern Mennonite Seminary.
A diverse group of students from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Cuba, and four different churches, gather around the classroom to engage in a deep biblical study of the gospels of Luke and Mathew.
“We all participate in the discussion as we navigate the Gospel stories and their voice for us today as followers of Jesus. More than a theological discussion, our class is a mutual ‘meaning-making’ conversation about the biblical teachings. We then work together on how can we contextualize and incarnate the Gospel in our ministries and communities today,” Hernandez said.
A second class, led by Marvin Lorenzana, VMM Racial/Ethnic Ministries Coach, is about to start in the month of August. This group is made up of leaders from two Spanish-speaking VMC congregations, Enciende Una Luz and Iglesia Discipular Anabautista. The new course focuses on the book of Acts and marks the transition of these students from certificate level to a diploma level.
Students will be recognized during the upcoming MHI Friends Dinner in September for having finished the first part of their journey with IBA.
Hosts contribute $100 to sponsor the table and invite six or eight friends to enjoy the evening program with them.
Please contact Marvin Lorenzana at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.