The Hispanic Summer Program 2014 class experience, The Showing of a Doing: Preaching, Worship, Borders and Prophesy, had an intense impact on every student and each left the course forever different from the person who initially enrolled. Our discussions by the lake, walks in the woods, the challenging videos, readings and Skype chats with special guests all built on each other to reshape our perspectives on liturgy, worship and preaching and their vital role in people’s lives.
We were emboldened to take risks in the chapel services we planned and the result was that each of us became empowered by our professor, Claudio Carvalhaes, by each other and by God to do something we had never done before: delivering a first ever public sermon, giving painful but transforming testimonies, and boldly preaching in a non-native tongue. Overcoming these personal barriers only became possible by working together and creating a safe ecumenical space were all traditions were welcomed and where everyone could share, pray, read, sing, laugh, cry, and meet with God.
Outside of class and chapel we went swimming and kite flying, we became tourists and we stayed up late into the night telling jokes, watching the World Cup, singing, drinking gallons of coffee, eating buckets of popcorn, adding bunches of new Facebook friends and studying. HSP allowed us all to grow and benefit from great scholars in community with one another. For many of us this, this is where we encountered God the most; through the eyes, hearts, stories, spirits and relationships that we built with our beautiful new sisters and brothers, students and professors alike.
It is difficult to describe what we learned for each of us learns differently but all of us in The Showing of a Doing understand more deeply than ever before the magnitude of the responsibilities of the ministry to which we are called. Preaching liberation and prophesy, loving God and our neighbor as ourselves, and discerning and speaking God’s truth is overwhelming, dangerous and profoundly transformative. But we are God’s children and God is in each of us and through our experience in this class we are better prepared and more committed to walking the path God has set for us.