Covenant Pastors Attend Hispanic Prayer Breakfast

Post a Comment » Written on June 14th, 2006     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (June 14, 2006) – Approximately 30 pastors and other leaders of the Evangelical Covenant Church attended the Hispanic National Prayer Breakfast and Conference June 6-8 in Washington D.C., where they discussed issues ranging from church planting to an HIV/AIDS initiative. They also met with Congressional representatives.

President Bush addressed Thursday’s prayer breakfast and focused on immigration. He again called on Congress to enact a guest worker program as part of an overall reform package.

“When I was governor of Texas, I reminded people, family values do not stop at the Rio Grande River,” Bush said, according to a transcript released by the White House. The audience applauded when he added, “There are people who are coming to our country who are doing jobs Americans are not doing.

“And we need a legal and orderly system,” Bush continued. “If we want to enforce the border, we must have a system that says you don’t have to sneak across our border in order to find work. You don’t need to risk your life.”

Senators Edward Kennedy and John McCain also attended the breakfast. “That was a surprise,” says Ed Delgado, the Covenant’s director of prayer and evangelism.

Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) was the featured speaker at Tuesday night’s dinner when conferees focused on the National Hispanic HIV/AIDS Initiative. The initiative will educate clergy to help them stem the continuing spread of the disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Hispanics made up roughly 20 percent of the HIV/AIDS cases in 2002, despite comprising only 14 percent of the population.

Covenanters from eight states attended the conference: California, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, and Indiana. Eight hundred people attended the conference, according to La Esperanza, the faith-based Hispanic advocacy organization that sponsored the event.

Covenant leaders included Gary Walter, executive minister of the Department of Church Growth and Evangelism; Dave Olson, national director of church planting; Walter Contreras and Wayne Carlson, directors of church planting for the Pacific Southwest Conference; and Larry Sherman, director of church planting for the Great Lakes Conference.

Olson gave a presentation on church planting to Hispanic pastors from across the country. Contreras led the California delegation in meeting with the state’s senators and representatives. The conference “helped our Hispanic leadership and others to better understand the importance of civic responsibility and advocacy,” Contreras says.

“It was an incredible conference, very inspiring” says Delgado. “There was a lot to take from it.”

Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.

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