Pentecost Sermon~ AnnaBelle Mills

Sermon Given at the Parish Retreat at All Saints’ Center
June 5, 2022

Hola! Me llamo AnnaBelle. Este es mi sermón, y lo escribí esta el fin de
la semana. Me quedé despierto hasta tarde para escribir esto. Oh, lo siento.
Entientan? Tú entiendas? I’m sorry. Did you not understand that? Did that
make you feel uncomfortable? Well, last weekend, I went to the National
Speech Tournament in Washington, DC. I got to see many speeches about a
variety of topics. One speech that stood out to me was called Hecho en LA.
This speech was about immigrants working in Forever 21 sweatshops. The
workers wanted better working conditions but could not be understood. They
only spoke Spanish. No English. In the Constitution, the 1st Amendment
gives Americans the freedom to protest. These people didn’t have this right
because they didn’t speak any English. This speech was in the dramatic
performance category. In this category, you give a little teaser for the speech,
then you pause, and introduce the speech. Every word in this speech was in
Spanish except for the introduction. The performer asked who in the room
spoke Spanish. Only a handful of people in the room spoke Spanish. Then,
the performer said that this performance will make you uncomfortable if you
don’t speak Spanish. She said that her performance is supposed to make
non-Spanish speakers uncomfortable. Non-Spanish speakers aren’t supposed
to understand, because no one understood the Forever 21 workers in their
native tongue. I am learning Spanish in school. I understood most of the
speech. In this category, the speeches are dramatic and portray complicated
emotions. I understood the beginning of the speech until the performer got
choked up and it would have been hard to understand her in English.
Worldwide, 4.85% of the world’s population speaks Spanish. In the US, 13%
of the population speaks Spanish. But still, these immigrants could not be
understood. According to the 2014 Pew Forum Survey, 77% of Latinos
identified as Christian. Christianity is one of the world’s biggest religions.
Today, according to the National Congregations Study, conducted in
2006-07 by Duke University sociologists, 6% of U.S. churches offer Spanish
or bilingual services. But, there are more Christians that are native Spanish
speakers than native English speakers. Why is there such a gap in Spanishlanguage services? Why are Sunday mornings so segregated? Loving God
transcends the language we speak, which is proven in today’s Acts reading.
This reading from Acts talks about how everyone heard the crowd speaking
and every word was translated into each person’s native language. Loving
God is the language that all Christians understand. The Episcopal Church as
a whole believes that everyone is included in loving God, no matter what
language you speak. You don’t need to learn all the languages to understand
worshipping God. Anyone can worship God, at any time. So I wonder. What
can we do to go out into the world to tell the story of Jesus and God’s love?
¿Qué podemos hacer para salir al mundo a contar la historia de Jesús y el
amor de Dios?