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"Living Between the Here and the Not Yet": Documenting the Hispanic/Latinx Presbyterian Experience

November 18, 2021
Rev. Ruben Armendáriz , Rev. Rebecca Reyes, Rev. Blanca Estrella Otaño-Rivera (also known as Blanqui Otaño).

Last month the Presbyterian Historical Society celebrated National Hispanic Heritage Month across all of our social media feeds. We highlighted photos from our collection that represented Hispanic communities and stories of Hispanic leaders within the Presbyterian church. 

We also hosted a PHS LIVE centered on Hispanic and Latinx Ministries in the PC(USA) featuring Rev. Ruth Faith Santana-Grace, Joanna Kim, Rev. Eliana Maxim, Rev. Juan Sarmiento, and Rev. Fernando Rodríguez who shared about their ministries and discussed ways the PC(USA) can preserve the history of Hispanic and Latinx Presbyterians.

Rev. Ruth Faith Santana-Grace, Joanna Kim, Rev. Eliana Maxim, Rev. Juan Sarmiento, and Rev. Fernando Rodríguez.

The PHS live event ended with an important call to action for the Presbyterian HIstorical Society to continue to build and expand our collection so that it better reflected the breadth and scope of Hispanic Presbyterians. That is where we need your help.

A message to our Hispanophone supporters and friends:

Como archivos nacionales de la IP (EE. UU.), es nuestra responsabilidad dar un testimonio completo de la vida y los ministerios de todo el pueblo presbiteriano, sobre todo, las congregaciones hispanas, los trabajadores de la iglesia, y esperamos aprender cómo podemos ser de utilidad para usted y sus iglesias, y cómo podemos magnificar su trabajo.

Queremos preservar registros de su ministerio en cualquier forma (correspondencia, diarios, sermones, ensayos y fotografías, diapositivas, grabaciones de audio y video). Puede comenzar este proceso con una caja, escriba "archivos" en ella y comience a poner sermones, ensayos, fotografías y otro material. Puede hacer lo mismo con una folder en su escritorio. Agradeceríamos la oportunidad de hablar con las personas que lo criaron en la fe y lo guiaron en el ministerio. Finalmente, también estamos felices de servir a sus congregaciones a través de nuestros servicios de depósito y digitalización.

Esperamos contar con su ayuda y poder servirles a guardas esos gratos recuerdos de sus pastores y congregaciones. Envíe un correo electrónico a David Staniunas para obtener mas información.

Bible School, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, 1940. [Pearl ID: 142039]

As the national archives of the PC(USA) it’s our responsibility to bear a complete witness to the lives and ministries of all Presbyterian people. We cannot be complete without fully representing the whole communion of Presbyterian experiences. It is always our job to ensure the safeguarding of Hispanic and Latinx congregations and church workers, and we look forward to learning how we can be of service to you and your churches, and how we can magnify your work.

We’re very eager to help longtime church workers preserve records of their ministry in any form--correspondence, diaries, sermons, essays, and photographs, slides, audio and video recordings--all would be welcome and well-served here.

You can begin this process really simply--get a box in a closet, write “archives” on it, and start putting sermons, essays, photos, and other material in it. Do the same with a folder on your desktop.

We’d welcome the opportunity to talk with the people who raised you in the faith, and mentored you in ministry, and to serve their personal papers as well. Finally we are also eager to serve your congregations via our deposit and digitization services. For more information, contact David Staniunas at [email protected].

PHS Resources

What We Collect
The Hispanic and Latinx Reading List
Presbyterians in Puerto Rico