When describing the ministry of Comunidad Limen Christian Church, the organizing pastor of this Latinx, Spanish-speaking, open-and-affirming congregation in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pauses.
“Have you seen the movie Luca?”
While it’s not typical source material for describing a new church, Luca provides a framework on grace that most audiences can comprehend – including Rev. Pedro Ramos Goycolea’s two sons, who gave him the excuse to watch the film in the first place.
“Luca is a young merman who can turn into a human,” Rev. Pedro says. “His parents are concerned about him entering the human world because they believe humans will reject their son and fail to understand who he is. It turns out the grandmother has been sneaking around doing this all her life…”
The Tucson-Ariz.-based pastor works with the generations that have been waiting for faith communities to embrace young LGBTQ Latinos and their families.
“I choose to work with the reality (of inclusion) that our younger generations are building, accepting, and creating,” says Rev. Pedro.
Meanwhile, he’s also aware of grandparents – quietly holding onto a welcoming faith, despite their upbringing – who tearfully welcomed the emergence of Comunidad Limen, too.
Rev. Pedro considers Comunidad Limen a spiritual movement rather than an institution. In early 2020, Rev. Pedro and his core team reached out to the Arizona Region, which welcomed the group and connected them with New Church Ministry for continuing support.
Through the pandemic, the congregation experimented with online platforms for worship and fellowship, beginning with Zoom. They moved on to social media platforms like YouTube, Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram, and a podcast, to allow viewers to interact with posts on their own schedules.
Comunidad Limen’s name derives from “liminality” – a term Rev. Pedro defines as “in-betweenness of being.” Now meeting in person again, they share facilities with a handful of faith communities, gathering at different times and on different days to accommodate the schedules of worshipers, like the social media approach offered.
“Latinos are the essential workers. We’re the ones who don’t stop cleaning, cooking food, and making deliveries because society needs to keep going. We experience life in liminality. So, we claim (liminal space) as the place where we experience God’s presence,” he says.
Increasingly the message has extended beyond geographic boundaries. Comunidad Limen works with Alliance Q to expand Familias Incluyentes, where LGBTQ families share their stories with one another online across the U.S.
”Creating a community based on love and grace takes longer, but it’s harder to break apart.”
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