This time of year, when calendars are brimming with activities: Wassail parties, Santa visits, horse and buggy rides, special holiday concerts, so much to do and all ways to connect to our community.
This past Sunday the Hispanic Ministry of the Reformed Church celebrated their 7th Anniversary with a unique and striking service. Supervisor, Mike Sweeton and I were asked to do the old and new testament readings. The congregation was joined by a special guest, the Reverend Doctor Eddy Aleman, General Secretary of the Reformed Church of America who gave a powerful sermon on diversity and inclusivity.
The church choir gave a beautiful presentation of selected music in both English and Spanish. The service was followed by a wonderful reception and buffet in the specially decorated church hall.
Later in the day the Hispanic Ministry at St. Stephens Catholic Church celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Guadeloupe. This feast day honors the visitation of the Virgin Mary to Juan Diego, a Mexican peasant. I was asked to welcome the congregants to the service. A bilingual mass was led by Fr. Reaynor Santiago which included a mariachi band.
The mass was followed by a reception of delicious Mexican food in the St. Stephen’s school gym. Entertainers included the los Chinelos traditional dancers. The gym was decorated with a remarkable shrine to Our Lady of Guadeloupe. This event was organized by the Spanish Ministry Committee and many, many volunteers.
In this holy season it was fun to participate in a day of Hispanic culture. We are lucky to have these ministries, including the ministry work at Christ Episcopal Church.
The greatest delight is to see these families participate and enjoy their community. Thank you to Father Jack Arlotta, Fr. Raeynor Santiago, Rev. Linden DeBie, Pastor Rolfi Elivo-Lopez and Father Jim Erwin for the valuable work they do with our immigrant families.
Gracias a todos – Feliz Navidad!
The Village of Warwick will be collecting for the Annual Toy Drive for the Children of Orange County. New, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at Village Hall through Fri., Dec. 21.
The next Village Board meeting will take place Mon., Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall, located at 77 Main St. in Warwick NY.
The above column, written by Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard, has been published in the Dec. 12 issue of the Warwick Valley Dispatch.