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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Comunica esperanza

Global Mission Event communicates hope in the Caribbean

Musician Orlando Laureano swayed slightly to the lively Caribbean rhythm as he listened to the rest of the band play. When time came, Laureano slowly raised an enormous conch shell to his pursed lips and trumpeted its single, soulful note across the meeting hall where hundreds of Lutherans were assembled.

Like the ram's horn shofar used to imbue Jewish holy occasions with a sacred, organic sound deeply rooted in the culture, the conch shell's throaty bellow signaled something special: Lutherans were celebrating 100 years in Puerto Rico with worship and music in the island's own culture.

The centennial provided a festive undercurrent to the church's latest Global Mission Event, held for the first time outside the continental United States for just that reason. Lutherans from all over the United States gathered in San Juan to rejoice and stand in solidarity with the Caribbean Synod, which includes churches in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


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