PORTLAND, OR. VERLIN B. BYERS. DECEMBER 9, 2013.
The year 2013 has been a year of new beginnings for me and laying the groundwork for ongoing ministry with Other Sheep and Latinas/os in the USA. First, I started to compile a directory of Open and Affirming ministries to Spanish-speaking people in the USA. This project will be ongoing as contact is made with various denominations, churches, and ministries in all 50 states.
In June I created a new blog, www.AlimenteMisOvejas.blogspot.com, as a way to offer support and encouragement to Spanish and Portuguese-speaking LGBTQ individuals in the USA, especially those who have been silenced or hurt by the Church or are struggling to integrate spirituality with their sexuality. Another venue to strive for this same goal has been to interact with individuals through the discussion and message boards of the Gay Christian Network (GCN) at www.gaychristian.net. I was not able to attend the GCN Conference in 2013 but plan to attend the next conference in January 2014 (in Chicago).
Also in June, I attempted to reach out to churches in the Chicago area (particularly those with a ministry to Hispanics) through emails and cold calling. The goal was to extend an invitation to join Other Sheep and Metropolitan Community Church members in outreach activities during the July MCC General Conference and Chicago Pride festivities.
Finally, in 2013 I responded to several requests from Spanish-speaking individuals in the USA for information and support via John Doner (Otras Ovejas Cooridantor for Latin America) and the AlimenteMisOvejas blog.