If you were to visit the Facebook page of Parroquia Luterana Sagrado Corazón, you would see evidence of a thriving, growing church. There are photos of groups of young children, confirmation classes, adult education, volunteer events and various gatherings to sell goods to raise funds to help the church become self-sufficient.
But all that is in the past…because this congregation has been hit hard by the pandemic. The congregation is made of immigrants – people with unreliable jobs, jobs making minimum wage, jobs with no health insurance. Many lost jobs, though there are some now working part time. Some have gotten sick with COVID, but thankfully there has been only one death from the virus. Members also send whatever money they can to their extended family still in their home country where the situation is much, much worse.
The church is now open for in-person services, and about 20 to 30 people attend. Online services are also offered. Pastor Espinoza is hopeful that if the church survives the people will return. Faithful members give what they can, but changes in the financial security of the congregation have significantly impacted their ability to contribute. Sagrado Corazon hosts a pantry which provides food to about 200 people every Thursday.
Sagrado is a mission church of the ELCA, and receives support from six Lutheran churches in the area, including Grace Lutheran. As a church, we have contributed funds to help their congregational leaders buy food and pay bills for those who are struggling with job loss and curtailed income.
Please keep the congregation of Sagrado Corazon in your prayers.