Lori Tapia, of Iglesia Alas de Salvación and serving Pastora Nacional Interina (Intermin National Pastor) of Obra Hispana (Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries) responds to what “Celebration, Celebración! Christ Among Us!” means to her, and all of us at our upcoming 2016 Regional Assembly, Asamblea Convención Arizona.

We have all this talk about creating unity, yet we fail to understand what scripture is speaking to us through the author of the letter to the Ephesians in 4:1-6. Here we are instructed “keep” the unity, not create the unity. We have been given this unity as a gift from God as we are all unity in one body through Christ. As I focus on the coming “Celebración! through and in Regional Assembly, I am reminded of the love of Jesus for all. I am moved to a greater understanding of who I am, who I am with others and who I am in Christ. It is this spirit of Celebration that excites me to deeper relationships, to greater understanding and to authentic love of my neighbor. It is precisely the fact that Christ is among us that unites us, not our own agendas, talents, skills or languages. It is the diversity represented in the Christ who died for an entire human race, for a broken humanity in need of redemption that we come together as one. I don’t believe that the brokenness of one faction of humanity is greater or lessor than another, and here, celebrating that we all come together with our own baggage, our own broken vessels that Jesus, the great potter, finds us, welcomes us, heals us, restores us and as one body, empowers us with authority to continue the work he began so long ago, preaching, teaching and healing all those who came to him. We are called to share the good news, and the good news at the center of my heart is that WE ARE ONE in the only one worthy, in the one who loves unconditionally and intentionally, and in our diversity as we all share the color of the blood of Jesus that has cleansed us, washing away the filth, paying the price for each of us without distinction. To be in a spirit of Celebration! Estar en un espíritu de Celebración! This is what my heart desires as I anticipate worshipping, celebrating and rejoicing in our diverse oneness in Jesus at this years regional assembly. Esto es lo que desea mi corazón en espera a esta asamblea regional, poder adorar, celebrar y regocijarnos en nuestra diversidad como uno en Jesus.