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A Groundbreaking for Cristo Rey

A Groundbreaking for Cristo Rey
On Sunday, August 11 at 5:00 p.m., Cristo Rey Lutheran Church had the groundbreaking ceremony and a worship service giving thanks at 545 Oak Drive in Lexington, the site of the future Cristo Rey Sanctuary and fellowship hall. More than 100 people joined together during this special occasion, to celebrate, pray, and ask the Lord to continue guiding and supporting the mission to bring the Word and sacraments to the Latino community in South Carolina.
Rev. Eric Fink of Living Springs, Columbia, presented a $3,000 grant to Cristo Rey from the congregation. Also, two scholarships for members to attend Midlands Tech. Rev. Tony Metze of St. Paul’s, Columbia shared that a bus was being donated to the congregation as well.

The $3,000 will be doubled by a matching grant. The matching grant will match donations dollar for dollar up to $100,000 total. If you would like to assist with the donations to take full advantage of the matching grant, please click the button below.

Sermon by Bishop Yoos

Today history is made!
Today the hopes and dreams of our Latino brothers and sisters are being realized.

Today God is doing a new Thing in our midst.

Today God is not only helping us breaks ground for the building of Cristo Rey, but at the same time god is breaking new ground in our hearts and minds as well as opening us up to a deeper sense of our oneness in Jesus Christ.

A oneness that cannot be divided or torn apart by the political divisions in our country.

Today is a day of rejoicing and praying God together, just like the rejoicing and praising of god that occurred in our second lesson when the Israelites returned from Babylon and came together to build a new temple in Jerusalem.

Now at that time there were some people who thought this task was an impossible one

  • That it couldn’t be done,
  • That they did not have the economic resources.
  • That did not have the political clout to complete the building of a new temple.

Yet God sent them a leader from Babylon with a vision, a scribe named Ezra, who knew this was God’s will. Who refused to be deterred by his critics. Instead Ezra boldly challenged the people not to be afraid but to come together and trust that God was about to do a new thing. Of course we don’t have a Scribe named Ezra with us today, but we do have a Pastor named Jorge Leone, and like Ezra Pastor Leone has a vision that God is doing a new Thing in our midst today, and that God is calling all of us together in the SC Synod to build a House of worship for the people of Cristo Rey.

In Hebrews II we read” Faith is the assurance of things hoped for the conviction of things unseen.” Then the writer of Hebrews goes further to talk about the father of our faith Abraham. “By an act of Faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going, but by an act of faith Abraham lived in the country he was promised him as a stranger. Here we see faith. Is not an intellectual as sent to theological statements so much as faith, is the willing to step into an unknown future trusting god to lead us where god wants us to go.

If you think about it, every one of our Latino brothers and sisters like Abraham have taken a step into an unknown future, trusting that God would lead their journey where they would wind up, when they couldn’t see and often they were treated harshly as strangers rather than welcomed as brothers and sisters. You see in breaking ground today we are thanking God for the faith and witness of this community of Latino believers. It is the faith of Jesus Christ that has led parents to bring over 77 of their children to be baptized over the last 2 years, including 4 new baptisms next week. It is their faith in Jesus Christ that we are celebrating today, believing with them that God still makes the impossible possible.

That God is inviting all of us to help make their dream of a new church a reality. Similarly it is no coincidence that over 11 years ago, this same God was stirring up in the Saxe Gotha conference and the whole SC Synod a deep yearning to build relationship and to begin new ministries with the same Latino Brothers and sisters. Now at that same 2008 Assembly where I was elected Bishop, we committed ourselves to start a Latino Mission congregation. Of course no one could have imagined at that time how God would be leading us today to break ground for this new Cristo Rey sanctuary. No one that is except God who has been preparing us for this moment and has been teaching us to walk by faith and not by sight.

On my drive to Milwaukee, we spend the night at my sister house in Louisville. On the morning walk I saw a sign in a yard that caught my attention. The same sentence was written in three languages: Spanish, English and Arabic. It read “No matter where you are from, we’re glad you are our neighbor” What a power message that is for all us here today.

Many years ago neighbors stopped what they were doing in order to help build the house or a barb that belonged to their neighbor. In a real sense that is what we are doing here today.

Neighbors helping neighbors… Neighbors loving neighbors… Neighbors serving neighbors…

All done in the name of Jesus Christ. As a sign to all who pass buy and see this new church, that it doesn’t matter where you come from we are glad that you are our neighbors.


Remarks from Rev. Jorge Leone

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
As Bishop Yoos told us, Today is a day of great joy for all of us.

We are gathered to celebrate the beginning of the construction of the Cristo Rey Latin Church building.

The dream of having a place of worship of our community begins to come true.

This is a wonderful example of how the sum of the efforts and support of all of you and others who have not been able to come, who with a generous attitude took the project of this construction as their own.

All providing their best wishes, prayers, personal effort and financial resources to help their Latino brothers and sisters have their own sanctuary.

I want to comment on our bishop’s message. It is generally not convenient to contradict what your boss says, but today I am going to do it.

The bishop told us in his sermon that today we do not have a leader like Ezra who, trusting totally in God, took on his shoulders the call to build a place of worship to our Lord.

Instead I think that Herman Yoos is our current Ezra.

He had the call, the vision, the confidence, the courage and the clear objective of constructing the building for the Latin church of Cristo Rey.

I thank the bishop for his affectionate words towards me, but I am only part of the effort of many people who aspire and dream of seeing this project come true.

In the name of the community of Cristo Rey, I would like to thank the Synod of South Carolina, its staff, the council of the synod, the Lutheran men on mission, Howard McCartha and the ELCA Mission builders, the churches of the Saxe Gotha conference, and many other Lutheran churches, volunteers and private donors, many of them anonymous who walk step by step with us in this process.

Pastor Erick Finn and the Living Springs community who give us financial support, share their buses with us and help us with our children as part of their generous partnership with us.

To St. Paul Lutheran Church, to Rev. Tony Metze and to my friend Andrew More, for his generous gift of a bus for the communities of Cristo Rey and Sagrada Familia.

I would like to express special thanks to the Church of St. David, the mother church of Cristo Rey, which opened its doors to our congregation from its birth until now, adopting the Latin mission as its own Mission.

To all of them, to Janeth and Jim Riddle, to the pastors and to all the members of St. David our sincere thanks.

To Dr. Al Roberts who always generously accompanies us by giving us the gift of his art.

To him, and to Francis his wife, for making it easier for us to acquire this lot where we are going to build, donating part of its value.

To the architect Michael Khon, for sharing with us his talent and wonderful gifts, designing the entire project and working so hard with plans, technical issues, permits, and everything related to the construction of this dream.

To Richard, Shannon and Carol for their wonderful help, taking care of our children on Sundays, creating activities to train and entertain them.

To my dear friend Pastor Mark Buchan, my tutor, for his permanent presence and help.

To the community of Cristo Rey, this will be your temple, thanks to your prayers and financial help.

To our children of Cristo Rey who every Sunday contribute their savings so that one day they can have their own playground here.

To Dr. Andrés Leone, founder of this church. Without him possibly this moment would not have come.

To Rick Carter, my boss, my guide and support , who is an important part of this project and of our church.

To all of them, and to so many others that I am not naming, the lord fills you with blessings.


Queridos hermanos y hermanas en cristo:
Como el obispo Yoos nos dijo, Hoy es un día de gran alegría para todos nosotros.

Estamos reunidos para celebrar el comienzo de la construccion del edificio de la Iglesia Latina Cristo Rey.

El sueño de tener un lugar propio de adoración de nuestra comunidad comienza a hacerse realidad.

Este es un maravilloso ejemplo de como la suma de los esfuerzos y apoyo de todos ustedes y de otros que no han podido venir, quienes con actitud generosa tomaron el proyecto de esta construccion como propio.

Todos proporcionaron y proporcionan sus mejores deseos, sus oraciones, esfuerzo personal y recursos financieros para ayudar a sus hermanos y hermanas Latinos a tener su propio santuario.

Quiero hacer un comentario acerca del mensaje de nuestro obispo. Generalmente no es conveniente contradecir lo que dice tu jefe, pero hoy yo lo voy a hacer.

El obispo nos dijo en su sermón que hoy en día no tenemos a un líder como Ezra quien confiando totalmente en Dios tomo sobre sus hombros el llamado a construir un lugar de adoración a nuestro Señor.

En Cambio yo pienso que Herman Yoos es nuestro actual Ezra. Él tuvo el llamado, la visión, la confianza, el coraje y el claro objetivo de construir el edificio para la iglesia Latina de Cristo Rey.

Yo le agradezco al obispo sus cariñosas palabras hacia mí, pero yo solamente soy parte del esfuerzo de muchas personas que aspiran y suenan con ver que este proyecto sea realidad.

Quiero en nombre de la comunidad de Cristo Rey agradecer al Sínodo de Carolina del Sur, a su personal, al consejo del sínodo, a los hombres luteranos en misión, a Howard McCartha y los constructores de Misión ELCA, a las iglesias de la conferencia Saxe Gotha, y a muchas otras iglesias luteranas, voluntarios y donantes privados, muchos de ellos anónimos que caminan paso a paso con nosotros en este proceso.

Al Pastor Erick fin y a la comunidad de Living Springs quienes nos dan apoyo económico, comparten con nosotros sus buses y nos ayudan con nuestros niños como parte de su generosa asociación con nosotros.

A St. Paul Lutheran Church, al Rev. Tony Metze y a mi amigo Andrew More, por su generoso regalo de un bus para las comunidades de Cristo Rey y Sagrada Familia.

Quisiera expresar un agradecimiento especial a la Iglesia de san David, la iglesia madre de Cristo Rey, que abrió sus puertas a nuestra congregación desde su nacimiento hasta ahora, adoptando a la misión Latina como su propia Misión.

A todos ellos, a Janeth y Jim Riddle, a los pastores y a todos los miembros de San David nuestro sincero agradecimiento.

Al Dr. Al Roberts que siempre, generosamente, nos acompaña dándonos el regalo de su arte.

A él, y a Francis su esposa, por hacernos más fácil el adquirir este lote donde vamos a construir, donándonos parte de su valor.

Al Arquitecto Michael Khon, por compartir con nosotros su talento y maravillosos dones, diseñando todo el proyecto y trabajando tan duro con planos, cuestiones técnicas, permisos, y todo lo relacionado con la construccion de este sueño.

A Richard, Shannon y Carol por su maravillosa ayuda, cuidando a nuestros niños los domingos, creando actividades para capacitarlos y entretenerlos.

A mi querido amigo el Pastor Mark Buchan, mi tutor, por su permanente presencia.

A la comunidad de Cristo Rey, esta será su templo, gracias a sus oraciones y ayuda financiera.

A nuestros niños de Cristo rey que todos los domingos aportan sus ahorros para que algún día puedas tener su patio de juegos aquí.

Al Dr. Andrés Leone, fundador de esta iglesia. Sin El posiblemente este momento no habría llegado.

A Rick Carter, mi jefe, guía y apoyo quien es parte importante de este proyecto y de nuestra iglesia.

A todos ellos y a tantos otros que no estoy nombrando, Dios los llene de Bendiciones.


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Contact Information

ELCA South Carolina Synod
1003 Richland Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Telephone 803-765-0590
Fax 803-252-5558

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This is Christ’s Church. There is a place for you here.

We are the church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. Liberated by our faith, we embrace you as a whole person–questions, complexities and all. Join us as we do God’s work in Christ’s name for the life of the world.

Contact Information

ELCA South Carolina Synod
1003 Richland Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Telephone 803-765-0590
Fax 803-252-5558

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