Richard leads the devotional at the LGBT group gathering.I give thanks to God for the ways that I’ve been shown how impactful this summer will be for my preparation for ordained ministry. In just three weeks, I’ve been challenged to new capacities, have been called upon to use my gifts with confidence, and I have been continually humbled by my status as a privileged outsider.

During Week 2, I led Bible Study for the first time, introducing an approach for lectio divina in the place of readings during Evening Prayer liturgy that was new for the group. I also now have had two opportunities to lead the devotional time on Saturdays at the start of the LGBT ministry group’s weekly program. It’s been wonderful to spend intentional time with this group.

Waking to the tragic news in Orlando two Sundays prior was disorienting to say the least. I quickly realized that the violence inflicted on the LGBT community in Orlando is only emblematic of a much more dire reality for queer Salvadorans. This became the theme of my sermon this past Sunday. It was a privilege to preach for the first time at San Juan. Although I didn't have in mind the desire to address LGBT issues, the massacre in Orlando, as well as the rampant violence against LGBT people in El Salvador, made me realize that I could not resist the inspiration of the Spirit to do so. I’ve discovered since that the sermon had more of an impact than I could have anticipated. I was also honored that the bishop of the Church here, Juan David Alvarado, attended the service and was able to hear me preach.

I’m now scheduled to lead a class on the theology (and liturgy) of Holy Eucharist in July, and I’ll also give a short talk at a discernment retreat the diocese is hosting. And this very evening, we are hosting a special Eucharist service in memory of the Orlando victims and the victims of hate crimes against LGBT people in El Salvador.

Listen to Richard's sermon (in Spanish!).