Cena Latina – Making Connections, Living Our Faith

The Cena Latina Team: Jef Bueler, Susan Colket, Elizabeth Downie, Clare and Peter Doyle, Jamie Evanini, Barbara Jensen, Collen McCourt, Sparky Morrison, Chris Piatek, Gina Turner, and Jessie Webb would like to thank everyone who made this event, a fundraiser for the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF) such a success. From all angles, the event was a beautiful example of our church living our faith.

So many connections were made — small things (which may turn into big) and big things (which may turn huge). It was such a thrill to see all of our spaces used for such a good purpose — from the kitchen, to the crossings room, to the Sanctuary. So many of our congregants working joyfully to make the event so great. So many snapshots… the sight of Rev. Kim and Tara being just like regular people. Jef Bueler who put “Hablo Espanol” on his name tag, just a little thing that meant so much to so many. Clare stepping away from all she had to do to tell our congregants to mix it up and to sit with our guests. Reluctant brown and black children entering our classrooms and being greeted so warmly — first in Spanish (by the Spanish teacher at Bear Tavern, Allison Morrison, who graciously and enthusiastically helped us) and then in English by Elizabeth Downie and by the end of the night, the children were laughing and having so much fun together. People who had never been in our church appearing right at home and making conversation as best they could through the language barrier. Guests having the courage and making the time to come out to a church in the suburbs. And the universal sight of a 13-year-old girl pulling at her mother’s arm because she was bored and wanted to go home — and her mother not wanting to because she was having so much fun.

We raised over $2,000 to help a great organization. We gave away many guest tickets, and many of the recipients paid anyway. Adriana Abizadeh gave a check made out to LALDEF — a personal check, which says a lot. Wuiliun Fabian , one of the speakers, gave $100, which, considering his circumstances, also says a lot.

We received $1500 through UUCWC’s Council for Faith in Action for expenses. We gave the cooks money to buy the ingredients, and they returned the change. That money will be returned to CFA to support another project. We know that each project and event is different but for Cena Latina, CFA did what it was created to do.

Robin Pugh said — why didn’t you tell me that it was going to be so fun, I thought it was just going to a fundraiser! Cena Latina built on the success of the Soul Food Dinner, and the next will build on both.

See you next year!