Last week, 20 leaders from Portuguese churches and ministries gathered here to reflect on the past, analyze the present and discern the future of Portuguese-language ministry in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

In accordance with the Presbyterian Mission Agency Mission Work Plan for 2013-16, participants discussed strategic goals while sharing a vision for Portuguese ministry and resources.

With more than a million Portuguese speakers in the United States, the Presbyterian leaders acknowledged that this is a new day for this specific language ministry. The Portuguese-speaking population represents a missiological challenge for the PC(USA), which serves a multicultural, multilingual and multiethnic society.

The March 18-20 event was coordinated in part by the Rev. Almir Dantas Dias, PMA’s new Portuguese-language field staff. The gathering was an excellent starting point, and more educational events are in the works, Dantas said.