“Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!” Psalm 150:6
The Scripture so eloquently phrased in Psalm 150 graced the bulletin cover as we celebrated the 38th Anniversary of New Life Presbyterian Church (Iglesia Presbiteriana Nueva Vida) on Sunday, April 28, 2019 (28 de Abril de 2019). The church located on Coral Way in Miami is pastored by the Rev. Heidi Arencibia. I was honored to be the guest speaker for the service celebrating “38 years of life by the grace of God!” (1981-2019).
As the history of the church was read, I recalled vividly the events that had occurred during my time as the Executive Presbyter. New Life was on life support. An Administrative Commission had been assigned and the membership had declined to 20 members. It was then that I was introduced to Rev. Arencibia and what a blessing that was. She had come to the U.S. from Cuba where she was a professor at the seminary in Matanzas. She was United Methodist and I saw the opportunity to invite her to become Presbyterian. The COM with the help of Rev. Dr. Marin Anorga worked with her toward ordination and she was eventually called to be the pastor of New Life. What a blessing for the congregation as the Hispanic population of Miami was continuing to grow. Under Rev. Arencibia’s leadership, the congregation has grown and is thriving. What a fellowship, what a joy divine we had on Sunday, April 28 at New Life! The music, the prayers and the worship demonstrated a temple, a church strong, faithful and committed to the Gospel.
We gave thanks for the live of Rev. Samuel Ossorio, Rev. German Vega, Rev. Martin Onorga, Rev. Julio Delgado, Rev. Roberto Hernandez, CLP Jacobo Guiribitey, Rev. Gustavo Astudillo and Rev. Heidi Arencibia who in different ways and as difficent ways and at different times have left their marks of blessing in the life of the church.
I was humbled to be asked to be the speaker for the Anniversary service and was honored to be in the presence of Rev. Martin Anorga who will celebrate his 92nd birthday very soon. Also present were: Rev. Julio Delgado and Rev. Dr. Hector Mendez.
Rev. Arencibia says “she is proud to be a Presbyterian.” The church is growing and the 20 member congregation had over 240 people in worship on Easter Sunday. The elders are so committed to service and Rev. Arencibia says of the congregation “we continue to walk hand in hand with the Lord, committed to Christ and his Church, to the community around us, and to the mission we have been called to do, sharing the JOY of SALVATION as a people chosen by God. She gives gratitude to God for New Life Presbyterian Church!
We often hear stories of how churches are declining. Welcome to Good News of one that is thriving and growing!
Rev. Dr. Arlene W. Gordon
Retired, Minister of Word and Sacrament