Las Posadas celebration
|A Las Posadas celebration sponsored by United Methodists in Billings, Mont., includes walking by candlelight from room to room in a school. Photo by Sandy Stormett.|
United Methodists in Billings, Mont., have joined their Spanish-speaking neighbors in a celebration of Las Posadas, a traditional event held in Hispanic/Latino towns during the days before Christmas.
Members of the Missions Committee of Grace United Methodist Church and the Yellowstone Conference's Hispanic Ministries organized a Las Posadas celebration in December 2006 with the help of four Hispanic women in the community.
In the Las Posadas tradition, Joseph and Mary go from door to door singing a special song of entrance. Eight homes refuse them, and the ninth house accepts them. Then a party begins.
In Billings last year, about 180 people celebrated Las Posadas at a local school, processing from room to room and singing requests and responses in Spanish. A fiesta included tamales, hot chocolate, meat stew and two pi–atas. A similar event is planned this year.
"It was a wonderful experience for everyone, learning and participating in the Hispanic culture," high school student Emma Murter wrote in a letter published in the Billings Gazette. "The party was a major success."
--Adapted from a story in the Yellowstone Connection by Ed Folkwein of the Grace United Methodist Church Missions committee.
AT A GLANCE: Grace United Methodist Church | 1935 Ave. B, Billings, MT 59102 | (406) 259-9711 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.graceumbillings.org | Pastor: Rev. Susan Otey | Average attendance: 106 | Yellowstone Conference