Pastor Matt Behmer serves this cross-cultural mission congregation. It’s located in Bell Gardens, CA, approximately ten miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. There is an estimated population of over 60,000 people within its 2.4 square miles. Over ninety-seven percent of the population is Latino or Hispanic.
Outreach and evangelism initiatives are carried out primarily in Spanish. To reach the community, the congregation focuses on neighborhood canvassing, a robust social media presence, and hosting special events. The congregation also strives to make spiritual services like baptism and catechism class accessible for members of its community.
The congregation especially focuses on two outreach events each year. First, a Back-to-School event in August. Second, a celebration of Las Posadas in December.
The Back-to-School event features family activities and a community resource fair. A variety of non-profit and community groups are present. There is music by a mariachi, bounce houses, a petting zoo, pony rides, and give-a-ways. There is also a short devotional message and a blessing of the students.
The celebration of Las Posadas features music by a mariachi, pozole and tamales, activities for children, and a traditional Mexican posada. Catechism students and children from the congregation dress up a Mary, Joseph, shepherds, and angels and reenact the Christmas story. The students and children also recite verses from Luke 2 and sing stanzas of Silent Night.
In addition to these major events, Cristo Rey also offers smaller events to provide fellowship opportunities for new and prospective members. These include meals, birthday celebrations, activities for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and movie nights.
The congregation currently offers a bilingual worship service and an English bible study on Sundays and youth catechism and an adult bible study in Spanish on Fridays. In the future, the congregation plans to offer an additional weekly bible study and worship service in Spanish.
The congregation welcomes and appreciates your prayers as they work to share the good news of eternal life through Jesus Christ.
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