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Special Chapel Honors Hispanic Heritage Month

By Rachel Judy | October 11, 2012

Dr. Gus Reyes

As Regent University continued its celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, a crowd gathered on the Library Plaza on Wednesday, Oct. 10, to hear music by International Center for Worship artist-in-residence Adlan Cruz and a message from Dr. Gus Reyes, director of the Hispanic Education Initiative/Affinity Ministries for the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

The chapel service followed a presentation announcing that Regent has received an 'A' ranking from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), as well as a generous grant from the Beazley Foundation.

Reyes' message centered on the story of Jesus walking on the water and Peter's attempt to join him. "If you will take the faith walk, you must recognize Jesus is present whether it's windy or stormy or cloudy or whatever it is you are in the midst of," he said.

Using the illustration of walking in the mall with his wife, Reyes went on to explain that a faith walk involves changing one's own pace and priorities to walk beside the one they follow. "If I walk with her, I need to slow down my pace," he said. "[Jesus is saying] 'walk with me. It means you have to change your priorities and stay with me.'"

Again, looking to the example of Peter, Reyes urged the audience to take a step of faith. "You need to step out of your boat," he said. But, when the storms become frightening, he added, "Keep your eyes on Jesus."

"Realize that Jesus walks on the stuff that swallows [us] up," he continued. "Realize in the midst of your discouragement and disappointment and in what seems to be hopeless that those are the things Jesus walks on."

Regent's Hispanic Heritage Month celebration spans from Sept. 15-Oct. 15 and includes a variety of events and activities for the Regent community, coordinated by the Center for Latino Leadership. This year's events kicked off on Friday, Sept. 14, with the José Ferrer Film Festival. The following week, students, faculty and staff came together on campus for the Bienvenidos Fiesta, which featured food, games, dancing and musical performances all designed to educate others about the Latino culture.

Held on Friday, Oct. 5, the Chispa Media Festival showcased Hispanic-themed films and other media that highlight Hispanic culture while bringing social issues to light. This year's festival featured The Perfect Game, a film based on the events leading to the 1957 Little League World Series, the first won by a team from outside the United States.

The month's activities will conclude with the fourth annual Virginia Latino Higher Education Network Encuentro: "Latinos in the Arts and Sciences: Past, Present and Future," co-hosted by the Virginia Latino Higher Education Network (VALHEN) and Regent University's Center for Latino Leadership.

Learn more about the Center for Latino Leadership.


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