Sunday, February 17, 2019

New Stakes Created in the DR Congo, South Carolina, and Utah

Democratic Republic of the Congo 
The Church organized a new stake in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) on February 10th. The Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Lukunga Stake was organized from a division of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Ngaliema Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards and one branch: the Kimbwala 1st, Kimbwala 2nd, Malueka 1st, Malueka 2nd, Lutendale 1st, and Mazal Wards, and the Lutendale 2nd Branch. There are now 11 stakes in the Kinshasa metropolitan area.

There are now 21 stakes and two districts in the DR Congo.

South Carolina 
The Church organized a new stake in South Carolina today. Local members report that the Aiken South Carolina Stake was organized from a division of the Augusta Georgia Stake and the West Columbia South Carolina Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards and one branch: the North Aiken, Augusta, Coker Springs, Gilbert, Lake Murray, and Lexington Wards, and the Barnwell Branch. The Aiken South Carolina Stake is the Church's second new stake to be organized in South Carolina within the past year.

There are now eight stakes in South Carolina.

The Church created a new stake in Salt Lake City on February 10th. The Salt Lake Utah West Stake (Tongan) was organized from a division of the Salt Lake Utah Stake (Tongan) and the Salt Lake Utah South Stake (Tongan). The new stake includes the following nine wards: the Granger 8th (Tongan), Hunter 13th (Tongan), Hunter 37th (Tongan), Kearns 9th (Tongan), Kearns 13th (Tongan), Magna 2nd (Tongan), Taylorsville 5th (Tongan), Taylorsville 6th (Tongan), and West Valley 8th (Tongan) Wards. The realigned Salt Lake Utah Stake (Tongna) and Salt Lake Utah South Stake (Tongan) now each have seven wards. There are now four Tongan-speaking stakes in Utah. The first Tongan-speaking stake in the state was organized in 1993 followed by additional stakes in 2001 and 2006. There are currently 15 wards and one branch in the Provo Utah Wasatch Stake (Tongan) - seven wards and one branch of which are Samoan-speaking congregations. Thus, it appears likely that the Church's first Samoan-speaking stake outside of the Samoan islands will likely be organized in the near future.

There are now 599 stakes and 1 district in Utah.


R. Jofre said...

I wonder why no Spanish speaking stakes are organized in Utah. There are more than 20 Spanish language wards if I'm not mistaken in the state.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Interesting question about Spanish speaking stakes, or the lack thereof, in Utah. There must be some method to integrate Spanish speakers or something going on.
Knowing mostly BYU bishoprics and stake leaders while living in Utah, I wonder if there is a trend to have more wealthy administrators in higher priesthood positions. It's harder to be a lay clergyman if you can't afford to have that time available. I implied that more Spanish speakers might struggle more financially, which might not be true at all.
Great stuff in South Carolina. And Congo.

Paul said...

Slight correction on the wards listed for the new Aiken, South Carolina Stake. It should be the North Augusta Ward. The Augusta Ward remains in the Augusta, Georgia Stake.

James said...

As one living in Utah, I can tell you that there are several Spanish-speaking wards or branches. That is particularly common in areas of Utah County where there are a larger concentration of Spanish-speakers. My theory is that there may not be enough of those congregations clustered together closely enough to make organizing a Spanish-speaking stake a practical idea. Would it be helpful in some areas? Of course. But the question of whether it would be practical to do so might be more difficult to answer. Hope this information is helpful.

Rossa said...

Probably because the units don't have suficient members then pay Tithing or something like that.
This is very important to create a new stake.

James said...

That is an important element, yes. But what I was trying to say in my comment above is that there are not enough Spanish-speaking wards and branches clustered closely enough together her in Utah to make organizing a Spanish-speaking stake geographically feasible. Sorry if that was not clear enough in my last comment.

James Anderson said...

They have not done Spanish stakes in Utah due to the desire to integrate them into the general church membership versus having their own stakes. Something was said when someone asked about a stake in a regional meeting in the old Tabernacle in Provo in 2001. Someone asked about forming a Portuguese unit at that same meeting and that was never done for generally the same reasons.

My stake has one of those units, covers seven stakes, and the Provo Temple is in it, with the City Center Temple across the street from it. The stake president presently is hispanic and coordinated the Spanish activities at the temple open house and I saw him regularly while working that.

Eric S. said...

I've noticed that there have been several Spanish branches that have been upgraded to wards within the past year or two in Utah and California. Not sure the number, just noticed when unit updates were given in the comments. One of those in Utah was a branch that was in a previous stake I lived in. A year or so ago it was transferred to a nearby stake and was upgraded to ward not too long after. Perhaps if more of the branches become wards, then a stake may be possible in the future.

L. Chris Jones said...

I also heard there is an effort to integrate the Spanish speaking wards into the English speaking wards. I have also seen them integrate youth activities with English wards in the same building.b

Christopher Nicholson said...

To be frank, there is an uncertain number of white English-speaking American Saints that harbor a not insignificant level of racism against Mexicans. I'm not talking about differences of opinion on immigration policy, I'm talking about legit unacceptable racism. I know this because I've seen their disgusting comments on Deseret News articles and elsewhere that make me embarrassed to be LDS, like just today for example. I wouldn't be surprised at all if integrating Spanish units into standard stakes is motivated in part by a desire to root out this bigotry.

Eduardo Clinch said...

I have noted some ethno-centric attitudes of Anglophiles towards non-English speakers, which is normal. I have also seen some non-English speakers with their hang ups towards English native speakers.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ exists to help conquer hate and ameliorate prejudice. Going by Internet comments can be a very discouraging measure of humanity. I know we here in this forum have been examples of some petty vitriol, at times.
The love and truth of the Gospel as its known will advance regardless. No ethnic group, American or otherwise, is perfect.
Any conjecture as to why South Carolina is growing as it does at present? I attended a fast and testimony meeting there; most stood in the pews and gave sweet testimonies. Many spoke; it seemed pretty powerful.

Matt said...

The issue with Spanish speaking units in the U.S. especially here in California, is that the youth and YSA tend to speak more English and less Spanish, while the parents speak more Spanish and less English. Some stakes with Spanish units combine their Primary and YM/YW with English speaking wards.

Creating separate Spanish stakes makes integrating English and Spanish units together more difficult. I know recently a local Spanish Stake created a new Spanish Branch, and didn't even tell the English Stake and English Wards in the building, a new Spanish branch was created. They just showed up one Sunday.

The other issue with Spanish speaking units, is that it increasingly alienates English speaking Latinos, which is becoming the largest demo in California. English speaking Latinos feel English Wards are "too white", but Spanish Wards/Branches are too focused on immigrants and are "too Spanish".

So either English speaking wards need to be more culturally sensitive and aware of English speaking Latinos, and/or Spanish speaking units need to offer English speaking classes to better retain and integrate English speaking Latinos in the Church.

R. Jofre said...

About the ethnophobic comments even among LDS, it happens in every country with minorities of any kind, unfortunately. Love one another is a hard lesson for most people and oftentimes it takes a lifetime to learn.

There are over a hundred Spanish speaking units in Utah, with over fifty in the Salt Lake Valley. There are several brethren who served as mission presidents and a few others who served as seventies, so leadership shouldn't be an issue. I'm leaning more towards the lack of tidings or maybe temple recommendations. Thanks for all your comments on the matter.

James Anderson said...

It is true about what generations speak English after arrival. Many come speaking only Spanish, but not all, second generation picks up English, and the third generation gets more bilingual.

That has affected Spanish radio, in some markets there is at least one bilingual station, in Salt Lake it's 106.1 FM although that still is about half to 3/4 Spanish yet, some commercials in English as well as DJ chatter.

Anonymous said...

I think an important step is to encorage people to refer to units as a “[language]-speaking ward” or “[language]-language ward” instead of “[language] ward”. In other words, an English-language ward, not an English ward or a Spanish-language ward, not a Spaniah ward. I bet there are hundreds of thousands of Church members who subconsciously believe language units are intended for certain ethnicities, nationalities, or even races, when in fact that is completely false. The purpose of language units is so people can learn the gospel in a language best suited for their gospel learning.

James Anderson said...

They do that mainly to shorten things, officially the one in my stake is known as North Park 4th Ward (Spanish) in CDOL but we just call it North Park 4th Ward when conducting business in sacrament for stake callings, etc. Some members do say 'Soanish ward' for short.

Chris said...

In my stake, Salt Lake Central, we have the Lucero Ward (Spanish speaking), also a German speaking ward, and a Swahili branch.

James Anderson said...

The Lucero Ward is probably the oldest Spanish unit in Utah, although in 1960 they used a seminary building 200 feet outside my ward boundaries on one side and across the street on the other for meetings. Today it is used for a family history center.

Eduardo Clinch said...

"Spanish speaking unit". Right, obviously English and Spanish by themselves are not tecnically correct, as most American or Canadian or Australian church units are not British, i.e. Welsh or Scottish, etc. Mexicans and Salvadorans are not from Spain either. They speak Castillian Spanish.

Good points about the generations of Spanish speakers in the U.S. I learned to speak more English with the youth and more Spanish with the adults.

It is tricky melding the generations. The Tongans and Samoans seem to do it, but I wonder how much the younger generations can keep their ancestral languages.
No other thoughts on progress in South Carolina?

Johnathan Whiting said...

This new stake is in the boundaries of the Macon Georgia Mission that they just closed, right?

John Pack Lambert said...

I know that there is at least one stake in Provo with multiple Spanish-speaking wards. There are more Spanish-speaking units in Utah County than Tongan and Samoan units combined, so from a pure numbers standpoint a Spanish-speaking stake would make sense. However the Church has been moving away from such stakes. They have elimanated one such stakes each in California, Texas and Florida. Florida no longer has an only Spanish speaking stake. In the mid-1980s local leaders tried to create a Spanish-speaking stake in the New York City area but that was shot down.

I do not think we will see any new Spanish-speaking stakes in the US. In parts of Utah county the vast majority of those of other faiths are Hispanic. This combined with large numbers of Church members having served Spanish-speaking missions and different rates of English-immersion makes it easy and advised to have many units on the small side that conduct outreach in Spanish. In fact probably creating more Spanish-speaking units in Utah valley to better corordinate outreach would be advised.

John Pack Lambert said...

It is hard to trace all the factors involved in Spanish-speaking units. I know when I took a class on Latino History in the US at BYU back in 2003 our professor, Ignacio Garcia, was of the opinon that the Church should create Spanish-speaking units. However Garcia had been part of the Chicanismo movement and was a product of the thinking of that movement.

Spanish-speaking populations are actually very diverse. You have many Church members who have emigrated from other countries to the US, many American born church members, both converts and multi-generational who speak Spanish. Most English-speaking units in Provo will end up with some native speakers of Spanish. This was also true in Las Vegas.

Ive also known lots of couples where one was Anglo and the other was Hispanic. Most often they go to the unit that reflects the language of the wife, at least if they had a clear choice whjen first married. Thus we ended up with Lacayos in an English-speaking unit and Johnsons in a Spanish-speaking unit.

While many Americans thinkg of Mexican and Hispanic as interchangeable terms they are not. At BYU I had professors from El Salvador and Spain, and knew people from every country in Latin America. In my stake most of our Mexicans are professionals who came here to work in Engineering or management jobs. At least among the active members. There is a part of Detroit where there are lots of immigrant Mexicans often in construction jobs, but it is in the other stake. That area is covered by a bilingual branch. There actually are also large numbers of Dominicans and Puerto Ricans in that area. In Pontiac, just north of my stake that also has a sizeable Hispanic population that is generally working class, although there are many Mexicans there are also Salvadorians and Hondurans.

Of course one of the missionaries who covers my area is a phenotypically white person who has a Tongan grandfather and grew up on a farm in Wales Utah, so the notion that Tongans are a people apart can be torn apart very quickly.