In the Hispanic culture a tertulia is a gathering of people regularly around a common concern for a time of free but fairly structured sharing of ideas, experiences and skills. Many extended families have long cherished the practice of regular meetings in homes and other places called “tertulias familiares,” where they share experiences and values, and where family traditions are shaped and transmitted to the new generations. Thus, tertulias have been one of the mainstays and centers of creativity in Hispanic cultures.
Drawing on this long-standing Hispanic tradition and thanks to a grant from the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Program of Lilly Endowment Inc., AETH began implementing the program Tertulias Pastorales in 2003. The fundamental purpose of the Tertulias Pastorales is to enable opportunities for the creative sharing of ideas and the development of the skills and resources that are essential to meet the growing needs of Hispanic-Latino/a pastors and church leaders who are partners in ministry in the Hispanic communities in which they serve. Throughout the years this program has involved hundreds of groups of pastors from all Christian traditions, from dozens of cities across the United States, who have had the opportunity to meet with and learn from leading Hispanic pastors and Hispanic theological educators.
This program is central to AETH’s mission of promoting the development of pastors and church leaders and of contributing to the growth and vibrancy of the Hispanic church and community. Presently AETH is implementing tertulias on the following themes: Principles for Pastoral Wellbeing and Christian stewardship from a Hispanic perspective. But members of AETH can request tertulias on topics of particular interest to groups of pastors in cities within and outside the United States.