Signaling a clear commitment to the growth of Latino ministries in our diocese, the Executive Board recently approved calling Angelica Garcia-Randle to a part-time, contracted position as Latino Ministries Coordinator for the Eastern Shore. The move represents a critical step toward strengthening Latino ministries throughout Southern Virginia by capitalizing on efforts already underway on the Eastern Shore. The Mission Network and Congregational Vitality ministries, under the direction of Bishop Hollerith, are seeking to develop ministry with the growing Latino population in Southern Virginia.
Ms. Garcia-Randle is a native of Los Angeles, CA and the daughter of immigrants to the United States. Her mother emigrated from El Salvador and her father comes from a small village in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. Angelica, who is fluent in written and spoken Spanish, moved to Virginia from Southern California in 2011 when her husband, The Rev. Cameron Randle, was called as rector of St. James, Accomac and St. George’s, Pungoteague. Together, the Garcia-Randles have pioneered Latino and Food Justice ministries in Southern Virginia.
Angelica is Director of Dos Santos Food Pantry, a ministry of the churches of St. George’s Parish. Dos Santos (two saints) is a partner agency of the Foodbank of Southeast Virginia and the Eastern Shore and the only Spanish-speaking pantry in the region. The outreach serves a sizable migrant farmworker and Latino immigrant community by providing staple foods such as corn flour for tortillas, rice, beans, poultry and fresh
vegetables, along with clothing and personal hygiene items.
In the past year, Dos Santos has expanded to include an organic community garden to help supply the pantry and a vibrant new tutoring program for children of Latino immigrant parents in two key Accomack County public elementary schools. A mobile version of the pantry also distributes food and other necessities in trailer parks and migrant camps.
A marketing professional with photography and graphic design experience, Angelica has studied at the Paeir College of Art in Hamden, CT and The Rhode Island School of Design. She is presently working toward a degree in Applied Design with a concentration in Photography at The University of Maryland, Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, MD. She is a liaison to the Migrant Services Council of the Eastern Shore and has served on the board of Boys & Girls Club (Eastern Shore Unit), United Way and Una Familia, a tutoring program of the United Methodist Church in partnership with Dos Santos tutoring.
“I am honored to be able to help people in need and to contribute to cultural awareness on a broader level,” she explains.
In her new diocesan role, Angelica will make available resources and information for parishes and parish leaders drawn to establishing or cultivating Latino ministries. This includes cultural education and information exchange across the diocese through workshops, site visits, etc. A seven-member Advisory Board for Episcopal Latino Ministries was recently formed to provide oversight and create benchmarks and goals for the venture.
“Latino ministry has been part of Bishop Hollerith’s vision since the beginning of his episcopate, and the Eastern Shore, with the largest percentage of Latino population is the logical place to begin our concentrated efforts,” said the Rev. Canon Jeunee Godsey, Diocese of Southern Virginia’s Canon for Congregational Development. “Angelica’s work incorporates what we learned through the Hispanic Ministry Conference last spring, and I believe we will see much spiritual fruit from this investment of our Mission and Ministry grant funds to support this venture. Our diocese is blessed to have Angelica offer her skills, gifts, and experience not only to grow the Latino ministry on the Eastern Shore, but also to serve as a resource to explore and expand Latino ministries throughout the diocese.”