Singing “Amazing Grace” in English

This column was published on UPI’s Religion and Spirituality Forum on April 23, 2007.

I used to speak Spanish.

In high school I was an exchange student in the Dominican Republic, where I learned to dance merengue, drink rum, and talk baseball with an Antillean accent. In college I worked with Salvadoran refugees in San Francisco’s Mission District and I read un-translated Latin American poetry for fun. As a clergyman, I helped to draft the bilingual rules of cooperation between the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico.

But today the language of Sammy Sosa and Sor Juana Ynez de la Cruz doesn’t come as easily to me as once it did. Continue reading