A conversation between PA Family’s Kurt Weaver and Robert Albino
It has been two years since PA Family Institute launched a new initiative called the Church Ambassador Network in PA, with the mission of building relationships between the shepherds of the church and those serving in civil government as instituted by God. Director Kurt Weaver has been connecting with pastors from all across Pennsylvania. He has helped coordinate over 100 meetings with legislators, encouraging pastors to care for each individual as a person and leader and finding ways to partner with them in serving their community.
New to the staff of the Church Ambassador Network is Robert Albino, who has served at length in the Eastern PA region in part of the state’s growing Latino community. Kurt sat down with Robert to discuss the road ahead for the Church Ambassador Network:
Kurt Weaver (KW): Robert, what is it about the Church Ambassador Network that drew you to joining this initiative?
Robert Albino (RA): What drew me to this outstanding initiative was the unique opportunity the Church Ambassador Network provides to connect with pastors and faith leaders all over the state. We can allow what unites us, the Gospel, to create and build better relationships with our lawmakers and community leaders.
KW: One of the fastest growing population groups in Pennsylvania is Hispanic and Latino residents. Pennsylvania is now home to over one million Hispanics and Latinos, up nearly 50% from ten years ago, according to the 2020 Census. How is this large growth in the Latino community impacting Pennsylvania communities?
RA: The large growth of the Latino community is a key aspect to the economical and cultural advancement of our state and country. We’re seeing this influence in a variety of areas. For example, in Allentown, the majority of the residents (54%) are Latino and the city just elected their first Latino mayor as well as welcomed their first Latino police chief.
At a time where morality and family values are under attack, the Latino community can be a staple for conservative and family values in all of our communities.
KW: This population growth of Latino residents was seen in nearly every county in Pennsylvania. When it comes to connecting the Latino community and leaders in local and state government, what are some of the hurdles that you expect we will have to address?
RA: Every intent to highlight what is true and steer the narrative away from falsehoods is going to experience pushback. Our goal is to educate and empower with the Gospel first and then the truth about the current state of our world around us. Our belief is the Latino community as a whole will step up to the call of truth that will inherently affect our families and communities.
KW: I know you and I both share in the excitement for what is being planned in 2022 with the Church Ambassador Network. Would you share some of those plans for engaging the Latino Community with our network?
RA: Some of the plans for 2022 are coordinating connection meetings where pastors and faith leaders can come together and share initiatives and ideas. We also want to provide support and resources to more pastors and leaders that will highlight the need to connect and engage with our government leaders.
KW: How can folks pray for your new role and this new effort?
RA: Pray that the Church Ambassador Network will impact our Latino church and legislative communities with the truth of the Gospel and that God would use us to stir the hearts of those who are bound in confusion and falsehoods to an understanding of the truth found in the Good news of Jesus Christ.
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Robert Albino is the Outreach Coordinator for the Church Ambassador Network. He brings 15 years of ministry experience within the Latino community, having served as a worship leader and pastors assistant.
Kurt Weaver is the Director of the Church Ambassador Network and the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Pennsylvania Family Institute.