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Thursday September 24th 2020

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Compassionate Duo Artfully Planting and Giving for Tomorrow: Pastors Luisa and Patrick Retire

By CHRISTINE LEEHEY, BART BUCH, SANDY SPIELER, SUE HUNTER WEIR

Pastors Luisa and Patrick Cabello Hansel. Photo: Lowell Hanson, 2014

Poetic Art & Artful Poetry
By CHRISTINE LEEHEY
“Pastors Patrick and Luisa Cabello Hansel have served St Paul’s Lutheran Faith Community for 15 years. Their art and poetry talents were gifts, to us and the community.”

Pastors Patrick and Luisa Cabello Hansel have been serving the Faith Community at St Paul’s Lutheran Church (2742 15th Ave.) in Phillips for 15 years. Their talents in art and poetry have been tremendous gifts, not only to us but to the community as well.

Pastor Patrick’s skilled verse has meant that our members have benefited from a personal, relevant and meaningful sermon every Sunday for 15 years. Pastora Luisa’s mosaic artistry adorns the Sanctuary and the 28th Ave Peace Garden.

In addition, they have helped St Paul’s transform into a diverse community that serves its neighbors though invitations to programs and events and access to free health care through two clinics housed within our building.
We have been truly blessed from their time with us. We pray that their next chapter in life is filled with continued opportunities to share their gifts with others!

Christine Leehey is St. Paul’s Church Council President.

Plantings Forever
By BART BUCH
“Everywhere I go, I see Luisa and Patrick–as artists and directors of Semilla Center for Healing and the Arts. They planted many semillas we will see long after their retirement.”

Luisa and Patrick Cabello Hansel Puppets by Bart Buch. Photo: BRUCE SILCOX

Everywhere I go in my neighborhood, I see my neighbors, Luisa and Patrick Cabello Hansel. They get around. Through their work as artists and directors of the Semilla Center for Healing and the Arts and Co-Pastors of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, I see many creations initiated and led by them. I see the mosaics on walls, trash cans, and planters they and partners have created. I see the plants, flowers and gardens they have planted with neighbors. I see the words of poetry from youth with whom they worked— on utility poles. I see the young leaders they have trained. I see photos and words of neighbors in their neighborhood literary magazine, “The Phoenix of Phillips.” I see reminders of the posadas, marches, and meditative blessing walks for peace, justice, beauty, and compassion. I know they have led and co-created much more beauty, healing and connection in this place than any of us can see. They are believers, in you, in me, in us, in each other, in this place, in the world. They have helped me believe more in all these things, too. They have planted many, many semillas and we will continue to see these seeds and fruits and flowers and trees and connections multiply long after their upcoming retirement. They knew that. They’re smart. Thank you!! Thank you a thousand times, Patrick and Luisa, for your belief, your beauty, and the bounty that you have left us. I promise to tend, reap, share and replant what you have sowed.

Compassionate Duo
By Sandy Spieler
“They retire June 15th, yet their influence will live on in Phillips Comunity, regional Faith Communities, and in my own life.”

Luisa and Patrick’s influence will live on in the East Phillips Neighborhood, in the regional organizations of Ecumenical Faith Communities, and in my own life.

“My preaching outfit, Easter Sunday Covid-19. Ha!” says Patrick. Photo: YOUTH PHOTOGRAPHERS, SEMILLA CENTER

Our first meeting was quirky. Within months of their arrival to East Phillips, Patrick found me in the E. Lake Street Target parking lot. He called out to me, “Sandy Spieler! I know YOU, but you don’t know ME. This is my wife Luisa. Let’s work together!” Indeed, we were now neighbors working 2 blocks apart on 15th Ave. They at St Paul’s, and I at In the Heart of the Beast Theatre. Patrick reminded me that our paths had crossed in 1976 in Washington DC for the culmination of the Continental Walk for Disarmament and Social Justice when Patrick helped to carry puppets. Wow!

Ours was an easy, instant connection because of their welcoming warmth and humor. I recognized they shared my intrinsic understanding of how Art prods Spiritual discovery and how Spiritual quandaries fuel Artistic expression and Social Action. Together, in 2006, we built a team from the Church and from the Theatre to create and enact La Natividad(https://sandyspieler.com/la-natividad/) enacting this on the streets of the neighborhood six times through 2016. Even though I understand very little Spanish, I love the Spanish speaking and bi-lingual congregation that gathers young and old, and became a member of the church.

Semilla Center grew naturally from the church with faith that LOVE planted like a SEED will flourish in unexpected ways. Their contributions to Semilla are hefty, with Luisa’s outreach on Mosaics and Visual Arts, and Patrick’s on Literary Arts.The Semillas (seeds) have blossomed, evidenced by the many mosaics enlivening the region, neighbor’s words and photographs for The Phoenix of Phillips magazine, surprise poems on lampposts, lantern processions lighting the night, and mentoring and encouragement of Youth.
Underneath all of this, they are ministers—each a counselor of deep insight—who have ministered and advocated for those of us seeking guidance and inspiration. They are a dynamic duo of Compassion, and I thank them with every ounce of my energy for what they have shared with our neighborhood, and with my own life. So much gratitude and love for you, Luisa and Patrick!

Giving Joy
By SUE HUNTER WEIR
“At the heart is their pursuit of social justice and advocacy for voices are not always heard. They gave joy to my 99 yr old mother. There is no greater gift than that.”

I first remember seeing Patrick at one of the early Green Tomato Festivals which were held to celebrate Phillips’ many community gardens. It turned into an annual event and friendly competition—who was going to win the blue ribbon in one of three categories or, better yet, Best in Show. I’ve lost track of who won the most ribbons, but have not forgotten the fun it was.
Patrick and Luisa have supported so many community activities—“the alley” Newspaper, Friends of the Cemetery, In the Heart of the Beast Theatre, community gardening, a community clinic, and, of course, the Semilla Project and Young Leaders Program—that touch on almost every aspect of life in Phillips.They have made beautiful art with young and old. At the heart of it all is their pursuit of social justice and their advocacy for those whose voices are not always heard.

I have a more personal reason to be grateful, as well. During the last months of my 99-year-old mother’s life, Patrick visited her and prayed with her. One week before she died he showed up at her door with three angels (kids from St. Paul’s complete with halos). They brought her small gifts, sang for her, and prayed with her. They gave her joy. There is no greater gift than that.

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