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Goals for 2009-2012

Congregational Development

  • Charter 75 new Hispanic/Latino churches.
  • Form 500 new faith communities.
  • Accompany 100 congregations in the Congregational Mobilization Process to revitalize their ministries.

Immigration Ministry and Other Critical Social Issues

  • Develop new models of centers dealing with immigration and advocacy for many other critical social issues.
  • Strengthen our collaboration with Justice for Our Neighbors project.
  • Create and nurture national, regional, and local partner-ships and networks between local congregations and community-organizing grassroots groups.

Annual Conference and Local Church Strategy

  • Identify and train new lay and clergy leaders.
  • Enhance and develop Module III workshops and materials on new congregational development with emphasis on values, cultural needs, and socioeconomic realities.
  • Assist annual conferences in developing strategic plans focused on congregational and leadership development,immigration, and social justice and accompany these conferences on plan implementation and evaluation.

Leadership Formation Goals

  • Develop, implement, and evaluate at least one alternative model to the traditional seminary education for Hispanic/Latino pastors on the pathway to ordination.
  • Continue to equip lay missioners and pastor-mentor teams, facilitators, consultants, commissioned mission-aries, and other leaders, and to assist them in forming a network for mutual strengthening, updating, and cross-fertilization of ideas and models.
  • Identify, train, and deploy at least 50 commissioned missionaries to provide leadership with special focus on congregational development, conference accompaniment, and local church mobilization, including immigration and other critical social issues.
  • Train and equip conference committees on Hispanic/Latino ministries, conference staff, and other lay and clergy leaders according to priorities of the National Plan.

A Success Story

First United Methodist Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan
First United Methodist Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan, began reaching Latinos in its community through English and Spanish as a Second Language (ESL) classes, translation and transportation services, undocumented persons, referral se rv-ices and mentoring programs. The church also collaborated with University of Michigan Law School students to establish workers center. In partnership with community-based organizations, the church also provided a variety of services and cultural events and provided building space and secretarial support for a Latino theatre group.

The church not only used community ministries to attract Latinos, but also, through the work of a Latina lay missioner, formed a faith community. The Latina lay missioner coordinates all the church's ministries as a team with the senior pastor, a non-Hispanic/Latino person. The lay missioner has participated in Modules I and II of the Lay Missioner and Pastor-Mentor Team Training Program. Since 2004, the faith community has enabled the church to hold a worship service in Spanish every Sunday. The church has been revitalized and integrated its outreach program to Latinos as part of the local church's mission and ministry. Pastoral leadership that is bilingual in both English and Spanish is now required.