Training Church Leaders
Pastoral Training in Coastal Colombia
In the Medellin area of coastal Colombia, Methodists are working among impoverished communities that have suffered the abuse of militias, drug lords, and guerrilla warfare for years. Most of the people in these communities are racial/ethnic minorities and are particularly vulnerable.
Global Ministries partners with the Colombian Methodist Church to provide pastoral training for leaders in this region to equip them for service. The training is culturally relevant and includes instruction in the history and theology of Methodism. This investment in leadership is greatly responsible for the planting of 18 new congregations in recent years.
A second phase of the work involves lay leadership development. The Colombian Methodist Church has close ties to the Rio Grande Annual Conference in Texas and to the Council of Evangelical Methodist Churches in Latin America and the Caribbean (CIEMAL). The United Church of Canada, which includes former Canadian Methodists, is also a partner in the leadership development program.
Photo: Methodist Bishop Juan Alberto Cardona of Colombia describes the church in his country during the Panama consultation of The United Methodist Church and autonomous Methodist churches of Latin America and the Caribbean. Participants in the March 1-4 consultation met in Panama City, Panama, and discussed the relationship between the denomination and independent Methodist churches in Latin America and the Caribbean. A UMNS photo by Larry Nelson.