Growth of Hispanic/Latino Ministries in Wisconsin
When I was appointed as a District Superintendent of Capital Coulee districts, two districts, in the year 2007, there were only two Hispanic ministries in the districts. Today, there are a total of eight Hispanic/Latino ministries. In 2007, there was not even a single ethnic ministry in Coulee district. Today, there are two ethnic ministries that are among Spanish speaking people. As solo ministry and mono culture are no longer the context for doing church ministry in the post-modern world and context, collaborative ministry and multi-cultural and multi-racial ministries are the need of the hour. Among the eight Hispanic ministries, six are within the multi-racial ministries. What does it mean? The existing European American congregations have prayerfully and strategically embraced people of all nations and races, specifically Spanish speaking neighbors. This has happened intentionally, following both the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Love God; Love people. There is great movement of existing churches that are passionate about reaching out to people of all nations and races. The Hispanic/Latino population continues to grow in the entire state of Wisconsin. For example, the town of Monroe has a Hispanic concentration of 3.6% in zip code 53566 but it increases to 4.6% within Monroe city limits. Another example, the city of Madison in zip code 53704, there is a Spanish speaking population of 7.8%. "Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love, show us how to serve the neighbors we have from you." This great hymn teaches us that neighbors, whoever they are, are wonderful gifts from God. Churches are called to serve them and bring them into a heathy relationship with God and to the community of faith. Thanks be to God!