Annual Conference Strategic, Comprehensive Plans for Hispanic/Latino-Latina Ministries
Whereas, God calls us to proclaim God's mighty acts (1 Peter 2:9) and to be good stewards of God's manifold grace, serving one another with whatever gift each has received (1 Peter 4:10), and to organize ourselves for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:7-13); and
Whereas, our United Methodist heritage integrates missional action with organizational support; and
Whereas, The Book of Discipline, 2004 declares that "the mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ by proclaiming the good news of God's grace and thus seeking the fulfillment of God's reign and realm in the world" (¶ 121), and that "each annual conference is responsible to focus and guide the mission and ministry of The United Methodist Church within its boundaries by envisioning the ministries necessary to live out the mission of the church in and through the annual conference; providing encouragement, coordination, and support for the ministries of nurture, outreach, and witness in districts and congregations for the transformation of the world; . . . developing and strengthening ethnic ministries, including ethnic local churches and concerns. . . . " (¶ 607); and
Whereas, according to the 2006 United States census analysis, nearly 67 million people of Hispanic origin (who may be of any race) would be added to the nation's population between 2000 and 2050. Their numbers are projected to grow from 35.6 million to 102.6 million, an increase of 188 percent. Their share of the nation's population would nearly double, from 12.6 percent to 24.4 percent. The US is the third largest Latino country in the world and Hispanics remain the largest minority group, with 44.3 million on July 1, 2006-14.8 percent of the total population. With a 3.4 percent increase between July 1, 2005, and July 1, 2006, Hispanics are the fastest-growing minority group; and
Whereas, these figures represent an undercount and do not reflect information about undocumented persons; and
Whereas, according to the General Board of Global Ministries Office of Research's analysis of the census data, every annual conference of The United Methodist Church in the United States has within its boundaries a growing Hispanic/Latino-Latina population; and
Whereas, for three quadrennia the General Conference has approved the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino-Latina Ministry as a mission initiative of the whole church, and it is a comprehensive plan of evangelization with Hispanic/Latino-Latina communities by the whole church; and
Whereas, in direct relationship to the implementation of the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino-Latina Ministry, 700 faith communities have been established in 52 conferences, 1,000 lay missioners have been equipped and deployed; 200 pastor mentors; 100 new Hispanic/Latino-Latina congregations have been started in 35 conferences; 100 existing Hispanic/Latino-Latina churches in 35 conferences have been strengthened; and 1,000 outreach ministries have been established in 52 conferences; 30 annual conferences have been developing a comprehensive plan; more than 50 Portuguese-speaking leaders have been trained; 5 new Portuguese-speaking leaders had been trained; 50 new consultants already trained; more than 600 non Hispanic/Latino leaders trained through the convocations; and
Whereas, according to the Office of the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino-Latina Ministry's estimates, the Hispanic/Latino-Latina membership in The United Methodist Church has increased by 40 percent from 2004 to 2008; and
Whereas, according to the Office of the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino-Latina Ministry's estimates, Hispanic/Latino-Latina persons represent less than 1 percent of the total membership of The United Methodist Church and Hispanic/Latino-Latina congregations represent approximately 1 percent of all United Methodist chartered churches; and
Whereas, these figures represent an undercount due to difficulties in reporting the number of Hispanic/Latino-Latina members in multicultural churches and non-Hispanic/Latino-Latina congregations, and the number of Hispanic/Latino-Latina congregations sharing facilities with other ethnic and cultural churches; and due to difficulties in the lack of reports from some Hispanic/Latino Latina congregations; and
Whereas, in spite of the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino-Latina Ministry and other missional efforts, advances and success in reaching the people group called Hispanic/Latino-Latina and the increased presence of Hispanic/Latino-Latina persons in the United Methodist connectional system, the people group in the United States called Hispanic/Latino-Latina represents a huge mission field,
Therefore, be it resolved, that by December 31, 2011, every annual conference in the United States shall develop a strategic, comprehensive plan for Hispanic/Latino-Latina ministries within its boundaries, and this plan will include, but not be limited to, socioeconomic, cultural, and religious analysis of the Hispanic/Latino-Latina communities that will be served; and strategies to strengthen existing Hispanic/Latino-Latina ministries and congregations, to start new ministries and congregations, to identify, equip, and deploy clergy and laity leaders, and to identify and deploy material and financial resources; and
Be it further resolved, that the Council of Bishops, the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino-Latina Ministry, the General Board of Discipleship and the General Board of Global Ministries ensure that the conference comprehensive plans are in place by the indicated date and provide support and consultation in the development of the plans.
REVISED AND READOPTED 2008
RESOLUTION #3222, 2008 BOOK OF RESOLUTIONS
RESOLUTION #29, 2004 BOOK OF RESOLUTIONS
See Social Principles, ¶¶ 161 and 162.
From The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church - 2012. Copyright © 2012 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.