Imagine the number of people, leaders, pastors, and future pastors that one World Communion Sunday scholarship recipient will impact.
David Rangel grew up in a low-income neighborhood in Monterrey, Mexico. His family was a devoted Christian family. In fact, his parents came from a family that was lay leaders and raised pastors. Growing up he wanted to be a professional soccer player until he entered engineering school.
"As I look back, at the age of 15-years old is when I began to get involved in church. So much so, that my pastor began to call me "pastorcillo" (little pastor). I was the youth coordinator, the praise band leader, and later one of the young adult small group leaders. I graduated from the Engineering school in Monterrey and that same year undertook a mission trip to Dallas, TX to help a United Methodist church connect with its immediate community," said Rangel.
Although Rangel was involved in exciting and fruitful ministry, he felt the need to pursue advance theological training to hone his calling. But he did not have the financial resources to do so.
Rangel says, "It was the United Methodist Church that opened its doors for me to begin my pastorate as a local pastor.
Later, the church provided the financial support to become a permanent US resident so that I could attend seminary."
After graduating with a master's degree, Rangel wanted to continue with his doctorate studies. The General Board of Global Ministries supported his dream to pursue a Doctorate degree in Ministry through the World Communion Sunday leadership scholarship at Southern Methodist University (Perkins School of Theology).
"Through education, I have been able to grow as a leader, theologian, and overall as a disciple. Through the World Communion Sunday scholarship, I feel the unconditional support from people that I have never met. It had taught me what generosity can do in and for the Body of Christ."
Rangel's innovative ministry includes the development of the first Spanish-speaking multi-site model in the North Texas Conference and opened two campuses in his previous appointment; creation of Spanish language Leadership Institute and he produces a Spanish leadership podcast titled "Liderazgo y Estrategias Ministeriales" (Leadership and Ministry Strategies).
Presently, he is developing a coaching cohort for Spanish-speaking pastors and is part of the Hispanic Latino Planters Group that evaluates the work of the National Plan with the General Board of Discipleship Ministries.
"I want to support the effort of The United Methodist Church is doing in the Hispanic Latino area through my gifts, experience and education. I look forward to continuing helping Spanish-speaking congregations to explore multi-site ministry and to continue raising Hispanic Latino leaders/planters," said Rangel.
Rangel and many other World Communion Sunday scholarship recipients are impacting lives through your gifts to this Special Sunday offering. Please continue to give to World Communion Sunday offering today!
Elsie Cunningham, freelance writer, UMCom retiree, now living in Florida
One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, World Communion Sunday calls the church to reach out to all people and model diversity among God's children. The special offering provides World Communion Scholarships, the Ethnic Scholarship Program and the Ethnic In-Service Training Program.