GA-1905

GA-1905

CHURCH EXTENSION FINANCIAL & MISSIONAL RESOURCES, INC.
 Inclusive of Board of Church Extension
dba Disciples Church Extension Fund
Erick D. Reisinger, President
and
Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation
Gilberto Collazo, President

1099 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204
P.O. Box 7030, Indianapolis IN 46207-7030
Telephone (800) 274-1883; en español (866) 534-1949; FAX (317) 635-6534
Web sites: www.disciplescef.org; www.hopepmt.org
Email: info@disciplescef.org; info@hopepmt.org
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In 2018, Disciples Church Extension Fund (DCEF) and Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation (Hope Partnership), under the umbrella of Church Extension Financial & Missional Resources (CEFMR), partnered with Disciples in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rio and, in some cases, other Christian denominations throughout the U.S. and Canada to find new and innovative ways to transform communities through service-driven mission and ministry.

Congregational vitality and sustainability are, in part, the result of effective stewardship of capital and leadership resources. These are the missions of DCEF and Hope Partnership. Our ministries recognize that a church is much more than a building or a once-a-week service. At its best, it is a manifestation of the divine at work in the world, of people living the teachings of Jesus Christ and, through service and celebration, connecting both with God and neighbors. For this reason, our services and programs are focused on helping congregations look beyond themselves and their own immediate, internal concerns to the larger world and a future vision of the role they may play in transforming their communities.

In this way, the question most often asked by the local ministries with whom we partner evolves from “How do we survive?” to “Why do we exist?” Answering this different question, through collaboration with DCEF and Hope Partnership, has established new and enhanced existing mission and ministries wherever Disciples can be found.

Disciples Church Extension Fund

Disciples Church Extension Fund inspires and empowers congregations to create Holy Places where people connect with God, each other and their community.

Disciples Church Extension Fund is the primary Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) ministry that provides congregations with building planning and capital funding services. In part, this is done through loans for new construction, renovation, repair, accessibility improvements, “green” initiatives, special facility projects, relocation, and more. Our mission is to partner with congregations and ministries as they create, re-create, fund, and use/re-use their Holy Places (conventional or other, owned or not) as instruments for connecting with God; places to gather as Christians who are called to love and serve each other and their neighbors, inside and outside church walls.

Despite late year market volatility, 2018 was a year of generally positive financial trends for DCEF, including continued growth in the number of churches seeking loans for capital projects and purchases. This was the second consecutive year of such growth in loan demand and the second highest advance total in the last ten years. After deferring routine maintenance and delaying facility improvements for nearly a decade of recession in the U.S. economy, many congregations are now feeling more confident about the future. We anticipate this trend to continue. For this reason, DCEF will endeavor to significantly increase investor participation in 2019 so that we have the liquidity needed to fund the growing excitement of Disciples to reimagine and revitalize their Holy Places for mission and ministry.

DCEF offers investment opportunities to Disciples congregations and individuals at competitive interest rates through our demand and term Notes. Our investors benefit their Church by providing funds that allow us to make loans and provide capital services to Disciples ministries, and benefit themselves by earning good rates of return.

October of 2018 kicked off a year of commemoration for Disciples Church Extension Fund and its predecessor organizations as we began celebrating our 135th year of service. Back in 1883, at the 34th annual meeting of the American Christian Missionary Society, Convention Secretary Robert Moffett raised the issue of material aid to new churches. He said to those assembled there, “Your Board thinks it advisable to begin the creation of a fund, the principal of which shall be loaned on easy terms to such weak churches and mission stations as may stand in need of such aid.” Ultimately, the convention concurred and so began both the Church Extension Fund and its Board of Church Extension, now known as DCEF. In the intervening years, the fund has grown from $2,605 to more than $167 million; made more than 13,500 interest-free and interest-bearing loans; and, provided a total of more than $926 million in funds used to benefit churches and church-affiliated organizations.

Even more amazing, at age 135, DCEF continues to evolve to better deliver its ministry. Glendale Mission and Ministry Center of Glendale, AZ serves as a case in point and pilot program of established and new DCEF services. A collaborative vision of the former First Christian Church Glendale (FCCG), the Arizona Region, and Disciples Church Extension Fund, the center has worked creatively to help those in the Glendale community by enhancing established ministries and starting new ones. The congregation of FCCG voted to cease its worshipping ministry in the Fall of 2017, naming the Christian Church in Arizona as its successor and empowering its Chair of Trustees to negotiate its final desires, one of which was “to promote an outreach center at this location.”

DCEF is partnering with the Arizona Region to honor this request, helping to ensure that dedicated Disciples can continue to benefit their communities even if their congregations cannot. The building evaluation for the former First Christian Church Glendale was conducted in September 2017 by Disciples Church Extension Fund, which is now providing on-going property management for the facility.

Now, from its three-acre, five-building campus, Glendale Mission and Ministry Center serves more than 820 free lunches and distributes 110 emergency food bags and 60 hygiene kits, plus clothing, to the area’s poor and homeless each month. The center also supports various local non-profits with meeting and office space, houses a much-needed Head Start Program run by Catholic Charities, and provides a Holy Place of worship to three congregations who nest there including Iglesia Hispana de Glendale, and Iglesia de Cristo Sion which has used the space for 20 years. DCEF is very grateful to participate in this exceptional example of a mission-driven investment in a community for the good of its people.

Last year was also one of recovery for many Disciples congregations. In 2018, 15 congregations received immediate facilities assistance from a DCEF advisor through our Disaster Response Service after their buildings were damaged by natural disasters such as fire, flood, and hurricane. These congregations are located in eight states throughout the country including Florida, North & South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, and California.

Off-shore, recovery continues in Puerto Rico following the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017. Within weeks of that storm, DCEF President Rick Reisinger and Hope Partnership President Gilberto Collazo, a Puerto Rican native, flew into San Juan as participants in a meeting of the Joint Commission of US and Puerto Rican Disciples. Other Joint Commission members included General Minister and President Terri Hord Owens, Lori Tapia, Julia Brown-Karimu and Angel Rivera-Agusto. Representatives of other general ministries and Week of Compassion were also in attendance. All met with the leadership of Iglesia Cristiana (Discipulos de Cristo) en Puerto Rico, toured the island, and visited many of the church facilities as their damage was being assessed. This resulted in a $1,000,000 unsecured line of credit from DCEF for emergency repairs and rebuilding projects. In the year since, a great deal of progress has been made but much is left to do. For this reason, DCEF has committed to providing on-going support and partnership, including an additional $300,000 increase to the line of credit to cover more extensive damage than was originally assessed.

In addition to the preceding highlights, 2018 was a year of increased capital fundraising activity and increased loan participation among our ecumenical partners. Because the need to reimagine our Holy Places as evolving instruments of God’s work is not unique to Disciples congregations, DCEF has established and continues to enhance relationships with our ecumenical and para church partners. We all bring unique gifts to finding solutions to the capital planning and funding challenges of creating Holy Places where connections to God, each other and community occur. The church extension funds of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), The Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), and the United Church of Christ (UCC) represent some of the denominations that have come together with DCEF and Hope Partnership in 2018 to host and participate in ecumenical events. In these settings, congregational leaders explore creative ways to design and use our Holy Places for mission and transformational change.

Three DCEF services in particular are effective in helping congregations answer the question of how best to utilize their assets to empower mission and ministry:

  • Building Evaluation – This service sends an expert DCEF advisor or contractor with a background in facility and construction management to assess the condition of a congregation’s facility and to recommend a plan that addresses building condition, maintenance issues and requirements. By engaging church leadership throughout the evaluation process, this service teaches “Building Know How 101” so that each congregation will be able to internally recognize and address facility issues in the future.
  • Building Planning – Effective planning is essential to ensure that mission is driving the design, use, management, expenses, location, and even ownership status of our Holy Places. This service helps to ensure that a congregation’s overall facilities strategy is based primarily on building relationships and connecting with God, each other and community. The strategy often includes a ministry plan, developed in cooperation with Hope Partnership’s Mission Pathways service, which puts mission priorities at the center of any project to create, re-create or situate a Holy Place.
  • Capital Fundraising – With DCEF’s counsel, a congregation generates funds for special projects or needs, using processes that involve identifying a purpose/vision that relates to a church’s ministry; clearly defining and articulating the project/need and case for support; discerning the most effective fundraising methodology and sources of revenue for the need; developing themes, timelines and goals based on capacity; and, determining leadership responsibilities.

In addition, DCEF also offers services designed to help congregations with more specialized projects: Architectural Consultation is an advisory service provided by experienced church architects selected by DCEF, and Relocation Services assist congregations with relocating their ministry to a different venue.

This past year, our Advisors had more than 60 General Consultations with congregations; reached out to more than 350 local churches through the end of November; and, held 12 Shine Events to let our congregations know what services are available to them as part of DCEF’s ministry.

Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation

Hope Partnership empowers courageous leaders to guide the Church into life-giving expressions of ministry for this era of God’s mission.

Since its formation in 2012, Hope Partnership has been dedicated to achieving its goal of empowering and equipping clergy and lay leaders so that their congregations can be strengthened and the lives of people inside the church and out in the community can be transformed. Our services engage congregations in conversations of informed discernment that most often result in empowered churches offering community-transforming ministries. Whether by planting a new faith community or transforming an existing congregation, Disciples leaders are boldly guiding the Church to new possibilities for life-giving expressions of mission and ministry. Hope Partnership is called to walk alongside these courageous leaders by offering services and programming designed to train, nurture, and coach faith leaders. Hope Partnership is also the general ministry home to New Church Ministry and transformational leadership programming.

Over the past six years, Hope Partnership has served more than 1,300 congregations in the US and Canada. Utilizing feedback loops, data-monitoring and customer evaluation surveys, we are constantly improving our services so that congregations can more effectively make bold decisions and step out in faith to meet the needs of the evolving, real world.

For clergy and lay leaders in established church contexts, Hope Partnership’s transformational services offer training and support through proven procedures and protocols that promote conversations about future mission and vision. Congregations within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) have transformed their ministries and connected with their communities in new and innovative ways after engaging with Hope Partnership through these services:

New Beginnings – For the congregation that knows it can’t continue “as is” but doesn’t yet know what to do. More than 1,000 congregations have engaged in the New Beginnings process, with 99% finding clarity and embracing a new vision for their future ministry. This six-to-eight month process helps churches clarify their context, explore ministry options, and make an informed decision about their future missional direction.

Mission Pathways – For the congregation that wants to move forward and needs a plan. The Mission Pathways process shows congregations how to use the capital, relational, and spiritual assets they currently have to be a transformative force in their communities. During the approximately three-month, self-led process, church leaders identify current resources and create a road map for their future ministry plan.

Epiphany – For the congregation longing to become a transforming presence both inside and outside of their church walls. The Epiphany service is designed to help churches imagine, and then live into, a new vision for mission. During the one-plus year process, congregational leaders will shift the focus from “what” the church is doing to “why.” By finding clarity on why they exist, a congregation will discover innovative ways to do ministry to transform their community.

Because the need for leader development crosses denominational lines, as with DCEF, Hope Partnership has established and continues to enhance service relationships with a number of ecumenical partners, who now represent a growing portion of our services portfolio. In fact, 2018 has been a year of significant growth in this area and Hope now works with churches in the United Church of Christ, Presbyterian Church (USA),  Presbyterian Church (Canada), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Episcopal Church.

One innovation that developed in 2018 is a new ecumenical partners service offering called Mid-Level Judicatory, or The Partnership Option. It is a way for our ecumenical partners to utilize proven Hope Partnership resources with clusters of congregations within a Region/Conference/Synod. We provide the mid-level judicatory with infrastructure, training and administrative support for the delivery of our services to their congregations. Individuals from the mid-level judicatory offices are trained to work directly with their congregations as facilitators and coaches.

Combining aspects of the New Beginnings and Epiphany services described above, The Partnership Option guides groups of congregations through discernment that results in intentional decisions concerning “how” each congregation would like to re-develop (the New Beginnings service). It is anticipated that several of these congregations will then continue to work through elements of the Epiphany process engaging in coaching and additional services that support their plan implementation.

There are multiple advantages to this new service offering for both the ecumenical partner and for Hope Partnership. Unlike with our traditional transformational services in which Hope Partnership facilitates directly with the congregation, congregations benefit from a proven process provided by their own denomination’s representatives with The Partnership Option. In this way, the Region/Conference/Synod has more engagement with congregational successes and congregations see their denominational leadership as providing the service. In addition, as of this writing, Hope Partnership President Gilberto Collazo reports that he is in serious conversation with two Disciples of Christ Regions for Mid-Level Judicatory consideration in 2019.

We continue to work closely with our sister ministry Disciples Church Extension Fund whose Board of Directors recently approved a $100,000 contribution toward Hope Partnership’s operating costs in 2019. In addition, DCEF has allocated $85,000 of its 2019 budget for grants to qualifying Disciples congregations to cover up to 50% of the cost of Hope services, thereby making these proven transformational programs more accessible to the churches who need them most.

It is an exciting time for New Church Ministry which continues to be integral to the work of Hope Partnership, because the stewardship of leaders and developing congregations are at the center of the Disciples’ new church movement. Under the 2020 Vision, we have grown the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) family by welcoming many new and affiliated faith communities into the fold. Our partners in these communities are eager to answer God’s call to share the gospel in new ways and places. The 2018 Year Book & Directory reports an additional 14 new congregations ‘in formation’ through November, 2018.

A key tactic for growth is continued connection with our Regions/Areas. For this reason Terrell L. McTyer, the Minister for New Church Strategies, has visited 21 regions and participated in gatherings of the National Convocation, Obra Hispana and North American Pacific/Asian Disciples.

In addition, in 2018, Hope Partnership . . .

  • hosted the Coaching Academy in Indianapolis, IN May 17-19. The event brought together clergy and lay leaders to train a team of coaches to walk alongside the leaders/pastors of both new church and transformational church projects. The three-day event featured coaching demonstrations, in-depth training on coaching procedures and best practices, and educational sessions with keynote speaker Robert E. Logan. Logan is the founder of Logan Leadership and co-author with Sherilyn Carlton of Coaching 101: Discover the Power of Coaching.
  • conducted Leadership Academy in September which brought together 35 registered trailblazers from across the life of the church to share leadership experiences, wisdom, and training. Pastors, leaders and new church planters gathered to collaborate with colleagues in church development, including headliners like DOC General Minister and President Terri Hord Owens; Eric Law, Executive Director of the Kaleidoscope Institute; and Angela Whitenhill, Mental Health Initiative Manager of the National Benevolent Association.
  • continued to engage in strategic conversations with Regions and Areas, National Convocation, Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries, and North American Pacific/Asian Disciples about how we can work together to collaborate with new churches, often through coaching, to improve our 60+% new church sustainability rate (at the five year mark).

Through the Pentecost Offering, which benefits both New Church Ministry and regional new church work, Hope Partnership continues to encourage the wider Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to become more involved in supporting courageous new church planters, whose vision and energy are so vital to the future of God’s Church.

Moving forward

Looking ahead, the offices of Disciples Church Extension Fund and Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation are preparing to say ‘good-bye’ in 2019 to some long-term and highly valued partners in ministry. Ellen Mitchell, COO and Corporate Secretary for DCEF and Hope Partnership, will retire in March after nearly 39 years of service. Mary Beight, DCEF and Hope Partnership Vice President, Treasurer and Assistant Secretary, will retire in June, 2019 after an amazing half century of service. And, Rick Morse, Vice President, will retire this coming August following 18 years of serving both DCEF and Hope Partnership. Though we plan to give each a celebratory send-off, their dedication to mission and service will be sorely missed.

Still, Disciples Church Extension Fund and Hope Partnership remain committed to delivering our ministries in close collaboration with each other and with our Disciples of Christ partners, supporters and friends for the benefit of congregations currently struggling with a variety of issues. In 2019, we will continue to dedicate our various resources, expertise, perspectives and experience to live in the teachings of Jesus Christ and live out God’s call to help Disciples in the real world, in real ways – enabling congregations to thrive and communities to transform.

And, because this need to redefine and reimagine ministry opportunities is not unique to Disciples congregations, DCEF and Hope Partnership have expanded our exciting collaboration with five building funds that serve four of our closest ecumenical partner denominations, including The Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Under this new collaboration, each church extension fund will contribute financial and operational support to train and coordinate the expanded ecumenical network of assessors and facilitators needed to deliver transformational services to member churches. Continuing to grow in 2019, our transformational and capital services will now be available to a wider ecumenical network of congregations than ever before.

Living into our foundational calling as Disciples to let Christian unity be our polar star, Hope Partnership and DCEF are committed to collaborate with our ecumenical partners in this exciting and evolving way. However, we remain resolute, first and foremost, in our devotion to the principle of ‘Disciples helping Disciples’ wherever and whenever needed, today and tomorrow.

 

GA-1924

GA-1924

 RESOLUTION TO CELEBRATE THE FORMATION OF NEW CONGREGATIONS AND CONTINUE THE COLLECTIVE COMMITMENT TO MAKE DISCIPLES

 (Operational, Policy and Organizational)

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WHEREAS, throughout our history, the Stone-Campbell movement has been marked by courageous leaders called to create communities rooted in God’s mission; and

WHEREAS, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) embraced the challenge to form 1,000 congregations in 1,000 different ways pursuant to the 2020 Vision; and

WHEREAS, since 2001, bold Disciples leaders have answered this call by establishing new churches through organic and affiliating growth in the United States and Canada, and celebrate that according to New Church Ministries and Year Book and Directory data, more than 60 percent are still bearing Christ’s witness to the world five years after their inception; and

WHEREAS, the New Church Movement is a major contributor to the racial/ethnic diversity of the Church, as exemplified by at least 28 languages in which our congregations worship, demonstrating our commitment to affirm and advocate for our current and emerging racial/ethnic communities; and

WHEREAS, New Church Ministry partners with all the expressions of the Church to train, equip, assist and multiply New Church leaders as they guide new congregations in God’s mission; and

WHEREAS, it is through these partnerships, ongoing Pentecost Offering, financial stewardship, missional transformation and the faithful call and development of new leaders that Disciples continue to change the world; and

WHEREAS, it is through this cooperative spirit of support and prayer, and through the mighty courage and commitment of New Church leaders and their families, that the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) lives into the mandate of the Great Commission;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) meeting July 20-24, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa, celebrates the courageous New Church work accomplished; and

FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the formation of new congregations and faith communities continue to be a priority of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada beyond the year 2020 as we answer God’s call to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

New Church Ministry

 

___________________________________________________________________

The General Board recommends that the General Assembly ADOPT GA-1924. (Discussion Time: 12 minutes)

 

New Congregations and Faith Communities – 2017-2018

Abolition Christian Church DOC, Los Angeles, CA
Agape Center, Las Vegas, NV
Anew Church, Chicago, IL
Beloved of San Diego, San Diego, CA
Berth-A Safe Harbor for Healing, Long Beach, CA
Cabin Worship Center, Springfield, ME
Casa de Adoracion y Alabanza, Phoenix, AZ
Chalice Community Christian Church, Petersburg, VA
Christ Fellowship Community Church, Dallas, TX
Christian Restoration Outreach Centre Ministry, Plantation, FL
Church of the Possible, St Augustine, FL
Chuukese Christian Church, Humble, TX
Community Worship Center, Gardena, CA
Congregational Christian Church of Americankane, Spokane, WA
Eglise Parole de Vie/Word of Life Church, Joliette, QC Canada
First Pacific Islander Christian Church, Bismarck, ND
FISH 153, Corder, MO
Fred – A Community Get-Together, Aledo, TX
Free Spririt Christian Church, Ypsilanti, MI
Grace Community, Danville, VA
Green Life Church, Raytown, MO
Happy Christian Church, Northbrook, IL
Heavenly Gate Christian Church, Skokie, IL
Iglesia Cristiana-Nuevo Comienzo, Aniston, AL
Iglesia Nueva Vida, Riverside, CA
Journey Christian Church, Seattle, WA
Journey Church of Dallas, Richardson, TX
Jubilee Farms DOC/UCC, Decatur, IL
Kentucky Islander Christian Church, Independence, KY
La Nueva de Sion, Tyler, TX
Life Ministries, Los Angeles, CA
Maranatha Church, West Palm Beach, FL
Micronesian Gospel Church, Corsicana, TX
Ministerios Cosecha Final, Ontario, CA
Missio Dei Community, Santa Cruz, CA
MissionGathering, Issaquah, WA
MissionGathering, Pasadena, CA
MissionGathering, Thornton, CO
New Alliance Church, Port St Lucie, FL
New Evangelical Missionary Church of God, Miami, FL
Northwest Regional Christian Church, Arlington, WA
Nueva Comunidad Cristiana, Ocoee, FL
Pacific Islander Agape Church, Pensacola, FL
Pacific Outreach Christian Church, Boise, ID
Primera Iglesia Cristiana, Huntsville, AL
Q3 Faith Community, El Segundo, CA
Rome Disciples of Christ, Rome, GA
Schekinah Church, Miramar, FL
Somos Uno CC, Montreal, QC Canada
South Asian Ministries, Vernon Hills, IL
Tabernacle of Jesus Christ Middleburg, Orange Park, FL
Table of Grace, Chicago, IL
The Gathering, Dallas, TX
The Table Ministries, Oklahoma City, OK
The Turning Table, Crescent City, FL
To Be Love Community, Fort Wayne, IN
UCC/DOC of St. Augustine, St Augustine, FL
Victory Church, Wheeling, IL
Walking on Water Christian Church, Pasadena, CA
Wichita Christian Church, Wichita, KS

GA-1902

GA-1902

Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries
Rev. Lori Tapia, National Pastor for Hispanic Ministries
1099 N. Meridian St, Suite 700, P.O. Box 1986, Indianapolis, IN 46206-1986
Office: 317-713-2584, 2583 Fax: 317-635-3700
www.obrahispana.org

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I. Mission

The Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries’ (CPOHM) mission is threefold: to offer pastoral care to Hispanic ministers and congregations; to advice and counsel the different manifestations of our denomination about Hispanic Ministries; and to be an advocate for Hispanic people, congregations and their issues.

We, the Obra Hispana, belong to Jesus as one family, sharing our resources to grow together through our relationships. (revised identity statement, Dec. 2016)

 II. Personnel

The CPOHM has two persons on staff: the National Pastor and an Administrative Assistant to assist, communicate, organize, and manage finances and programs for the CPOHM and Hispanic churches.

III. Members of the Pastoral Commission for Hispanic Ministries (2018-19)

The members of the Pastoral Commission for Hispanic Ministries are:

Samuel Ramirez
Moderator, National Hispanic and Bilingual Fellowship (PSW)
Joel Saucedo
Past Moderator (SW)
Evangelina Perez
Moderator Elect (SW)
Israel Martinez
Vice-Moderator
Moderator, SC Convention
Rossy Ricart
Secretary
Moderator, MW Convention
Aurelio Lopez
Vice-Secretary
Moderator, AZ Convention
Soriliz Rodriguez
National Hispanic & Bilingual
Women’s Ministry President
Pamela Lira
Young Adult Representative
Isuí Vazquez
Youth Representative
Selena Reyes
Moderator, SE Convention
Vilson Hurtado
Representative, SE Convention 
Ruben Cruz
Representative, MW Convention

Karen Sarabia
Representative, AZ ConventionDelmy Amaya
Moderator, Pacific Convention
Pedro Valladarez
Representative, Pacific Convention
Jose Cisneros
Moderator, SW Convention
Isis Villaroel
Representative, SW Convention
Myriam Martinez
Representative, NE Convention
Chaim Rodriguez
Representative, NE Convention
Bernice Rivera
Moderator, NW Convention
Vacant
Representative, NW Convention
Rodolfo Acosta
Moderator, Central Convention
Jorge Vela
Representative, Central Convention
Vacant
Representative, SC Convention

General Board Representatives

Bill Rose-Heim
CRM- Regional Minister, GKC
Teresa Dulyea-Parker
CRM- Regional Minister,IL/WI
 Jackie Bunch
General Board Representative, Ohio
Judith Allen Dalton
General Board Representative, SW
Rogelio Martinez
Representative of the Hispanic Board of Directors/Obra Hispana Rep to the General Board

Ex-Officio Members

Teresa Hord-Owens
General Minister and President
CC(DOC) in USA and Canada
Lori Tapia
National Pastor
for Hispanic Ministries

IV. Future Vision

For the Obra Hispana, 2018 represented a historical moment with the election of the first female, first Mexican-American to serve as National Pastor. In addition, there are several historical moments that are vital to mention in this report to the General Board.

  • For more than a decade there have been six formally recognized Hispanic Conventions that are designed to provide support, fellowship and capacity building for the congregations located within these boundaries. The expansion of Hispanic ministries had created areas where these boundaries hindered participation for many. A realignment of these geographical lines to increase connectivity was approved at the 2018 National Hispanic Assembly, increasing this number to nine. The new Conventions are recognized as the Northwest Convention (Oregon and Washington), the Central Convention (Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska) and the South-Central Convention (Alabama, Northwest Florida, Tennessee and Georgia). Congregations in these areas are encouraged to connect in the new geographical area, but also to remain connected in the former as possible.
  • A revision to the Constitution restructured the elected membership to include a young adult representative (19-29) and a youth representative (16-18) as members with voice and vote. Additionally, the President of the National Hispanic and Bilingual Women’s Ministry was on the board in an unofficially named capacity as an at-large member and this revision placed this position as a formal (not at-large) member with voice and vote. These changes came into effect and were a positive contribution to the December 2018 annual board meeting.
  • To enhance the programming of the Obra Hispana, three new ad-hoc committees were developed at the December 2018 board meeting through of the CPOHM. Historically, Finanance, Personnel and Assembly Program Planning, have been the recognized sub-committees and the inclusion of these additional committees will enhance and strengthen the ministry of the Obra Hispana at the local, regional and general levels. These committees will be referred to the 2020 Hispanic Assembly for formal inclusion in the constitution as standing committee. New committees are: 1) Education, 2) New Church, and 3) Marketing.

Each of these areas are in alignment with the five priorities set by the National Pastor and approved by the Board and Pastoral Commission in December 2018. The five priorities are: 1) Pastoral Care, 2) Education and Capacity Building, 3) Youth and Young Adult Leadership Development, 4) Development of Contextual Resources, and 5) Branding for Strengthened Identity.

 V. Theological Education

The CPOHM is committed to increased access to quality theological education, which is accessible, affordable and relevant to the multi-cultural needs of the Obra Hispana in all its expressions. The Obra Hispana continue to focus on strengthening our present programs, while continuing to find ways to expand through new and innovative partnerships and by utilizing the gifts of members of the Obra with more intentionality.

While there are additional streams to capacity building and theological education, three programs provide structured theological education opportunities:

Disciples Seminary Foundation:

Certificate of Ministry Studies Program (CMS) is an intensive, two year program offered in Claremont and San Diego, California, and in 2018 expanded to Portland, OR. Students are engaged in continuous learning, and weekend intensive courses which are all offered in Spanish. The program is recognized by the PSWR as a high level educational opportunity and partnership with CST provides pathways to seminary for graduates of this certificate program. The Certificate of Ministerial Studies (“CMS”) is designed for adults who are interested in an introduction to the kind of studies found in seminary and is for recognized for completing the educational requirements for commissioned ministry, learning more about advanced theological education, enrichment for lay leaders, or any combination of reasons. CMS is a unique program focused on contextual learning for ministry today. Part of the richness of the CMS is that individuals bring their personal experiences and/or professional considerations to the program. An average of 60-70 students attend annually.

Diploma of Ministry Studies Program (DMS), implemented in 2018 to offer extended education beyond the CMS program, is designed for people who are interested in seminary level studies of the Bible, Theology, and Ministry and have already completed the Certificate of Ministry Studies Program (CMS). This program is ideal for commissioned or licensed minister, or a lay leader who wants to learn more about the Bible, Theology and Ministry. All CMS graduates, and anyone who has completed college level study or other Biblical studies and want to continue their education in a program that offers seminary quality classes should consider this program.

Lexington Theological Seminary:

Certificate in Hispanic Ministries Program provides theological, biblical and ministerial training to men and women for leadership in Spanish speaking and bilingual Hispanic congregations. The program is co-sponsored by the Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries and courses in this program examine the 16 competencies as required by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as submitted by the GCOM. To accommodate the heavy schedules of clergy and lay leaders already serving, students attend a week long intensive training, covering three courses, once a year for four years. Each course is offered in Spanish, and students who successfully complete all 12 courses will earn a Certificate in Hispanic Ministries or CEU credit. 2016 was the pilot of this program with 42 pastors and lay leaders from across the life of the Obra Hispana attending. In 2019, over 30 individuals will become the first graduating class, witnessing the desire of the Spanish speaking community to enhance ministry through theological education and yet, this reminds us of the scarcity of this valuable resource for the whole church. Evaluation of the four year pilot program are presently undergoing and the program will be adapted to a two year, continuous learning program in the fall of 2019.

LTS Certificate 2019 program dates: June 3-7

Courses: Church Administration, Christian Ethics, Diversity in a Global World

Southwest Hispanic Convention:

Continuing Education Summer Program provides access to continuing education and growth opportunities for pastors and lay leaders in an intensive, week-long summer program held in partnership with Brite Divinity School. This program is for recognized by the Southwest Region for completing the educational requirements for commissioned ministry and is designed to meet the 16 competencies, as well as providing opportunities for learning more about advanced theological education, enrichment for lay leaders, and capacity building for a vital church.

2018 program dates: June 17-21

Escuela de Formación Ministerial (School of Ministerial Formation)

This program is designed to expose pastors and lay leaders to quality theological education, ministry formation and faith development in a three year (2 semesters per year), three level program that equips students to meet the 16 competencies of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). This Institute is registered with the State of Texas, and is recognized by the region and the convention. Each year an average of 25 new students begin the program.

CPOHM is determined to seek out help from our Disciples partners in mission, as we envision the future of theological education in new ways for the Obra Hispana and beyond. In collaboration with AETH (Association for Hispanic Theological Education) we are moving to have the above programs recognized and accredited in the near future.

SCHOLARSHIPS

The Domingo Rodriguez Permanent Fund provides support for scholarships for students seeking an M.Div from an ATS Seminary. The increased access to certificate and other programs has directly impacted the number of students seeking formal seminary education. In 2017, 7 Latinx students were awarded scholarships, while in 2018 this number doubled with new students requesting support for the Spring 2019 semester.

Hispanic ministries recognized the need to equip and prepare quality Latino and Latina ministers, not only for Spanish speaking and bilingual Hispanic context congregational ministry, but for the whole Church.

VI. The CPOHM & the Church-at-Large

Over the past several years, the rapidly changing climate of society has created a need to focus on advocacy, education and awareness beyond what the “norm” was for the Hispanic community of faith. Dialogue around politics, the ins and outs of our legislative systems, immigration reform, racism and more, were not the focus of most sermons and teachings. The need to engage and support has led the work of CPOHM into new and diverse relationship and partnership throughout the Church. Difficult circumstances related to the ongoing immigration crisis, violence and hate crimes, increased mental health issues, and more, has led CPOHM to increased advocacy and outreach. Below are some ways CPOHM has furthered the priorities our Church:

 

  1. Pro-Reconciliation: The National Pastor is part of the Reconciliation Commission. Collaboration with the Reconciliation Ministry, bilingual and bi-cultural (Spanish/English) individuals have been trained as anti-racism trainers/facilitators, increasing the opportunity for the Spanish speaking community to engage in rich and in-depth discussion around racism and create systemic change through increased awareness. This will additionally facilitate anti-racism training requirement for Spanish speaking clergy who are within regions that are unable to provide this resource. The number of Latinx clergy and lay leaders who have     been exposed to training has more than doubled over the past two years and this is expected to continue.   Anti-racism training has been an integral component to the #laObraNOW Young Adult Leadership  Experiences held in 2018, and will continue moving forward.

 

  1. New Church: CPOHM supports the growing number of Hispanic new congregations and networking with New Church Ministries, supporting leadership academy and other efforts. Formal relationship with the College of Regional Ministers continues to foster a spirit of collaboration when working with new church development. The CPOHM emphasizes the importance of partnership in supporting new church starts into relationship with the convención, region and Obra Hispana. Over the past two years, at least 4 new church starts have launched, with 7 more actively engaged in the pre-process.

 

  1. Transforming congregations: The different educational ventures of the CPOHM seek to empower and transform our existing congregations, particularly by helping our ministers to be better pastoral leaders. Increased access to training and resources in Spanish will continue to enhance the life of the church.

 

  1. Forming and reforming leadership: CPOHM continues its emphasis on leadership development. CPOHM also organizes and resources ministerial retreats, workshops and assemblies for Latino and Latina ministers. Many of these workshops and seminars take place during Hispanic Convention Assemblies and others during pastoral visits from the National Pastor where some Hispanic churches gather for a Saturday Additionally, support to local congregations who are experiencing difficulties continues the rise, and is a sign of the effects of a changing climate in which we live. Training and resourcing remains in high demand in the areas of immigration, healthy boundaries/ethics, leadership development and church administration.

 

  1. Ecumenical: The National Pastor is engaged in the ecumenical work of Christian Churches Together, with a leadership role in the Hispanic Network of CCT. These are Executive Hispanic leaders from the Historical Protestant, Evangelical, Catholic, Charismatic, Pentecostal churches, and Independent leaders who gather to discuss issues of unity, immigration, younger generations, poverty and more. Additionally, through Advocacy efforts on poverty, equality and immigration, increased ecumenical participation with other entities.

 

VII. Financial Statements

CPOHM finances are managed by the OGMP’s Treasury Services and has been positive and has fostered increased understanding of the fiscal position of the CPOHM. Year-end 2018 financial statements demonstrate an increase in giving from the local congregation, individual and others. The Obra Hispana continues to experience growth relationally and this in turn is reflected financially. We continue to invest for future viability of the Obra Hispana and hold funds with both Christian Church Foundation and Church Extension.

VIII. Conclusion

CPOHM is committed to serve the growing Hispanic Disciples constituency. Our strengthen identity has fostered enhanced connection and this has energized Hispanic ministry at the local, regional and general level. Strengthened relationship in and among the Hispanic community, and across the expressions has enabled the CPOHM to better serve our Church.

 

Recommended Action

 

The General Board receives this report from the Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries and forwards it to the 2019 General Assembly for consideration and discussion.