GA-1909

GA-1909

 DISCIPLES WOMEN OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH (DISCIPLES OF CHRIST)
REV. DR. PATRICIA A. DONAHOO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
1099 NORTH MERIDIAN STEET, SUITE 700
INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46204
PH: 317-713-2663
E-MAIL: PDONAHOO@DHM.DISCIPLES.ORG

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Report to 2019 General Board and General Assembly

 

Disciples Women’s Ministries is a conduit for diverse connections empowering each woman to find her voice and live out her call.                                  Micah 6:8

Disciples Women are serving in ministry in various capacities. Women continue to try new ways of doing ministry and of being Disciples Women groups. Both the Executive Director and Program Director have keynoted, preached, led workshops, led international journeys, marched, served with, and/or gathered in conversation with regional women’s groups, justice groups, congregations general ministry partners, general cabinets, interregionals, trainings, Obra Hispana assembly, NAPAD assembly, National Convocation Assembly, regional assemblies and observances, ecumenical colleagues, Christian Theological Seminary, and both have attended training in the Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising training offered by Lilly and the Lake Institute. I attended a conference in Kupang, Indonesia in partnership with Global Ministries with churches and partners in the region faced with the challenges of widespread Human Trafficking issues.

We continue in close covenant with Disciples Home Missions and continue in anti-racism/pro-reconciliation efforts and training. We have a healthy partnership with HELM in sharing Lisa Hubbard as a Ministry Associate to provide full-time employment for her while handling both of our support needs.

Our Woman-to-Woman Worldwide (W2WW) program facilitates journeys to visit our global partners each year. In partnership with Global Ministries we prepare delegations for what they will encounter during journeys through study, training, and conversation. Since the last General Assembly, we have led delegations to India and Cuba in partnership and cooperation with Global Ministries and Global Ministries Initiatives. Next year the delegation will be going to Morocco followed by a journey to Southern Asia in 2020 as part of the new global ministry initiative focused there. Among other projects, last year’s delegation to India was excited and moved by the work being done to fight trafficking especially for the most vulnerable. The delegation was excited to fund a project that would provide training and support for 7-10 women to begin their own business to provide for their families and keep them safe from the dangers of poverty and trafficking. The $6,000 goal was reached through the generosity and enthusiasm of Disciples Women in the US and Canada.

In in its 10th year of publication, Just Women Magazine, the designated resource for Disciples Women has begun to publish the Bible study annually. The theme for 2019 is “The Church: Mission Possible”. Due to low subscriptions we discontinued the quarterly publication and are working to find ways to continue to communicate regularly with Disciples women across the continent. We have published our first e-newsletter and share information regularly through our app.

Because of generous donors to the Disciples Women Endowment Fund we offer grants twice a year for new and creative ministries by Disciples Women for the benefit of Disciples Women.  This is an opportunity to support innovative ideas that need a bit of seed money to begin or to support those serving in new ways that benefit women’s ministries.

Disciples Women continues to use #DWConnect as a means of better understanding the value of shared stories, resources, and concerns. Recognizing the strength of being connected to one another helps to provide for the needs of women throughout the United States and Canada. We will also be providing finger labyrinths to General Assembly attendees to encourage the development of spiritual disciplines and will label each with the woman’s name, congregation, and location to celebrate that Disciples women are serving in ministry far and wide.

New members for the Executive Committee began their terms in 2019. This is our first time with a President-Elect and staggered terms for members. We are excited about the help this will be in continuity of leadership.

Chesla Nickelson, program director and merger staff, continues to update and improve the Leader Apprentice Program (LAP) to continue to provide leadership training for women of color. Past graduates are now serving at all levels of the Disciples church. We are currently in the process of developing a similar program that will focus on young women, middle and high school age, to include not only leadership training but also financial responsibility, and body and personal agency. Chesla is also working on new volumes of our Wisdom of Women by interviewing women leaders to capture and share their wisdom.

Disciples Women have been invited to participate in the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women in 2019. Both the Executive Director and Program Director as well as the IDWM President will be part of the delegation.

Disciples Women continue to contribute to the whole mission of the church through their ministries and giving. We appreciate the covenant with DHM that continues to share funding from DMF. With our current funding we are unable to do the breadth of ministry we are called to do. We continue to explore ways to improve it. We have established a legacy fund in hopes that we can inspire women to participate in the ministry by remembering Disciples Women in their estate planning as well as provide gifts to an endowment fund to support the ministry into the future. We will be celebrating our 145th ‘birthday’ in 2019 and are hoping to celebrate it by encouraging Disciples to celebrate by giving monetary gifts to the ministry.

Respectfully,

Patricia A. Donahoo

Executive Director, Disciples Women

 

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.

GA-1726

(Operational, Policy and Organizational)

PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO
THE DESIGN OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH (DISCIPLES OF CHRIST:
CLARITY ON THE ROLE OF RACIAL AND ETHNIC MINISTRIES IN THE DESIGN

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WHEREAS, in January 2015, the National Hispanic and Bilingual Fellowship of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) through its Hispanic Board of Directors and the Pastoral Commission, submitted a letter to the General Board via the General Minister and President and current Moderator team, naming significant concerns related to the role of Obra Hispana in the life of the church; and

WHEREAS, the first concern expressed was a greater clarity regarding the racial/ethnic ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in paragraph 69 of The Design; and

WHEREAS, as called for in the letter, a Task Force on Hispanic Ministries was created to address the concerns detailed in the letter, through “dialogue, prayer and concrete action”; and

WHEREAS, at their December 2016 meeting, the Task Force drafted language to address their concern regarding paragraph 69 of The Design and submitted to the Governance Committee of the General Board; and

WHEREAS, the draft language was submitted to the Governance Committee of the General Board for editing and review before forwarding it on to the full General Board for approval; and

WHEREAS, the Governance Committee is charged with reviewing The Design and other governance documents for suggested changes and modifications;[1]

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the 2017 General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) meeting July 8-12, 2017, in Indianapolis, Indiana, approve the amendment to paragraph 69 of The Design of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as presented on the subsequent page.

General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

The General Board recommends that the General Assembly APPROVE GA-1726. (Discussion time: 12 minutes)

 

Original language:
Paragraph 69 of The Design
(rev. 07-2015) The life of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is blessed by the racial/ethnic ministries of the National Convocation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the National Hispanic and Bilingual Fellowship, the North American Pacific Asian Disciples, and other groups that may be recognized by the General Assembly. Where general ministries are called upon to serve the life of the church through reports and representation, these ministries shall be included.

 

 

 

 

Proposed New Language:
Paragraph 69 of The Design
(rev. 02-2017)

  1. The National Convocation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the National Hispanic and Bilingual Fellowship and the North American Pacific Asian Disciples witness to the diversity within the church. These ministries, with their unique historical relationships within the Christian Church and the rich cultural gifts they share, are empowered to speak to particular cultural contexts within the ecclesial needs of Disciples in the US and Canada and are charged with the development of their particular ministries.

These ministries make reports and are represented in places where general ministries are called upon to serve the life of the church through reports and representation. Their executive ministers shall serve in partnership and collaboration with regional ministers and other leadership groups throughout the church.

 

[1] General Board Standing Rules 6.2.5

GA-1702 Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries

GA-1702

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Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries
Lori Tapia, National Pastor for Hispanic Ministries
Mrs. Ivonne Martínez, Administrative Assistant
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

2017 Report

  1. 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.

The Board of National Hispanic Ministries approved three focus areas and a new identity statement at the 2016 board meeting. The focus areas are: IDENTITY, RESOURCES and CONNECTION.

Identity Statement

We, the Obra Hispana, belong to Jesus as one family, sharing our resources to grow together through our relationships.
 
An initiative to address these focus areas throughout 2017 has been adopted and will utilize social media, gatherings within the Hispanic Conventions and other event opportunities to share the message and increase awareness. The initiative is #laObraNOW.
 

II. Personnel

The CPOHM currently has two persons on staff: the National Pastor and an Administrative Assistant to assist, communicate, organize, and manage finances and programs to more than 170 Hispanic churches.

III. Members of the Pastoral Commission for Hispanic Ministries (2015-16)

The members of the Pastoral Commission for Hispanic Ministries are:

Joel Saucedo, Moderator, National Hispanic and Bilingual Fellowship (NHBF)
Servando Perález, Past Moderator, NHBF
Sammy Ramírez, Moderator Elect, NHBF
Bere Gil-Soto, First Vice-Moderator, NHBF
Lorna Hernández, Secretary, NHBF
Milly Semprit, Sub-Secretary, NHBF
Soriliz Rodriguez, Representative at Large, Pres. Nat. Hispanic Women Ministry
David Cortés, Representative at Large, Search Committee Chair
Vilson Hurtado, Moderator, SE Convention
Alicia Rodriguez, Representative, SE Convention
Rosy Ricart, Moderator, MW Convention
William Almodóvar, Representative, MW Convention
Myriam Soto, Moderator AZ Convention
Aurelio Lopez, Representative AZ Convention
Delmy Amaya, Moderator Pacific Convention
Pedro Valladarez, Representative Pacific Convention
Servando Peralez, Moderator SW Convention
Irene Escamilla, Representative SW Convention

General Board Representatives

Bill Rose-Hiem, Regional Minister, Greater Kansas City Region
Teresa Dulyea-Parker,Regional Minister,IL/WI Region
Dawn Robinette (excused), General Board Representative, Detroit, MI
Young Lan Kim, General Board Representative,Pacific Southwest
Héctor Velázquez, Representative of the Hispanic Board of Directors/Obra Hispana to the General Board

Ex-Officio Members

Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President, CC(DOC) in USA and Canada
Lori Tapia, National Pastor for Hispanic Ministries

IV. Theological Education

1.     CPOHM, in partnership with Lexington Theological Seminary, offered the Certificate in Hispanic Ministries Program from May 23-27, 2016. This program provides theological, biblical and ministerial training to men and women for leadership in Spanish speaking congregations. Courses in this program examine the 16 competencies as required by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as submitted by the GCOM. Over the duration of four consecutive summers to accommodate busy schedules, students will attend a five-day intensive training each year at Lexington Theological Seminary in Lexington, KY. Each course will be offered in Spanish, and students who successfully complete all 12 courses will earn a Certificate in Hispanic Ministries or CEU credit. While 2016 was the pilot of this program, 42 pastors and lay leaders from across the life of the Obra Hispana took the program to capacity, creating the need for a waiting list. This speaks to the desire of the Spanish speaking community to enhance ministry through theological education and reminds us of the scarcity of this valuable resource for the whole church. The following program was provided in 2016:

A. An Introduction to the Old Testament – Dr. Samuel Pagán

B. Preaching – Rev. Dr. Pablo A. Jiménez

C. Creative Worship – Pastor Liza Miranda

Director of Certificate in Hispanic Ministries: Dr. Pablo A. Jiménez

Promotion and Marketing: Rev. Vilson Hurtado, Moderator Southeast Hispanic Convention

Due to the high demand for the program, the capacity has increased to 70 students for the program to be offered June 5-9, 2017. The following program will be provided in 2017:

A. Theology- Dr. Lester McGrath

B. Evangelism & Mission- Rev. Eliezer Ronda

C. New Testament- Dr. Pablo Jiménez

2. The Southwest Hispanic Convention, with seed money from Brite offered a Summer Program. The following classes were offered on June 6-10, 2016:

A. Mission and Vision – Dr. Carlos Cardoza

B. Christian Ethics: Dr. Hugo Magallanes

C. Counseling and Pastoral Care – Rev. Dr. Luis Bernard

D. Disciples History – Dr. Carmelo Álvarez

3. The Certificate of Ministry Program (CMS) is another program joint effort with Disciples Seminary Foundation in Los Angeles and San Diego, California, offered in Spanish for the Commissioned Hispanic Pastors and Lay Leaders. Rev. Xosé Escamilla is the Director of the 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 the purpose of completing the educational requirements for licensed or 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. The purpose of CMS is, above all, to give its participants a basic theological framework for evaluating and developing knowledge for ministry and at the same time consider the contributions and knowledge that each person brings to the program. In 2016, approximately 30 students participated in the program.

We continue to seek out help from our Disciples partners in mission, envisioning the future of theological education in new and innovative ways for the Obra Hispana.

  1. CPOHM is committed to support M.Div. seminarians through scholarships. CPOHM provided $2,018 in scholarship support to 6 seminarians in 2016. Each seminarian under the care of a Commission on Ministry is granted +/- $40.00 per credit hour in an ATS Seminary as budget conditions permit. There are presently 7 Hispanic Seminarians studying in Disciples Seminaries and other ATS Seminaries where there is no Disciples Seminary presence.

The fruit of the emphasis on theological education is demonstrated in better equipped leaders for the local congregation. In the second half of 2016 alone, 4 Latino/a clergy were ordained, three of which are women. Additionally, in the first half of 2017, 3 additional Latina clergy women will be ordained, with at least two additional in fall of 2017.

 V. The CPOHM & the Church-at-Large

CPOHM supported and continues to support the goals and vision of our Church in the following:

  1. Mission First: CPOHM coordinated with the Hispanic Conventions to hold Mission Gatherings in each of the geographical areas. Gatherings were facilitated and offered in Spanish and/or a bilingual setting ensureing the voice of the Hispanic community was represented in this vital process for the future of our church.
  2. Pro-Reconciliation: The National Pastor is part of the Reconciliation Commission. Collaboration with the Reconciliation Ministry, five bilingual (Spanish/English) individual have been identified to receive anti-racism trainer training, 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. CPOHM has submit a proposal to the Reconciliation Ministry Commission to further this vital work across the life of the Obra Hispana.
  3. Immigration: The CPOHM recognizes the present times of unprecedented negative rhetoric against immigrant groups, documented and undocumented, produce fear, anxiety and uncertainty for a large number of Spanish speaking congregations and pastors. CPOHM is committed to building solidarity throughout the church and to provide support, resources, and protection and response models for immigrants and immigrant families facing separation due to deportation or detention. Partnership with the Refugee and Immigration Ministries and with Disciples Legal Counsel continue to empower and educate the Spanish speaking community and beyond to create safety nets for those in need. We denounce any administrative or congressional action that perpetuates the oppression and marginalization of undocumented immigrants and are committed to seek justice through advocacy and education.
  4. New Church: CPOHM supports the growing number of Hispanic new congregations and networking with New Church Ministries, supporting leadership academy and other efforts. Increased 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 Workshop. Additionally, support to local congregations who are experiencing difficulty has increased, and is a sign of the effects of a changing climate in which we live. Training and resourcing has increased in the areas of immigration and church administration.
  7. The Hispanic Assembly at Central Christian Church in Coral Gables, FL during July 14-16, 2016 was a success and for the first time in many years produced income for the CPOHM. The Assembly celebrated the ministry of the Rev. Dr. Huberto Pimentel for his 10 years of service to the Obra Hispana as National Pastor and witnessed the transition to leadership under an interim National Pastor, Lori Tapia, for a period of two years. The Rev. William Almodóvar served as the Interim National Hispanic Pastor from May 1st through July 16th, 2016 during the transition and the CPOHM is grateful for his leadership during this time.
  8. CPOHM is proud to be part of the Christian Churches Together (COCU) named Latino COCU. These are Executive Hispanic leaders from the Historical churches, Pentecostal churches, Catholic, Charismatic, and Independent Pentecostal leaders who gather to discuss issues of unity, immigration, younger generations, and poverty (Bread of the World is included). While the gathering in January 2017 was cancelled at the last minute, the work of this group to address the needs and fears of the undocumented immigrant community is moving forward with a plan for education, protection and advocacy.
  9. CPOHM strives to support clergy and pastors from the Spanish speaking community called by a congregation and has been working to build partnership at the regional level to accompany these minister through the process. This includes working with Search and Call to support ordained and commissioned ministers to better utilize this system, increasing the quality of applicants as access to background checks is available. Present efforts to provide access to the Search and Call system in Spanish in underway.

VI. Financial Statements

CPOHM finances are adminstered by the OGMP’s Finance Department. Presently the CPOHM is experiencing an increase in giving, and the Board of Hispanic Ministries has approved the investment of funds for a period of 3 years with Church Extension Fund.

VII. Conclusion

While CPOHM has undergone a transition in leadership, a solid and healthy leadership team is committed to moving the Obra Hispana into a new era that empowers, equips and connects the Hispanic community to eachother and to the greater church. We understand our vital contribution to the life of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and are committed to working to increase communication and connectivity within all expressions of the church.

In times of uncertainty as our country experiences a shift in leadership, it is necessary, now more than ever, for the Church to stand together in solidarity and as a voice for justice, equality and dignity for all people. The CPOHM is committed to remain an active and engaged partner and collaborator, listening and responding to the call of those in fear and pain, afflicted and oppressed, marginalized and overlooked, documented and undocumented; and to work together to share the love of Christ for all those in need. Somos Uno in the movement for wholeness in a fragmented world.

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The General Board has reviewed GA-1702 from the Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries. The report is submitted to the General Assembly for presentation and discussion. No action is required. (Discussion time: 12 minutes)

 

Special gatherings for racial/ethnic ministries

The Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries sponsored a Spanish-language service during the General Assembly which offered not only a worship experience but a chance to touch base and have the fellowship of the Table. The exhibit hall booth was a great place for friends from across North America to reconnect. This was National Pastor Huberto Pimentel’s last General Assembly before his April 2016 retirement.

Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries

The Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries sponsored a Spanish-language service during the General Assembly which offered not only a worship experience but a chance to touch base and have the fellowship of the Table. The exhibit hall booth was a great place for friends from across North America to reconnect. This was National Pastor Huberto Pimentel’s last General Assembly before his April 2016 retirement.

GA News Hispanic fellowship
National Convocation

National Convocation Heritage Dinner: The National Convocation dinner celebration featured inspired preaching by Georgia Regional Minister Rev. Denise Bell (center) and music by the Vernon Hairston Trio. Also pictured are Revs. Virzola Law and Delesslyn Kennebrew.

 

National Convocation Heritage Dinner: The National Convocation dinner celebration featured inspired preaching by Georgia Regional Minister Rev. Denise Bell (center) and music by the Vernon Hairston Trio. Also pictured are Revs. Virzola Law and Delesslyn Kennebrew.

 

 

 

North American Pacific/Asian Disciples

Special service: North American Pacific/Asian Disciples (NAPAD) invited members of the Sacred Hoop Native American Ministry congregation to a joint communion service for the two groups. Rev. Bill Running Wolf Davis (with stole) officiated assisted by Rev. Dr. Bill Blue Eagle McCutchen. More than 70 people attended the service on Sunday. Photos and information provided by Lynnette Li, director for communication and transformational ministries for NAPAD.

NAPAD-communion NAPAD-jointworshipsetting NAPAD-RunningWolf NAPAD-BlueEagle-PaulTche