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Rev. Jaime Joel Farias

2022-10-13 18:19:40
Sounds very interesting. I'd like to know more about Hispanic ministries vision and development.
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Bob

2022-10-13 17:07:42
Yes. In 2019 my annual conference clergy delegate election for general/jurisdictional conference elected 0 Hispanic/Latino clergy, although the most successful overall new church plants and church growth was Hispanic. The fact that our pastors held a traditional view of marriage led to their exclusion. That MUST change. Electing delegations where all are native English speakers is not right.
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Emma Leyva

2022-10-04 22:08:44
Register at: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_XWGZv4_FTMeRN-DmnnzZLA
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Lori L. Reyes

2022-10-04 15:32:58
Is there a registration link?
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Webmaster

2022-10-03 17:47:00
This is the link with the registration information RecursosMU.org/SomosMetodistasUnidxs
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Frank Ramos

2022-10-03 10:09:29
I am glad to see public information in Spanish and Portuguese!
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Bishop Minerva G. Carcano

2022-10-01 20:14:33
How does one pre-register for this webinar?
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Rev. Cruz Edwin Santos

2022-09-30 21:26:23
Great article!
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Jose Pedro

2022-02-15 01:48:51
no puedo subir las otras fotos, hicimos un trabajo de grupo en el cual todos participamos. Norma M. Betancourt Celia Fernandez Elisa Valencia Jose Pedro Cervantes
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Oscar

2021-10-28 22:45:24
Bendiciones hermano disculpe me equivoque de trabajo el primero no es El que le mande en un link es el verdadero esta bien gracias y bendiciones
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Oscar

2021-10-28 22:43:34
https://linksharing.samsungcloud.com/9xtaYnBdA0KD
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BCADILLO

2021-03-20 02:21:19
En los tiempos de Wesley, Gran Bretaña vivía en extremos sociales, con promiscuidad, abusos, enfermedades y pestilencias. La pobreza diezmaba la población, donde niños y huérfanos vivían en las calles en total estado de indigencia. Un grupo de personas sensibles a la situación vislumbró la necesidad de llevar a las calles la función de la Iglesia, es decir, pastorear a los necesitados, atendiendo a las personas y ocupándose de ellas. En junio de 1720, Wesley ingresó a Christ Church, Oxford, graduándose cuatro años después. Fue ordenado diácono el 25 de septiembre de 1725; las órdenes sagradas son un paso necesario para convertirse en compañero y tutor en la universidad. La Iglesia Metodista Unida fue creada en 1968, pero el metodismo se originó con Juan y Carlos Wesley quienes diseminaron el movimiento metodista que empezaron en Oxford como un grupo pequeño de estudiantes. Durante esa misma época, Philip Otterbein y Martin Boehm dirigían movimientos similares que ayudaban a que la gente creciera en la fe. Tiempo después, estas dos ramas del cristianismo se unieron para formar la Iglesia Metodista Unida. 1. JUAN WESLEY ESCRIBIÓ UNO DE LOS TEXTOS MÉDICOS MÁS VENDIDOS DE TODOS LOS TIEMPOS. Wesley estaba profundamente convencido de que Dios se preocupa por nuestra vida terrenal así como por nuestra vida celestial. Con ese fin, escribió un texto médico para la persona común titulado Primitive Physick. 2 '- JUAN WESLEY CABALGÓ LO SUFICIENTEMENTE LEJOS COMO PARA DAR 10 VUELTAS ALREDEDOR DE LA TIERRA. ¡Wesley recorrió 250.000 millas! Estaba convencido de que era importante para él personalmente difundir el evangelio a través de las relaciones y continuar creciendo más cerca de Dios en esas relaciones. Cuando se le preguntó si consideraría caminar en lugar de montar a caballo, respondió: "No". 3 - WESLEY TENÍA DUDAS SOBRE SU FE. Cuestionar la fe de uno no debe ser menospreciado. Las dudas son esenciales para hacer propio cualquier sistema de creencias. No significan que uno lo va a dejar pasar. De hecho, mientras Wesley luchaba con profundas dudas sobre la fe, siguió la sabia instrucción de un mentor que le dijo que "predicara la fe hasta que la tengas; y entonces, porque la tienes, predicarás la fe". Incluso mientras luchamos, podemos mantenernos aferrados a las verdades que cuestionamos hasta que podamos resolver todas nuestras dudas. 4 - A PALABRA "METODISTA" ERA ORIGINALMENTE UN TÉRMINO DESPECTIVO. Aunque los orígenes del término "metodista" están en disputa, es claro que fue usado originalmente por extraños para burlarse de Juan Wesley y sus primeras sociedades debido a su dedicación a seguir un método para acercarse cada vez más a Dios. Terminaron aceptando el término, considerándolo un descriptor positivo de su movimiento. ¡Así se hace, metodistas! 5 - EL METODISMO CRECIÓ DE CUATRO MIEMBROS A 132,000 MIEMBROS EN LA VIDA DE WESLEY. El comienzo del metodismo fue un grupo de cuatro que se llamaban a sí mismos el "club santo" de Oxford. Cuando Wesley murió en 1791, dejó atrás un movimiento con 72.000 miembros en las Islas Británicas y 60.000 en América.
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RCRUZ

2021-03-20 02:09:21
En los tiempos de Wesley, Gran Bretaña vivía en extremos sociales, con promiscuidad, abusos, enfermedades y pestilencias. La pobreza diezmaba la población, donde niños y huérfanos vivían en las calles en total estado de indigencia. Un grupo de personas sensibles a la situación vislumbró la necesidad de llevar a las calles la función de la Iglesia, es decir, pastorear a los necesitados, atendiendo a las personas y ocupándose de ellas. En junio de 1720, Wesley ingresó a Christ Church, Oxford, graduándose cuatro años después. Fue ordenado diácono el 25 de septiembre de 1725; las órdenes sagradas son un paso necesario para convertirse en compañero y tutor en la universidad. La Iglesia Metodista Unida fue creada en 1968, pero el metodismo se originó con Juan y Carlos Wesley quienes diseminaron el movimiento metodista que empezaron en Oxford como un grupo pequeño de estudiantes. Durante esa misma época, Philip Otterbein y Martin Boehm dirigían movimientos similares que ayudaban a que la gente creciera en la fe. Tiempo después, estas dos ramas del cristianismo se unieron para formar la Iglesia Metodista Unida. 1. JUAN WESLEY ESCRIBIÓ UNO DE LOS TEXTOS MÉDICOS MÁS VENDIDOS DE TODOS LOS TIEMPOS. Wesley estaba profundamente convencido de que Dios se preocupa por nuestra vida terrenal así como por nuestra vida celestial. Con ese fin, escribió un texto médico para la persona común titulado Primitive Physick. 2 '- JUAN WESLEY CABALGÓ LO SUFICIENTEMENTE LEJOS COMO PARA DAR 10 VUELTAS ALREDEDOR DE LA TIERRA. ¡Wesley recorrió 250.000 millas! Estaba convencido de que era importante para él personalmente difundir el evangelio a través de las relaciones y continuar creciendo más cerca de Dios en esas relaciones. Cuando se le preguntó si consideraría caminar en lugar de montar a caballo, respondió: "No". 3 - WESLEY TENÍA DUDAS SOBRE SU FE. Cuestionar la fe de uno no debe ser menospreciado. Las dudas son esenciales para hacer propio cualquier sistema de creencias. No significan que uno lo va a dejar pasar. De hecho, mientras Wesley luchaba con profundas dudas sobre la fe, siguió la sabia instrucción de un mentor que le dijo que "predicara la fe hasta que la tengas; y entonces, porque la tienes, predicarás la fe". Incluso mientras luchamos, podemos mantenernos aferrados a las verdades que cuestionamos hasta que podamos resolver todas nuestras dudas. 4 -  A PALABRA "METODISTA" ERA ORIGINALMENTE UN TÉRMINO DESPECTIVO. Aunque los orígenes del término "metodista" están en disputa, es claro que fue usado originalmente por extraños para burlarse de Juan Wesley y sus primeras sociedades debido a su dedicación a seguir un método para acercarse cada vez más a Dios. Terminaron aceptando el término, considerándolo un descriptor positivo de su movimiento. ¡Así se hace, metodistas!  5 -  EL METODISMO CRECIÓ DE CUATRO MIEMBROS A 132,000 MIEMBROS EN LA VIDA DE WESLEY. El comienzo del metodismo fue un grupo de cuatro que se llamaban a sí mismos el "club santo" de Oxford. Cuando Wesley murió en 1791, dejó atrás un movimiento con 72.000 miembros en las Islas Británicas y 60.000 en América.
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RCRUZ

2021-03-20 02:07:34
I can't submit the #1 assignment. Only let me attach both documents at the same time.
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almartorres16

2020-09-12 16:50:54
Rosa Torres, Ricardo Torres, Jesier Freyre, y Alma Torres
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Nindikf

2020-08-29 19:14:09
Cómo puedo sustituir mi tarea?
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Luky Cotto

2020-07-02 11:34:03
Muy bien merecido Manuel! God continue to use, guide, and give you all the wisdom you need to continue this very important position that benefits so many.
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Alma W. Pérez

2020-07-01 17:35:20
Muchas felicidades, Manuel. Qué el Señor Jesús dirija tus pasos, te dé sabiduría y mucha fortaleza en esta encomienda. Alma Pérez
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Aquiles E. Martinez

2015-10-21 15:45:01
Dear leaders, members of the of the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry, and Consulta participants: As a follow up to the great consultation we were all part of a few months ago, I have been thinking a lot of what we could do to improve our ministry with Latinos/Hispanics, particularly with the younger generation. Thus, I would like for you to read and reflect on the following proposal (written by areas with their corresponding goals): Based on an assessment of current realities, prayers, consultations, and the praxis of everyday life ministry with Hispanics/Latinos, perhaps we should all be working to create a STRATEGIC PLAN that would incorporate the following goals during this coming quadrenium: A. CONTEXTUAL AND INNOVATIVE LEADERSHIP 1. To form principled, Christian leaders whose work is relevant to the Hispanic/Latino context. The Plan will meet this goal through the implementation of the following objectives: a. To raise up and support Hispanic/Latino young leaders as bridge builders and partners in ministry for the church and world. b. To evaluate and improve the standards for, and development and equipping of, mentors and coaches for relevant spiritual leadership. c. To create collective, collaborative leadership structures that honor and validate all forms of ministry and facilitate all people’s journey into ministry. d. To assist annual conferences in the design and implementation of comprehensive, strategic plans for the identification, recruitment, training, support, and accountability of a new generation of leaders. e. To offer technical, material, and financial assistance regarding leadership formation. f. To help provide pedagogical resources and theological education programs relevant to the complex, unique, and ever-changing needs of the Hispanic/Latino contexts. B. LIFE-GIVING SACRED PLACES 2. To assist annual conferences in the creation and revitalization of human spaces for relevant, innovative, and transformational ministry in the context of Hispanic/Latino emerging needs. The Plan will meet this goal through the implementation of the following objectives: a. To assist annual conferences in the design and implementation of strategic ministry plans relevant to the situation of needs of local churches, community centers, and other forms of community. b. To provide economic, material, and human resources for the development of places for worship, education, evangelism, prophetism, and communal service that respond to the needs of the local churches. c. To help form teams responsible to identify and develop mission sites of new contextual ministry and leadership. C. SOCIAL HOLINESS AND TRANSFORMATIONAL JUSTICE 3. To equip and support the church for compassionate, prophetic service in the church and society The Plan will meet this goal through the implementation of the following objectives: a. To understand, monitor, and respond to the unfolding situation of oppression, exploitation, and scarcity affecting global migrants in the countries of origin, transit, and destination. b. To form alliances with organizations committed to responding to the needs of Hispanics/Latinos affected by migration and poverty. c. To actively participate in national and international gatherings to learn, discuss, and connect with stakeholders from around the globe for a more effective service to marginalized and excluded groups. d. To create a system of sharing of information and concerns on issues of global migration. D. GLOBAL CULTURALISM 4. To create conditions for intracultural, intercultural, and multicultural understanding, sensitivity, and competency across the church. The Plan will meet this goal through the implementation of the following objectives: a. To form and strengthen strategic partnerships with the other ethnic initiatives for a new practice of ministry and leadership benefitting the whole church. b. To actively participate in events seeking to develop cross-cultural relationships and growth. c. To create spaces of cultural cooperation and service. d. To invest resources in helping develop intercultural and multicultural ministries. The above proposal is just a draft. I will be more than happy to engage in a meaningful dialogue resulting in a well-articulated strategic plan that is creative, contextual and relevant. Please let me know what you all think! Gracias Aquiles
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Jeanet Berruecos

2015-06-30 15:10:50
I am celebrating the fact that even when you mention that “our church” is “incapable and unwilling to solve the leadership crisis it is in.” and “stepping backwards” I celebrate that the Grace of God is with us, and it is much bigger than our negative persistent points of view. Even though we have done a bad outreach to the Latino/Hispanic community in the nation, God is faithfull and he does not stop working in the church, I mean the actual members of the denomination. We are part of God, we form part of the body of Christ, and I am not disappointed of God’s work. If it is true that it has been a slow walk, it is only our negative and judgmental eyes who is saying that God is incapable, looking and putting our focus in structures, organization, and systems, more than anything. The best we can do is not sit and wait to "make sure that its machinery runs smoothly" the best we can do is comming to God to discern what is that each one of is call to do. Many of us have stop believing in our structures, systems and organization, we have to remember, that the Church is the body of Christ, we are part of it. The Holy Spirit it is always loving, it is always caring, it is always calling and transforms anything, even us. Grace is within us.
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Luis Velasquez

2015-03-31 20:51:36
Hey Everybody, Thanks for your comments, it was a great blessing to be with each one of you at the Consultation. Craig Nelson, we actually met and talked at the Consulta. To be honest with you, I just read your reply to my blog. I will be alerted whenever someone posts new comments through email just so I can reply faster. Bendiciones!
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Aquiles E. Martinez

2015-03-21 16:55:04
From the standpoint of logistics, organization, and putting some important issues on the table, the latest Consultation on Hispanic/Latino Leadership was a success. I applaud the NPHLM for its creativity and courage to use some of its resources to shake up the Church. Some elements of this innovative approach were obvious and should be celebrated: the emphasis on developing young and young adult leadership; privileging English as the language of communication; creating a blog for a thought-provoking dialogue; inviting non-Methodists and secular professionals to be the keynote speakers and young people to be their respondents, while minimizing the participation of bishops; designing a clear format for small-group discussions hoping for some creativity to emerge; and putting together an amazing worship team that, though artistic eclecticism, powerful rituals, and prayerful intentionality, helped us experience God in community. However, to my disappointment, the sporadic, intense moments of possibilities we experienced before and during the consulta were soon overshadowed by the institutionality of the Church, and the symptoms of the leadership crisis were are in became even more evident, painful, and disconcerting. This comment might sound too premature for many, but the evidence, interpreted through the prism of the past, is too clear to repress or rationalize. Ignoring the crude reality of the demographic studies with respect to the millennial generation, and the pastoral challenges to wake up and be relevant to this reality; the lack of responses in the consulta blog despite some in-your-face questions to provoke debate; the resulting list of recommendations to the NPHLM and their obvious disconnect with respect to the social profile and context of the younger generation; and the fact that our capable young people were not more prophetic, specific and strategic in talking to the older generation with respect to leadership development during the consulta, were steps backwards and communicated to me a truth I did not want to hear again: our church is incapable and unwilling to solve the leadership crisis it is in. Because its members are the main supporters of the institution they complains about, the Church lacks the knowledge, skills, and mechanisms to substantially change itself or subvert the established order of things. The contradictions are notorious. In its blindness and deafness, our Church can only think, speak, and act in institutional terms. As such, it has been successful in crippling our ability to think critically and cauterizing our conscience, heart, faith, and praxis. Despite its cries of despair, the Church continues to feed this complex network of values, beliefs, and norms created to satisfy the basic needs of its clientele, the main goal of which is to stabilize its entities through the positions and roles it imposes on all of its beneficiaries. As a mechanism of social control, our Church continues to set the necessary limits to guarantee its survival, no matter how unfair the distribution of power and privileges might be or how unfairly people at the fringes are treated. In its religious narcissism of enormous self-serving proportions, the best our Church can do is to make sure that its machinery runs smoothly. Because the UMC is an institution with these and similar characteristics, it will always resist or even punish change, depend on other social institutions to bring balance, and equip and reward its guardians for its legitimation. Because of this situation, radical measures (institutional or not) must be adopted, either to transform the Church from the bottom up or to start a process that would create conditions of instability to accelerate its demise. Informed by a holistic analysis of institutions, I believe that there are some principles that can help some of us create some “cracks” within the structures, value system, and ideology that presently sustain the UMC in order to force some important changes for good. But as we continue to do what we have to do to make this happen from our own trenches and patiently wait for better moments, let us not forget that even patience has its own limits.
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DANIEL PANTOJA

2015-03-12 04:47:28
It is challenging provide feedback to these "12 Questions", which I think is not the reality of each context, and not providing a healthy spirit of conversation . I am in favor of seeing our richness in God through our diversity of cultures, experiences and on the basis of a new people of multiple generations born and grow here in the US. We must discern the work of the Holy Spirit in the past 15 years. I am not denying some real issues, which exist, however, it is time to build, and to bring back to the reality of that whole world of possibilities that God is offering us, and if we join efforts, a vision and gifts, then will we be able to overcome these barriers and overcome any challenge. I think it's time to build a healthy platform where new generations can offer creative ways to reach new horizons. Peace.
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Craig Nelson

2015-03-12 02:08:44
Luis, You need to read about Third Culture Kids. Just Google it. There is a whole field of inquiry out there about what it's like to grow up feeling not fully part of the culture of your parents, but also not fully part of the culture where you grow up. These type people form a third culture. Coupling this concept with who we are as Christians in a secular world makes for fascinating reading for somebody like you, and for somebody like me who grew up with Anglo parents but in Latin America. Hope to meet you at the Consultation
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Aquiles Martinez

2015-02-25 22:49:58
"O las tinieblas resplandecen en medio de la luz" jajajajajajaja Thank you so much for your heart-felt words, Kristin!!! Adopting this position, although risky, mediates our deeply-rooted sense of hope that somehow fuels our not-giving up :-). I hope and pray our passion is channeled in such a way that it rocks the boat or creates a few holes or cracks in our out-date, institutionalized Church. I am looking forward to continue with the conversation :-) Aquiles
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Kristin Dollar

2015-02-24 15:11:43
AMEN AMEN AMEN. 1) I can’t wait to meet you. 2)I know all of these things. I have said a less-articulate version of most of them myself. Yet I think there is something to be said for the fact that neither of us have given up. There is still a "mysterious something” that calls us to love while remaining critical, to worship with our hands shaking with frustration, to go to this consulta even though realistically things won’t change anytime soon. I am not willing to say that the “mysterious something” (the gut feeling, the summon, the fact that I can’t not be a pastor despite that my brain says run the other way) is God. But I am saying that the fact that we’re still here, the fact that you wrote this post, the fact that we still care enough to critique: these things are hope, and hopefully it is hope enough to keep going. "La luz resplandece en las tinieblas, y las tinieblas no la dominaron."
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Brent Blackwell

2015-02-20 19:41:30
Aquiles, surely this is the “risky” and “dangerous” dialogue that I expected when I first read about the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry. It is not until that we admit the limitedness of our understanding and human condition before we can seek to achieve improvement. As a whole, we as the Church continue to ignore our own issues and struggles by projecting our problems onto society as if we hold the golden key that will unlock a radically changed world without suffering. Challenging such realities and paradigms is exactly the grounds from which the Church was built and it seems that there is nothing wrong continuing that tradition today. Yet, it seems that we are raised under conditions where we are taught that it is wrong to challenge our churches or pastors. We are taught that it is stepping out of line when we speak out in regards to the churches failure. It is time to step out and break this fear for only when we admit these failures can we begin to address them. Without this, it is impossible for us to be able to begin to achieve the goals of the Consultation. I thank you and I accept your challenge to recognize my failure and the churches as well through answering these questions, all in the attempt to intentionally prepare myself for the Consultation.
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Brent Blackwell

2015-02-20 16:53:19
Thank you for your call to humble service. Admitting that not a single one of us who gathers has “The Answer” is absolutely the first step towards a community gathering to ask for advice and guidance. It is also necessary to believe and represent that not one person’s experiences, age, or understanding elevates them over any one else’s experiences or thoughts. Only as individuals with multiple lenses of interpretations and understanding, based upon our personal experiences, can we even begin to have this meaningful dialogue. I believe that where we move from “me” to “we” is not in our understanding, insights, solutions, or answers; but, the movement to “we” exists in our passion and dreams. Only when all individuals accept a similar goal can the “we” be established and amendments and improvements be made. When such commonalities are highlighted, we become one body and one voice capable of so much more than as a separated or divided people. Any thoughts? :)
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Brent Blackwell

2015-02-20 16:51:58
Luis, I thoroughly enjoy your analogy of people living “in-between” worlds, cultures, and generations. It is right to point that this “in-betweeness” is not necessarily a unique experience, yet its value should in no way be diminished. Rather, it should become the identity and battle cry of missions today as an effort to reach all peoples. I become truly excited to think about the possibilities associated with this “in-between” generation, for with this experience comes the opportunity of great witness. Highlighting the strengths of dual identities, this generation is able to build a rapport beyond previous boundaries. The foundation of the bridge is already established, but it is up to us to lay the bricks with which we will walk across. Truly, I believe that as a model of understanding we should look to the Apostle Paul who represents the epitome of “in-between” service in 1 Corinthians 9:20-22: “To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” Relationships are built on commonality and Paul recognizes this truth. It is only through an attitude of service and humility that we can place ourselves in the positions of others that we can truly begin to build meaningful relationships. I believe that this “in-between” generation already has a great start! Only through embracing challenges and recognizing strengths can we begin to move forward, while remembering the challenges, experiences, and traditions that have already placed us where we are today.
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Brent Blackwell

2015-02-20 16:51:12
Wonderful thoughts Alma! I see what you mean by the separation of communities within the church today even within personal experiences and values that I received from my upbringing. For 11 years I attended a predominantly white United Methodist Church and I cannot honestly remembering seeing anyone there that was not representative of my race or ethnicity. For years, I never understood what Hispanic/Latino missions was and it remained a foreign idea form my ecclesiological experiences. I remained ignorant and even accepted the idea that in such missions “we”, the congregation, were rightly placing ourselves in a place of authority and superiority over the groups that we were serving. I truly had no interest in uncomfortable, cross-cultural service. What a horror! I now recognize the errors of my way and thinking and that this is sooooo far from the Christ’s intentions of the Church. I believe it is the fault of the Church today that such misconceptions exist. Pastors are not properly equipping their flock for missions while they allow them to remain ignorant of issue and disinterested of people in serious need. Instead, congregations are allowed to believe that Latino Congregations are an act of generosity that they allow, rather than a necessity called by God (as Luis Velasquez is right to point out). People are allowed to think that bi-lingual services are an INCONVEINCE rather than a beautiful witness of PROPER corporate worship. I definitely do not have the answer to why such false realities exist and no solution is present in my mind. However, I do know that love is the barrier-breaker that is needed today. Love exists and reaches beyond such divides in ministries and cures the disease of ignorance. I pray that as an act of love, this Consultation will enlighten and radically challenge all of our understanding of ministry today.
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Ivonne Ramírez

2015-02-20 05:13:42
Thank you Luis for putting a name or label to our current issue. This 'in-between' term has been experienced by many of us but we just had not think of it this way. I personally have felt the awkwardness of being in a different country with a different language and a different culture. It is hard enough to adapt to our own culture and our own society now being introduced to a new one can be a conflict. Yes it is hard to be in between two different worlds but we need to get over it and do something about it. We can't always feel this way, we have to learn how to be able to be part of both countries without feeling vulnerable. We can join both ways of living through our friends, our school, and our jobs. There are many of us in this same in-between generation, what we can do is learn from each other in order to make an impact in our community. I feel like we learn better when we are given an example of what we are going through. Once we see we are not the only ones feeling this way we feel more comfortable with the situation and then we take action. It's time to do something for ourselves and get out of the shadows of this in-between stage. I hope I get to learn more about what this generation and perhaps I can get ideas of how to better myself and my situation in this country.
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Ivonne Ramírez

2015-02-20 04:44:04
I agree and disagree with this specific view of our current challenge in the country. It is true that immigrants can be treated differently because of their legal status and I can relate to that in situations of my everyday life. I am looked at by other people (my neighbors) as a stranger that is in their country as an intruder, I don't know if they were Christians or not but the treatment I sometimes get is the same from everybody. They don't know my legal status and they certainly don't know my character and the hard I work to be a good Christian girl, yet they do not include me as part of the church because of that same reason. Having said this I agree with Aquiles Martinez and his view of starting with ourselves to truly start welcoming others. We have to love and welcome ourselves as strangers in order to accept others because once we love ourselves we will be able to do the same for others. I am very excited and I look forward to learning more about the church and how we can help others but I am more anxious to learn about me through this experience so I can share it with the 'strangers'. If I love myself as an stranger then when I go out to the real world I will have many love to share.
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Jim Perdue

2015-02-20 03:51:15
My mind moves in a similar direction; but while understanding that we can never quite get away from anthropomorphism, I still would rather go down the other side of the mountain from the "me" side and suggest that, in the Bible, God is the ultimate stranger. (see: Abraham and the 3 strangers, Jacob wrestling, Elijah getting unceremoniously fired after the cave encounter, Jesus on the road to Emmaus, the sacrifice of Isaac, the Job dialogues, and the whole Old Testament things about the unpredictable and untrustable shekinah, and El Shaddai. And of course there's JHWH - I am who I am/I was who I was/I'll be who I'll be, thank you very much). And doesn't the saying about hospitality to the stranger as entertaining angels connect not only to Abraham and the 3 strangers, but also to the sense that the angel is pure messenger, in the Hebrew sense of bearing the very person of God? I think a good argument could be made that the preponderance of appearances about accepting and including the stranger in the Old Testament writings point instead, first the neighbor, and ultimately the stranger and the enemy as being testing steps along the way to really being able to dialogue and establish a trusting relationship with the divine mystery - whether it is a consuming fire or my old buddy Jesus. If we can't love the neighbor (or stranger) whom we have seen, how can we love God whom we have not seen? To me, this changes the whole approach to strangers as well as to family and neighbors, making today's immigrant, who is not stranger, enemy, family or neighbor, the ultimate enigma blocking humanity's path to God. Perhaps, that begins to get at the real problem; but, I digress... ;)
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Aquiles Martinez

2015-02-19 18:00:26
I appreciate Adrian's to embrace those whom we see as "'strangers" and "sojourners." However, to rely on one biblical/theological paradigm that tells us, in a linear way (and even messianic way), how to relate to others ("me" or "us" vis a vis "my" or "our neighbor") is not only incomplete but starts out with a questionable presupposition. Without neglecting the value of thinking of "others as neighbors" or discarding "the hospitality-loving our neighbor paradigm", we need to begin with "ME" since I AM MY OWN STRANGER. I need to learn how deal with my own self as THE CLOSEST NEIGHBOR (AND SOMETIMES ENEMY) as the foundation upon which my relationships with others will be developed :--). What I want for myself and do not want for myself is crucial for establishing a meaningful and reciprocal relationship with others :-)
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Luis Luna

2015-02-19 13:18:34
When thinking about the” in-between” generation it is crucial to keep in mind not only of those of us who were brought as children or borne in the United States, emphasis must also be placed on the older generation, our parents’ generation; the generation that envision the American dream, or any kind of dream that forced their migration. This generation is what I consider the real” in-between” generation. While those of us who had the opportunity of a more formal interaction with the culture, such as attending school, had an easier adaptation process, our parents’ generation seemed to be stuck in between countries, in between generation. For many of them, the language, work, or even buying groceries become a daily struggle while they desperately hold onto their mores and memories of their land. As soon as they migrate, they become deserters of their parents land and become foreigners in the land of their children. It sounds coherent that in a life troubled by the cultural shock, religion creates a clear exit door for it. I agree with Mr. Velasquez’ opinion, I find it imperative that we strive for attainable goals, one of the goals being using our insight of what Mr. Velasquez calls us the ”in-between” generation to create leadership that will ultimately help those to whom the adaptation process has not being as tranquil. In easier words, taking advantage of this conference in order to create Hispanic/Latino ministry leadership that will help generate a stronger bond between the migrant generations and the ministry.
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Aquiles Martinez

2015-02-18 22:23:23
I appreciate the information provided as a way of starting the dialogue :-). I'd like to simply respond to the three questions asked above with a few observations: 1) To frame this question with the presupposition that "businesses" and "churches" are comparable and that, consequently, we must look for "lessons" in the business world that will help us recruit bi-lingual Latinos/as, is not only WRONG but also A SIGN OF HOW DEEP OUR IDENTITY CRISIS IS and HOW DIFFICULT IT WILL BE FOR US TO ADDRESS IT. In our churches and even in grass-roots organization EVERYTHING is motivated, oriented and executed in terms of the neo-liberal, Capitalist model that SHAPES OF ALL US. The sad part of this is that very few people dare to dismantle this situation in order to explore better ways of being "God's people" or that perhaps could move us closer to what our churches are or should be. Despite the almighty nature of Business values driving our lives, it is about time we confront this subtle ideology that goes "unnoticed" that forces us to play by the rules of "the Dow Jones" and that people as "merchandise." Now, if you believe that the UMC is "a business" and you are happy with it (which, in fact, that is what the UMC is), then this question is "valid" and you should give the business suggestions they are looking for. 2) On the issue of the churches "reaching out," I sadly confess that "the church" cannot reach out to anybody because THE CHURCH NEEDS TO REACH OUT TO ITSELF FIRST. This is basic Psychology! A healthy sense of self is the basis of any healthy relationship with others. But we have moved away from this elemental principle. Theologically, as you might remember, in "the Parable of the Good Samaritan," the real issue if NOT defining who my neighbor is and who is not, but WHETHER I AM ACTING NEIGHBORLY OR NOT. You see, everything BEGINS AND ENDS with our "egos" but in always in relational terms. Jesus, Luke or both HAD IT RIGHT!!!! 3) Approaching reality from the standpoint of NUMBERS (and our society is obsessed with statistics) and giving us a PERCENTAGE to shut for as we share suggestions to achieve this goal, not only turn Latinos/Hispanics into CUANTITATIVE ABSTRACTIONS, but it also OBJECTIFIES our people, men and women with whom I must walk in solidarity because I want for them to walk with ME in the same way. It is the Golden Rule in its most rudimentary expression. Solidarity does produce results :-)
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Aquiles Martinez

2015-02-18 21:20:45
Luis, thank you so much for your brief reflection about the "in between" experience that partly describes you and the experiences of so many other Hispanics/Latinos/as. In thinking about this topic, it is also crucial we take into account other forms of "in betweeness" that might describe the experiences of other Hispanics and non-Hispanics, which might serve as potential points of encounter (and not just as "frameworks of reference'"). If we are ever going to create "bridges" among ourselves and other groups, it is important we share those identity-related experiences that somehow put us "in thresholds " and to which we can relate "by analogy." Let us not forget that the sense of belonging, not belonging and anything "in between" must not be restricted to a generation nor to an ethnic group in particular. By doing that, we will be validating each other as a fundamental step towards talking about "us". Seeing ourselves reflected in the life journeys of others is key. What do others think??? :-)
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Rebekah Worley

2015-02-10 18:35:24
Thanks for this, Alma. The vision of the church should be interlocked with a vision of humility, looking at a neighbor and not seeing What he or she is but That he or she is. This paraphrase from Thomas Reynolds book "Vulnerable Communion" is directed towards those who feel disabled in a church that should be redeeming and renewing. It is our differences that should enhance neighborly connection, not divide. These differences further display our understanding of the Creator and they should be celebrated.
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Luis Velasquez

2015-02-05 05:11:20
Hi Alma , Thank you for your great publication, it is very true that we all must see each other as equal partners in God's field. I definitely agree with your comment about how the UMC Church at large sometimes tend to view Latino Congregations as a mission that will receive more than contribute back to society. We can see it here in our North Georgia Conference in how many Latino Congregations are basement congregations or sometimes services are held in totally different buildings which at times these spaces are not suitable for worship and fellowship. I also believe that too often clergy are between a rock and a hard place because for one, they have been granted an opportunity to serve their community; however, what they have been granted is not a good reflection of the prophetic rhetoric the UMC declares to pursue. As I prepare to go to seminary this upcoming August at Emory, these are some of preoccupations. Yet, I know that in a mutual relationship it takes two to make communication more efficient I also believe that as a Latino Congregation, there are many steps we can take to also participate fully and proudly with all of our UMC brothers and sisters.
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Stacy Guinto-Salinas

2015-02-05 00:42:28
As a United Methodist, it is very depressing for me to see the small inclusion of Hispanic/Latinxs in leadership roles within the United Methodist church, both laity and clergy. Hispanic/Latinxs are the fastest growing racial group in the country, yet their presence is not increasing in our churches. If we claim to be a Church that is seeking to be multicultural/multiethnic, our leadership needs to reflect this. The statistics above demonstrate the Church's failure to extend its ministry to the Hispanic/Latinx population and other minority groups in the country. Local churches need to start a dialogue that is inclusive for all of those in their community. Churches must overcome the "fear" of those who look and speak differently from them and be willing to genuinely share Christ's love with their neighbors-- all neighbors, not just the white neighbors. I honestly believe that change needs to start in the ground level of the local church, not necessarily in big church agencies and boards.
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Niquita Hohm

2015-02-05 00:11:32
One of my friends recently commented, "Let us always remember it is people we are called to love, not our own comfort." It seems fairly obvious, but it was convicting because far too often, I act to preserve my own comfort rather than taking risks which would demonstrate love and strengthen relationships with others. Growing up in a small town, I know well just how uncomfortable people can be with differences. As current and future leaders of the church we need to be inviting people into relationships across boundaries of difference. We're much less likely to feed the fears which lead to "othering" people when we have sought out those relationships.
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Brittany Absher

2015-02-04 21:37:46
One of the most influential speakers on "vulnerability" for me is Brené Brown, and she points out that vulnerability and shame are often paired. She says that shame is the voice that speaks when we lift our hand to open the door of opportunity, the voice that tells us we can't or shouldn't do what we are about to try to do, that we're better off not trying. Shame often accompanies vulnerability in my mind because I'm vulnerable when I'm stepping out to do something great, or as this post says, something risky (which are almost always tied together). It's important to recognize that there will be voices of shame playing in each one of our heads as we talk about that which makes us vulnerable so that we can approach one another tenderly at La Consulta. Brené also points out that shame cannot live when it is exposed to light--when it is shared. My hope is that in from moving from "me" to "we," we can approach one another tenderly, knowing that with dreams often come places of hurt. However, I pray that we may also become a community that brings those pains to light to move toward healing.
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Federico Apecena

2015-02-04 21:34:01
I think that this post is very thoughtful, but incomplete, here is the original full piece that Rev. Alma Ruiz wrote: https://divinity.duke.edu/community-student-life/divinity-magazine/fall-2014/love-differences-and-valuing-others Loving the differences and valuing others, can not happen with risky conversations, that has to happen with hard and sometimes painful conversations. We need to put ourselves intentionally in places that would give us the chance to know those that are different and then loved them. We can not love what we do not know.
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Ismael Ruiz-Millan

2015-02-04 20:57:33
"What is the purpose of the Consultation?" "What should we expect as participants of it?" "What can we do in preparation of it? The previous questions are some of the questions I often have in relation to the 3rd H/L Consultation, which will take place in March 12-14 at Duke Divinity School. In short, the purpose is to gather different people, latinos and non-latinos, clergy and laity, Episcopal leaders and General Agencies leaders, conference leaders, seminarians and faculty. Then, the idea is to foster risky conversations where each of the participants will have to actively contribute with their affirmations, critiques, but more significantly, with their proposals about how the Church can better serve a changing world, including the H/L community. Risky conversations would require to name and highlight the places where God's creation is reflected, but also to name and lament things that are not functioning. Even more, risky conversations would require from participants to take the risk to propose solutions, to highlight the places and people that are evidence that hope is always there, but it requires a movement of people willing to listen, to propose, and to work in collaboration with others. Isolation is not an option as we move forward. The Consultation seeks to emphasize the importance of dialogue, collaboration, and the realization that "caminando juntos" is better than walking alone.
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Luis Velasquez

2015-01-28 02:56:58
Dear NPHLM ministry leaders, In the Spirit of Solidarity and Unity, I salute each one of you who have decided to participate or who are still pondering about the option of participating in the Consultation. I'm very excited to be involved in this risky conversation hoping everyone can somehow be transformed and empowered to act for and with our Latino/Hispanic Communities. I'm meditating on what it means to be a Latino in a land I use to call strange but now after 15 years living here I'm proud to call it my own. I believe being a Latino means belonging to diverse worlds and diverse cultures. It means singing bachata in the mornings, singing and moving to the salsa rhythm (Or at least trying to) in the afternoon, and pondering to Bolero lyrics at nighttime. As person preparing to be an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, the consultation in itself is a tool to bring together Hispanic leaders who could potentially contribute formally with the United Methodist Church. I can't wait for our great Consultation to began! Con amor y paz, Luis Velasquez
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Joel Hortiales

2015-01-19 02:30:02
I least to me, to move from "me" to "we" I want to listen, to be and let it be. That means I will go to the Consultation to sitdown in conversation to listen myself and others, to share how I am and think and accept how people are and think, even our diferences, dream together to stand and work with a common goal. Looking to meet you, blessings!
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Emma Vega

2014-12-30 23:23:25
Dear NPHLM ministry leaders, RE: Invitation Yes! I pray that with God's help and favor to be present! I am so excited and honored to represent and advocate for the voices of the 2nd and 3rd generation Hispanic/Latin@ generations! I will be praying for wisdom and revelation from above for guidance and clarity of where He is sending us-specifically through our current ministry model: UMC Spanglish that I would love to share as time permits and as the Holy Spirit moves! God bless and prayerfully yours, Emma Vega Spanglish Director LAMAG, Cal-Pac Conference Joshua 1: 9