Pastor-congregation teams urged to attend Nov. 18-19 event
By Jessica Brodie
GREENVILLE—Next month, United Methodists who want to reach out to Latino neighbors will have a chance to craft a unique plan to engage their local communities.
The South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church will offer a Pentecost Journey training event Nov. 18-19 at Aldersgate UMC, Greenville. Led by members of the conference’s Hispanic Latino Task Force and others, Pentecost Journey will enable pastors and their church members to come as a team to learn, brainstorm and ultimately develop a strategic action plan to connect with Hispanic/Latino people in their communities. The event will carry on the work of last year’s Pentecost Journey but in a more meaningful and strategic way.
“It was a great event last time, but we realized the most effective thing for churches to go forward is to have the pastor and lay people come together so they learn the same information and they’re able to create a plan of action together and be able to start to implement that when they go back so they’re on the same wavelength,” said the Rev. Elizabeth Murray, task force convener and coordinator for Hispanic/Latino ministries for the conference.
Speaker for the event will be the Rev. José Luis Villaseñor, church planter and pastor of Fiesta Cristiana in Apex, North Carolina, and president of the Hispanic/Latino Caucus of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the UMC. Villaseñor will guide participants in creating their individual action plans.
The Rev. Kristin Dollar, who is helping to organize the event, said it is critical that churches begin to think about concrete ways to engage with Latino neighbors, especially given the surging Latino population in this state. Currently, there are more Latinos than total United Methodists in South Carolina.
“If we seek to participate in God’s Kingdom, it is mandatory that we learn to live and worship together as the body of Christ,” Dollar said.