By Jessica Brodie
NORTH CHARLESTON—There are more Hispanic-Latino people in South Carolina than there are United Methodists, and one group of people is stepping up to reach them as they believe Jesus would: through relationships.
The Hispanic-Latino Task Force of the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church is intentionally trying not only to help people be aware of the vast numbers of Latinos in this state but, through outreach and community, learn how the UMC can be in ministry with this group—whether that is membership in churches or service for people in need.
Pentecost Journey, an annual conference-led training event, is designed to help with that.
Pentecost Journey is a two-day event set for Oct. 6-7 in North Charleston to train non-Hispanic-Latino churches to take their first steps in ministry with their local Latino neighbors. It will be based around a United Methodist curriculum called “Pentecost Journey” by Melanie Lee Carey and Marigene Chamberlain but adapted to meet the needs of South Carolina’s specific context.
South Carolina’s Resident Bishop Jonathan Holston will be a part of the event.
“We are excited to have Bishop Holston joining us this year at our Pentecost Journey event,” said the Rev. Emily Sutton, chair of the task force. “The Hispanic-Latino/a Task Force wants to invite every congregation to come and create a strategic plan to be in ministry with our Hispanic-Latino/a neighbors.”
Sutton said the event is practical and effective for every size church.
“You will leave with a ministry plan for your church, so please come as a clergy and laity team,” Sutton said. “We hope you will join us as we seek to make disciples to transform the world.”
The task force said the event is especially critical because the conference only has about 300 Hispanic-Latino members, and given the size of the Hispanic-Latino population in South Carolina—roughly a quarter million—the conference needs to do more in reaching out.
Pentecost Journey begins 7-9 p.m. Friday night at North Charleston UMC. It continues all day Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Churches are asked to come in teams with a pastor and at least two laypeople.
The cost is $50. Clergy will receive one continuing education unit.
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