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Hispanic Ministry: East/West Ohio Collaboration

In looking at Hispanic ministry, the West Ohio Conference took the unique approach of examining ministry beyond its' conference line borders. One prevalent factor was the movement of Hispanic/Latino worshipping members across district and conference lines, for economic opportunities or to unite with family. In order to remain intentional in maintaining relationships with worshippers, West Ohio Conference looked at Hispanic/Latino ministry on a statewide level, as opposed to a conference-centric view.

In August of 2015, the newly formed Hispanic Ministries Strategic Visioning Team held its inaugural meeting. The team is comprised of clergy and lay leaders from the East and West Ohio conferences who will guide the work of ministry with and by Hispanic/Latino people in Ohio, establishing the priorities for the ministry over the next several years. Leaders with critical visioning and strategic thinking were invited to join the multicultural team.

The work of the team is facilitated by Manuel Padilla of the United Methodist National Hispanic Plan. The goals are: develop an implementation plan, form an interview team for a potential missionary to be appointed to lead the conferences' joint efforts, and work with the appointed missionary to implement the vision and the plan. Their work is expected to span 12 to 18 months.