Moment for Mission
“O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples.” — Psalm 105:1, NRSV
In September, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. During this time, we make an extra effort to hear the voices of our Latino brothers and sisters. We set aside time to appreciate the ways they contribute to who we are as United Methodists, and we recognize that together we experience a richer understanding of the kingdom of God.
Some congregations might include songs or hymns in Spanish during worship; others may invite a speaker or offer special classes. All of the ways in which we celebrate remind us that we belong together as the people of God.
One of the ongoing ways The United Methodist Church does this is through the work of MARCHA (Methodists Associated Representing the Cause of Hispanic/Latino Americans), the Hispanic/Latino caucus of The United Methodist Church. The group brings together United Methodists who share in the unique experience of being Hispanic American, deepens their connections within The United Methodist Church, and works toward justice and inclusiveness.
During its August gathering in Dallas, MARCHA celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Hispanic/Latino National Plan of The United Methodist Church. At the meeting, the caucus explored what it means to be grounded in hope, while also working to set a prophetic vision as Hispanic/Latinos in communities and congregations, and in connection to the mission of The United Methodist Church in the world.
God of All Nations, grant that we would continue to love all of your people. Open our eyes to see the image of God reflecting in the diversity of your creation. Open our hearts to see, hear and celebrate our Hispanic and Latino members and communities. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost – Living God, you miraculously used the burning bush to attract the attention of Moses. Just as the bush was on fire but not destroyed, so you sustain those you call to fulfill your purposes. Thank you for responding to the needs of your people and nurturing new leaders. By your Holy Spirit, help us to trust you completely as we seek to spend our lives following Jesus, your Son. Let us be bold witnesses of your amazing power and love. We offer you these monetary gifts for the work of your church here and around the world, through Jesus Christ. Amen. (Exodus 3:1-15)
Twenty-five years ago, the United Methodist General Conference accepted a plan that called for intentional actions of reaching out to Latino and Hispanic communities. These actions have included evangelism to a growing portion of the United States population and the development of Hispanic/Latino leaders and new churches.
The Hispanic/Latino National Plan was formulated by MARCHA, the Hispanic caucus of The United Methodist Church, in the hope that we would grow to be a church that includes all of God’s people.
In September, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. As United Methodists, we celebrate the contributions of our Hispanic American members and leaders within our church. We celebrate their leadership in advocating for our neighbors. We celebrate their voice in awakening The United Methodist Church to the hardships faced by immigrant families at risk of being separated, leaving children to be placed in the care of child service agencies. We celebrate their work in advocating for churches to have the resources they need to create safe places and stand against racism.