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Hispanic/Latino National Plan approves new funding initiatives


By Amanda Bachus

The National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry recently took a major step forward toward its goal of helping to grow Hispanic/Latino ministries by introducing new grants and by approving fund initiatives for the Western Jurisdiction and three annual conferences.

National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Committee members during its annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona
Photo by Julia Ponce

The committee of the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry, one of the United Methodist Church's six national plans, during its meeting in Phoenix Feb. 16-18, approved funding for:

  • Path-1 initiatives
  • Three Hispanic ministry projects in the Oregon-Idaho Conference of the Western Jurisdiction
  • Connectional support through a matching grant of $175,000 for the implementation of the Western Jurisdiction Hispanic/Latino Ministry Strategic Direction over the 2013-2016 quadrennium
  • Funding the Florida Conference's Hispanic/Latino Youth Academy and academy activities across the connection.
  • Greater New Jersey Conference Funding.

By granting $75,000 to the Greater New Jersey Conference over the next three years, the National Plan will:

  • Assist the conference in starting five new Hispanic/Latino ministries
  • Revitalize six existing Hispanic/Latino churches
  • Build capacity to address social justice issues affecting Hispanic/Latinos by establishing a Justice for Our Neighbors ministry, plus three Immigration Support Centers in New Jersey urban areas

Matching grants

The committee approved two new categories of matching grants from the Board of Discipleship.

These news grants - both Path1 initiatives - will help to grow ministry leaders by developing systems and implementing strategies to regain a healthy denominational habit of multiplying churches and increasing ethnic diversity. The Path1 movement seeks to reach more people - more young people, more diverse people - by creating new places for new people and cultivating the leaders, cultures and processes needed to regain our healthy denominational habit of starting at least one new church each day.

The two categories are:

  • Path1 Hispanic/Latino New Church Start Block Grants. This grant and accompanying guidelines for proposals and applications will help annual conferences in financially supporting the creation of a comprehensive plan for Hispanic/Latino New Church Starts.
  • Path1 Lay Missionary Planting Network. This grant application and process program assists Path1 by providing the funds to administer the Lay Missioner Planting Program that equips lay people to continue working toward the national plan's goal of planting 75 new Hispanic/Latino churches. Added funding will be allocated for a planter-coach training event to prepare coaches for Hispanic/Latino new church planters.

For more information, contact Path1's Director of Hispanic/Latino and Multi-Ethnic New Church Starts, Samuel Rodriguez at

New grant categories

The three new grant categories introduced by the Board of Global Ministries and approved by the committee were:

  • A Hispanic/Latino Ministry Training Center to help establish centers and build the capacity of annual conferences to train and equip for Hispanic/Latino ministry development
  • A Social Justice Center Grant to address issues of social justice; annual grants of $25,000, for a maximum of three years, will be available for church or community groups dedicated to advocate for a more just society
  • A Latino Youth Development Grant to create opportunities for young people to grow in their faith and leadership capacities

For information on these new grant categories and funding opportunities, contact Dionisio Salazar, GBGM's Executive Secretary for Hispanic/Latino Ministries.

--Amanda Bachus

el Intérprete Online, March-April, 2012