The Latino Clergy Caucus (LCC) met at the Roselyn Center on April 13-14 to discern our vison for the years to come. The caucus leadership—Rev. Dr. David Jimenez, Rev. Dr. Chad Thomas Beck, Rev. Callie Walker (absent), and Rev. Marcela Jarman—led the retreat. There were two guest speakers. Rev. Eduardo Carrillo led a conversation about the importance of Latino representation on Boards and Agencies. He explained the importance of our role as advocates and of our contributions to the connection. Rev. Nilse Furtado was the keynote speaker. She inspired the LCC to engage strategically Latino and other communities surrounding our local churches so that we can make disciples of Jesus Christ and become partners with them in transforming the world.
All the attendees, including clergy and laity, listened to the proposed vision and engaged in holy conversations toward refining and implementing this vision.
The vision of the Latino Clergy Caucus is to unite Latino clergy and laity within the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church (VAUMC) in the Spirit. This caucus aims to give Latino voice and influence in all VAUMC matters and to position its clergy members and Latino laity in key roles in order to advocate and promote the interests of Latino Ministries and communities throughout the VAUMC.
Through a shared sense of purpose and spiritual commitment, the Latino Clergy Caucus seeks to create a powerful and united voice that can effect change within the VAUMC. The caucus hopes to influence the direction and future of the VAUMC by advocating for policies and practices that support the needs and dreams of Latino communities.
One of the key objectives of the Latino Clergy Caucus is to have its clergy members and laity in strategic roles as participants on VAUMC Boards and Agencies and in other conference leadership positions. This will help us to train and empower future Latino Leaders who can be heard and be part of decision-making processes for the common good of all communities, at once serving our Conference and representing the interests of Latino communities.
Finally, the Latino Clergy Caucus is committed to advocating for and promoting the interests and dreams of Latino communities within the VAUMC. This may involve speaking out against discriminatory practices or policies, advocating for greater inclusivity and representation, and pushing for greater resources to support Latino ministries and missions.
The vision of the Latino Clergy Caucus is to create a strong and influential group of Latino clergy, laity, and allies within the VAUMC who can effect positive change and promote the interests and dreams of Latino Communities within the organization.
The event was closed with a very meaningful worship led by clergy and laity together. All present were called to continue to work in unity, influence, and position within our conference, churches, and communities.
The Latino Clergy Caucus will continue to meet monthly for prayer and support, quarterly for business meetings, and twice annually—in the Fall for our family fellowship weekend and in the Spring for our visioning and strategic planning. Glory to God!