INDIANAPOLIS (8/6/04) — About 180 delegates from more than 67 Hispanic and bilingual Disciples of Christ congregations gathered in San Diego, Calif., to launch a new visioning process.
The 12th Assembly of the National Hispanic and Bilingual Fellowship (NHBF) of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada took place July 8 to 11, at San Diego's Disciples Center. Casa de Oracion, the Hispanic congregation that meets at the Center, and Xose Escamilla, its senior pastor, hosted the Assembly.
The visioning process was launched Friday afternoon, with an address by the Huberto Pimentel, past moderator of the NHBF and vice president of the Disciples Seminary Foundation in Claremont, Calif. The process continued with small group meetings and a plenary session.
On Saturday afternoon, Evangelina Perez, member of the Pastoral Commission for Hispanic Ministries and the Administrative Committee, gave another address on the vision.
Finally, the Assembly adopted of a resolution that officially lunched the process and established its timetable.
For the next two years, Hispanic Disciples will engage in this Visioning Process, leading "town hall meetings" in different parts of the nation and producing a visioning document that will be sent for discussion to all Hispanic and bilingual congregations.
The process will culminate at the NHBF's 13th Assembly in July 2006 at Mount Sinai Christian Church in Killeen, Texas.
The other highlight of the Assembly was the creation of the Arizona Hispanic Convention, whose moderator is Gilberto Marez, pastor of Ebenezer Christian Church in Tucson.
This is the sixth Hispanic Convention in the nation, joining those in the Midwest, Northeast, Pacific, Southeast, and Southwest.
The Assembly also elected the new Hispanic Caucus, appointing Jorge Cotto, pastor of Central Christian Church, Coral Gables, Fla., as its new moderator. Cotto will also moderate the Pastoral Commission for Hispanic Ministries for the 2004-2006 biennium.
Finally, the NHBF presented the "Somos Uno" awards to the following persons and Institutions:
* Outstanding Congregation 2002?2004: Iglesia del Pueblo, Hope Center, Hammond, Ind.
* Outstanding Minister 2002?2004: Juan Rodr?uez, Hammond, Ind.
* Outstanding Layperson 2002?2004: Arlene Pimentel, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
* Outstanding General Church Officer 2002?2004: Lois Artis, President, Church Finance Council, Indianapolis, Ind.