Petition 80418

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Annual Conference Plans for Hispanic/Latino Ministries (80418-GM-R29)

Revise Resolution 29 as follows:
  
# 29. Annual Conference Strategic, Comprehensive Plans for Hispanic/Latino -Latina Ministries
  
WHEREAS, God calls us to proclaim God's mighty acts (1 Peter 2:9) and to be good stewards of God's manifold grace, serving one another with whatever gift each has received (1 Peter 4:10), and to organize ourselves for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:7-13); and
  
WHEREAS, our United Methodist heritage integrates missional action with organizational support; and
  
WHEREAS, The Book of Discipline 2000  2004 declares that "the mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ by proclaiming the good news of God's grace and by exemplifying Jesus’ command to love God and neighbor, thus seeking the fulfillment of God's reign and realm in the world" (¶ 121), and that "each annual conference is responsible to focus and guide the mission and ministry of The United Methodist Church within its boundaries by: 1. envisioning the ministries necessary to live out the mission of the church in and through the annual conference; [...] 3. providing encouragement, coordination, and support for the ministries of nurture, outreach, and witness in districts and congregations for the transformation of the world; [...] 5. developing and strengthening ethnic ministries, including ethnic local churches and concerns . . . ." (¶ 607); and
  
WHEREAS, according to the 2000  2006 United States census  analysis  Census Bureau estimate, the people group in the United States called Hispanic/Latino-Latina has increased 58 percent from 1990 to 2000 and is projected to be 25 percent of the United States population by 2040 the Hispanic/Latino-Latina population has surpassed 44 million; and
  
WHEREAS, these figures represent an undercount and do not reflect information about undocumented persons; and
  
WHEREAS, according to the General Board of Global Ministries Office of Research's analysis of the census data, every annual conference of The United Methodist Church in the United States has within its boundaries a growing Hispanic/Latino-Latina population; and
  
WHEREAS, for three  four quadrennia the General Conference has approved the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino -Latina Ministry as a mission initiative of the whole church, and it is a comprehensive plan of evangelization  ministries with Hispanic/Latino-Latina communities by the whole church; and
  
WHEREAS, in direct relationship to the implementation of the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino -Latina Ministry, 600 faith communities have been established in 52 conferences , 900 lay missioners have been equipped and deployed, missionaries have been commissioned and assigned, 75 new Hispanic/Latino-Latina congregations have been started in 35 conferences , 70 existing Hispanic/Latino-Latina churches in 35 conferences have been strengthened, and 900 outreach ministries have been established in 52 conferences ; and
  
WHEREAS, according to the Office of the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino -Latina Ministry's estimates, the Hispanic/Latino-Latina membership in The United Methodist Church has increased by 40 percent from 1996 to 2002; and
  
WHEREAS, according to the Office of the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino -Latina Ministry's estimates, Hispanic/Latino-Latina persons represent less than 1 percent of the total membership of The United Methodist Church and Hispanic/Latino-Latina congregations represent approximately 1 percent of all United Methodist chartered churches; and
  
WHEREAS, these figures represent an undercount due to difficulties in reporting the number of Hispanic/Latino-Latina members in multicultural churches and non-Hispanic/Latino-Latina congregations, and the number of Hispanic/Latino-Latina congregations sharing facilities with other ethnic and cultural churches; and due to difficulties in the lack of reports from some Hispanic/Latino-Latina congregations; and
  
WHEREAS, in spite of the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino -Latina Ministry and other missional efforts, advances and success in reaching the people group called Hispanic/Latino-Latina population and the increased presence of Hispanic/Latino-Latina persons in the United Methodist connectional system, the people group in the United States called Hispanic/Latino-Latina population represents a huge mission field,
  
Therefore, be it resolved, that by December 31, 2006, every annual conference in the United States shall  be challenged to develop a strategic, comprehensive plan for Hispanic/Latino -Latina ministries within its boundaries, and this plan  which will include, but not be limited to, socio-economic, cultural, and religious analysis of the Hispanic/Latino-Latina communities that will be served; and strategies to strengthen existing Hispanic/Latino -Latina ministries and congregations, to start new ministries and congregations, to identify, equip, and deploy clergy and laity leaders, and to identify and deploy material and financial resources.
  
Be it further resolved, that the Council of Bishops, the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino -Latina Ministry, the General Board of Discipleship and the General Board of Global Ministries ensure that the conference comprehensive plans are in place by the indicated date and  will provide support and consultation in the development of the plans.
  
ADOPTED 2004
See Social Principles, ¶161.