Vibrant Latino ministries are developing in Iowa with the support of training underwritten in part through apportionment gifts. Emerging Latino communities of faith are located in Muscatine, Council Bluffs, Oakland, Perry, Des Moines, Corwith, Iowa City, and North Liberty — and the list is growing!
The Instituto Latino, the leadership development arm of the Hispanic/Latino Standing Committee of the Iowa Board of Global Ministries, has offered lay leadership training for the last several years at Wesley Woods, typically starting on a Friday night and ending late Saturday afternoon. This year several different ministry sites took responsibility for planning events in their own communities.
San Pablo United Methodist Church in Muscatine hosted “Lider Cristiano en Este Tiempo (Today’s Christian Leader),” which was presented by Dr. David Aguirre last April. A weekend retreat in May at Broadway United Methodist Church in Council Bluffs focused on leadership training for Latina women with the Rev. Awilda Noya of the Wisconsin Annual Conference. The Rev. Oscar Ramos Gallardo spoke at a September event hosted by Vida Nueva (New Life) in Corwith, addressing evangelism from his perspective as a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries in New Orleans.
All events were presented in Spanish and featured inspiring music offered by participants. The Instituto Latino’s ministry is one response to a strategic priority of the Iowa Conference to equip lay leadership to disciple others and transform the world.