Omar Paz is the new Bilingual Service Coordinator for First United Methodist Church in North Liberty. Their bilingual worship service features both English and Spanish to help connect new people to God through their community of faith.
The roots for this ministry began a few years ago when members of San Pablo United Methodist Church in Muscatine began exploring ways to provide worship for participants who had been traveling 50 miles from the Iowa City area to join them. Several churches eventually became involved in the initiative, including the North Liberty church.
Behind the scenes, the Southeast District Latino Task Force provided funds for leaders to travel back and forth from the two cities and seed money, in partnership with the East Central District, for the ministry to develop. Mike Biklen, who chairs the task force, describes their work as a collaboration of organizations who “encourage creative, innovative ministries that reach out to, and advocate for, the fastest-growing ethnic group in the state.”
The Southeast District Latino Task Force receives funding support from a Matthew 25 grant, which is made possible with the apportionment gifts of United Methodist churches throughout the state of Iowa.