Osceola is a hub for Hispanic ministry development in the South Central District. Pastor Rosa Maria Rodriquez has focused her energy in three ways, through worship opportunities, pastoral care, and small group events, in order to reach the growing Spanish-speaking population living in the area.
Small group activities have included Wednesday evening gatherings of children and youth. A choir has formed, and Bible studies have been offered to respond to spiritual needs. Other groups include a guitar class and a United Methodist Women’s circle.
Worship attendance in 2014 averaged about 22. By the close of 2015 attendance was ranging from 30 to 35 most Sundays.
Now ministry is expanding to other parts of the district. Pastor Rodriquez began a Bible study group in Creston on Saturdays. Monthly shared meals have given members of the United Methodist Church there a chance to get acquainted with their Latino neighbors.
This year in Ottumwa Pastor Rodriquez will be meeting people at Wesley United Methodist Church during monthly legal clinics sponsored by Justice for Our Neighbors.
Two conference standing committees, Parish Development and Hispanic Ministries, provided $51,000 in 2015 to allow Pastor Rodriquez to focus full time on her work. These gifts were made possible with apportionment contributions from United Methodist churches throughout the state of Iowa.