New Hope United Methodist Church in Toledo, OH is a small church with a big heart for missions. New to Hispanic ministry, they began a mission project called “Mission Mexico.” As part of this mission project, they collected clothes to be distributed at migrant camps as part of the Many Might Know Hispanic Ministry and mobile health clinic. The congregation collected several large boxes of clothing to be distributed. New Hope will also partner with Church of the Cross and Maumee United Methodist churches to provide VBS programs in the migrant camps after the mobile health clinics.
On June 12, New Hope celebrated their new commitment to Hispanic ministry with a fiesta event including worship, a potluck, and a Hispanic ministry workshop. Rev. Lupina Stewart, Hispanic Ministry Coordinator of West Ohio Conference, preached the sermon and invited members of the congregation to be commissioned for the mission of Hispanic ministry. All those in attendance chose to commit to this mission, and Lupina had the honor of commissioning the entire congregation for the work of Hispanic ministry.
During the service, New Hope also presented Lupina with a $300 check for Maumee Watershed District’s scholarship program in partnership with the Oriental Conference in Mexico. These funds will provide a semester of schooling for a Mexican pastor’s kid. Following worship, New Hope provided a taco bar and potluck for those in attendance as well as community members. This time of fellowship included a piñata contest featuring piñatas made by members of New Hope’s youth group. Following the potluck, Rev. Lupina Stewart led a short workshop on Hispanic ministry.
New Hope UMC is proof that small congregations can come together to make a big difference. Although the congregation is new to Hispanic ministry, they are an example of what is possible if we are willing to be in partnership—with God, with other churches, and with one another. God calls us to work together and be in ministry with all our neighbors; New Hope has answered that call—will you?