It’s amazing that our conference has the two largest United Methodist congregations in the Northeast Jurisdiction. Both have the right DNA to grow in making disciples and transforming their communities and the world. One is Anglo, Bethany in Wescosville-Allentown; the other is Latino, Nuevo Nacimiento, or New Birth UMC in Lebanon. Both have been identified nationally as having the necessary, fertile DNA to be learning centers for leaders of new church starts and existing churches that want to grow.
The Rev. Elena Ortiz is the dynamic pastor of Nuevo Nacimiento UMC. Congregational Development has come alongside them to help develop six new house churches in their community, led by local pastors in training. We are also partnering with them in a new church development initiative that also involves the United Methodist PATH-1 program and our next-door neighbor, the Susquehanna Conference.
Moises Reyes, one of New Birth’s (Nuevo Nacimiento)’s local pastors will serve the church as a pastor- intern for two years and then leave to plant a new Latino church in the Susquehanna Conference. Moises felt God calling him and his family to go serve the Lord wherever this may be. He feels blessed with this collaborative ministry opportunity, and he knows God will provide.
By the Rev. Gordon Hendrickson
EPA Conference Coordinator of Congregational Development