Latinx ‘Colectivo’ invites allies to help shape its future

Latinx leaders in the United Church of Christ are inviting people to join them in a revival.

Ever since a key General Synod vote two years ago, Latinx visibility in the church has been on the rise. The Colectivo de UCC Latinx Ministries — formally recognized by that 2019 Synod vote — has a new website. It has active Facebook and Twitter feeds. There’s a Latinx podcast.

Now, after months of work by a transition team, the Colectivo is about to elect its leadership and lean into its future. It is inviting individuals, Conferences, local churches and other groups to have a say in that process. Those that join the Colectivo — Latinx people as well as allies — will help “re-ignite” its work, its leaders say.

Views welcome

The Rev. Linda Jaramillo of Portland, Ore., a retired national officer of the UCC, chaired the transition team. She said the wide invitation to membership reflects the “intercultural, intersectional reality” of Latinx ministry in the UCC.

She said the Colectivo is launching its membership drive in advance of an assembly, or asemblea, it will hold this fall. The assembly will elect officers to succeed the transition team and will begin “visioning” for the Colectivo’s future. The new officers, she said, will “take charge and set the course for the next two or three years of programming and focus.”

The Colectivo is promoting membership in a memo now being shared widely. “Members will soon be invited to participate in the nomination and election of officers” and “to share their perspectives, contribute their viewpoints and participate in initiatives that will serve the Latinx community,” it says.

Annual membership dues are:

  • $100 for individuals
  • $200 for UCC organizations (congregations, Associations, Conferences, ministries, etc.)
  • $250 for “collaborating partners” from outside the UCC

The first two of those levels are considered “Tier I,” entitling members to voice and vote in Colectivo business. The third is at “Tier II,” offering voice in proceedings but not vote.

‘Spirit of radical welcome’

Jaramillo, long active in the Colectivo’s predecessor — the Council for Hispanic Ministries — noted the importance of welcoming Latinx-focused and justice-seeking groups outside the UCC. “Tier II came to be because we really believe in our responsibility to our allies,” she said. “Among them are organizations that may not be religious but are really part of our justice movement, part of connections we’ve made through the years.” Nonprofits that partner with local UCC churches are just one example of those, she said. She also noted the “powerful circle that has been formed through the years” with partners in other churches and faith groups.

“The Colectivo is a diverse and ever-changing community that has come together to honor our rich history within the UCC while responding to the growing needs of our richly diverse UCC Latinx population,” the memo said. “We have grounded ourselves in love, justice and peace while living within a covenant of interconnection and inclusion. … It is in this spirit of radical welcome that we invite you to join in the re-igniting of the work of the Colectivo’s ministry.”

Categories: United Church of Christ News

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