From the Past to the Present and On to the Future
MARCHA was organized in 1970 in San Antonio Texas and held its first national meeting in El Paso TX in 1971. MARCHA was organized with the purpose of assisting our Church to be more effective in its ministry and outreach to the Hispanic/Latino community. Over the last forty-six years of its life MARCHA’s purpose has not changed. It has kept before our church the dreams and aspirations of Hispanics through its advocacy on the justice issues affecting them, it has developed a strong network of Latino leaders who come together from time to time for mutual support and learning from each other’s ministry, and it has challenged our Church to be more engaged in ministry with the Latino communities and their evangelistic outreach.
I have been involved with MARCHA from its very beginning and I have seen this movement make significant contributions to our church. One obvious example is the creation of the National Plan for Hispanic Latino Ministries which has brought new energy to Hispanic Ministries in several Annual Conferences. MARCHA wrote the legislation that General Conference approved and implemented. I am particularly pleased by the many young people MARCHA has trained across the years to provide effective leadership in the local churches they attend and in the communities where they live. Several of them are now recognized leaders in our Church at the general, jurisdictional and Annual Conference levels.
I continue to be involved in MARCHA because the rapid increase of the Hispanic/Latino population in the US demands from our church a greater emphasis in its evangelistic outreach to them and because I truly believe that that the full inclusion of Latinos in our Church will enrich our life together in our beloved United Methodist Church.