Staffing Provides New Coordination for Washington County Hispanic Ministries


Gonzalo CalderonA newly hired community deveolper for United Methodist ministries in Washington County, Oregon will help raise awareness and increase cooperation between the various ministries.

Currently, there is a cluster of community-based Hispanic ministries throughout Washington County that are supported by the United Methodist Church. These projects vary from ESL classes to food pantries and a community dinner. They are not coordinated in a systemic manner to promote outreach, but represent the interest and energies of the UMC in working with the Hispanic community.

The Community Developer position is designed to increase the coordination between these separate efforts, promote empowerment among those involved, increase the awareness among UMC congregations of the real needs of the growing Hispanic community with our region, and foster a stronger sense of commitment to be in ministry with our Hispanic neighbors.

Funding from the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church (National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry) will provide a coordinator working 10 hours per week with the ministries.

District Superintendent Lowell Greathouse has announced that Gonzalo Calderon has been hired for the developer position. Calderon currently works with Hillsboro United Methodist Churches English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Calderon, an immigrant from Central Mexico has a bachelors’ degree from UC Davis, and a masters in Counseling Psychology from Chico State.

Calderon’s work and life experience are a good fit for the needs of the program. He shared, “I am excited to start this new journey, as a Hispanic/Latino Community Developer to assist the United Methodist Churches in the Washington and Multnomah counties, in their outreach efforts to assist and improve the Hispanic/Latino community.”

This project is one of three in the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference designed to encourage a deeper connection between the United Methodist Church and the Hispanic Community, foster effective ministry within this community, and promote lay leadership among those involved.