The Pacto/Covenant between the Tennessee Conference and the Methodist Church of Mexico in the Conferencia Annual Oriental (CAO)
The Pacto/Covenant was created in 1998 between the Tennessee Conference and the Methodist Church of Mexico in the Conferencia Annual Oriental (CAO), which translates to Eastern Annual Conference in English. In 1998, the first team from the Murfreesboro district went to Rio Bravo. In 2000, construction teams from the Tennessee conference began coming to Matamoros. In 2004, a program called “Bless the Children” began in order to provide uniforms and school supplies for children in Matamoros. In 2006, The CAO sent the first Hispanic missionary to our conference.
The goals include:
- Collaborating on the support and development of Hispanic Ministries on both sides of the border
- Supporting short-term missionaries in ministry that could include: Pastoral exchange, exchange student programs and exchange of potential missionaries for short and long-term mission
- Developing joint mission opportunities
- Linking mission teams from the sending conference with a partner team from the receiving conference as much as possible
- Exchanging Conference delegates
- Developing understanding and sensitivity of the culture of the conference being visited in the context of the Christian experience
Why a Pacto/Covenant?
- There already exists a successful history of fellowship and cooperation between the two conferences that demonstrates a call to work together in a more official way.
- The two conferences have valuable gifts to share with one another and want to continue exploring these opportunities.
- This covenant must be based on reciprocity and cooperation.
- We desire to increase awareness of the needs of migrant workers and create opportunities to address those needs.
We plan to continue inviting teams from CAO to come and assist with our Hispanic Fellowships. We have had three teams come in the past: one to the Paris district of the Memphis Conference and two to the Tennessee Conference in 2007 and 2009.
As a part of the covenant, each annual conference shall appoint a small group that will function as a covenant committee whose purpose is to give continuity to our relationship. Rev. Enrique Hernandez-Vigil serves as the chair for this committee.
On April 28, 2016, a meeting was held of members of the CAO including Bishop Fuentes, the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences to discuss strengths, weaknesses, successes, frustrations and shortcomings.
We have a covenant; a covenant/pacto is not a list of projects to complete or a list of task to check off; it is an agreement between two or more persons to do or not do something. We have agreed to make a difference in both Conferences. As Bishop McAlilly has explained, the vision of this ministry has always been to strengthen ministry across conference lines both in Tennessee and Mexico.
We have churches in Mexico needing construction completed. We have children in both conferences who need shoes, uniforms and school supplies. We have scholarships for higher education that need funding. We have relationships that need to be strengthened and made. We have prayer that needs to be lifted up and we have a world to transform together between both conferences as we work to honor God in all we do to glorify Him.
We invite you to be a part of this Pacto/Covenant. Please reach out to Rev. Enrique Hernandez-Vigil, District Superintendent, or Angela Overstreet, Director of Missional Engagement for the Tennessee Conference, to learn more and get involved.