American by birth, Latina by heritage, Rev. Josefina Perez is passionate about working through Hispanic/Latino ministries as an opportunity to help move The United Methodist Church toward becoming a church that is truly for ALL people.
Rev. Perez deeply desires a church where all people from all walks of life and places will embrace one another with the true love of God, celebrating and enjoying many cultures, languages, ages, life styles and walking in unity just as God intended and desires.
After serving as the Director of Hispanic/Latino Ministries in the NC Conference of The United Methodist Church, she accepted an invitation from the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministries and the Scranton District of the Susquehanna Conference in September of 2010 to serve a small congregation of predominantly older adults, with no diversity, existing in a neighborhood surrounded by the fastest growing Latino population, among other ethnicities and cultures.
The goal was to re-vitalize Myrtle Street UMC in Scranton, PA, then facing the alternative of having their doors closed. They have been in constant transition over the past 16 months and are being transformed into a culturally competent, relevant and energized church that looks more like a community center every day, with several outreach ministries, from food distribution, to a free clothing store, and a soon to come after school program for elementary grades.
The most exciting thing is all the ongoing reports of Myrtle Street members encouraging and praying with neighbors that come for food or clothing and end up being loved and cared for by the hands and feet of Jesus.