Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
In 2004, Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño became the first Hispanic woman to be elected to the episcopacy of The United Methodist Church, the second-largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. Today, she is one of 69 active bishops leading more than twelve million members of her denomination worldwide. She currently serves as Bishop of the San Francisco Area of The United Methodist Church, and is an official spokesperson for the United Methodist Council of Bishops on the issue of immigration. Bishop Carcaño is a graduate of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Perkins School of Theology of Southern Methodist University.
In her ministry she has pastored churches in Lubbock, Crystal City, Carrizo Springs, Hebbronville and McAllen, all in the state of Texas. She pastored a church in San Jose, California, and served as the organizing pastor of the ecumenical South Albuquerque Cooperative Ministry in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She also served as the chaplain of the former Holding Institute, a United Methodist secondary school in Laredo, Texas. In 1986 she became the first Hispanic woman to be appointed a United Methodist district superintendent, serving in that capacity in West Texas and New Mexico until 1992. After superintendency, she served as the Director of the Mexican American Program at Perkins School of Theology. In 2001 she was invited to serve as the Superintendent of the Metropolitan District of the Oregon-Idaho Conference, in Portland, Oregon. She was serving in this latter appointment when she was elected to the episcopacy.
A native of Edinburg, Texas, Bishop Carcaño spent her early years aspiring to make a difference in the lives of persons who faced poverty and discrimination. Not forgetting her roots and early hopes, her ministry has always involved work with the poor, farm workers, immigrants, refugees, and those advocating for the full rights of the LGBTQ community. Deeply committed to ecumenism, the strengthening of interfaith relationships, and contextual ministry, she encourages congregations to work ecumenically and in partnership with communities of other living faiths and to be active in community organizing. She serves on the boards of the Industrial Areas Foundation Southwestern region and The California Endowment. She is also an Auburn Fellow.
Bishop Carcaño is married to Mr. Thomas L. Spaniolo, a lawyer who practices immigration and criminal law. They have a daughter, Sofia Teresa Spaniolo-Carcaño, who lives in Chicago and works in the fashion industry.
Erin M. Hawkins
Erin M. Hawkins, General Secretary for the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR), will be the keynote speaker for the 2017 Annual Conference Session to be held June 21 to 24 at the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame.
This year's annual conference theme is "Testify to Love: Your Story Matters." Hawkins says, "Jesus used stories to bring people together, to create a deeper understanding around the bond of our common humanity. Indeed, we are all connected and our unifying story is powerful…The things that make each of us unique are equally powerful. Let us use this time to bring our unique gifts and graces around the table to heal division and discord…Let us see ourselves in each other, as we work for peace, justice, healing and wholeness in our communities and in our church." She works to share lessons in creating holy relationships with God by, "holding in tension our capacity for greatness that calls us, as Christians, to persevere in the struggle toward becoming our better selves.”
Hawkins was named the chief executive of the General Commission on Religion and Race, an agency of The United Methodist Church with offices in Washington, D.C., in 2007 after serving as an associate general secretary since 2001. She earned her master's degree in Organizational Development from American University in Washington, D.C. and a master's degree in Public Policy from Indiana University. She is well suited to lead the Commission whose purpose is “to challenge, lead, and equip the people of The United Methodist Church to become interculturally competent, to ensure institutional equity and to facilitate vital conversations about religion, race and culture.”
Resident Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño says, “I am so looking forward to being with our clergy and lay members at the 2017 Annual Conference Session of our California-Nevada Conference. It will be my first and I know that God will be there ahead of us ready to bless us. One of the blessings that I am sure we will receive, will be the presence and witness of Erin Hawkins, a powerful and visionary leader of our global Church." She added, "I am praying for our annual session and invite everyone to join me in praying for a faithful and blessed session."
Dr. James H. Salley
Dr. James H. Salley, Associate Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Advancement for Africa University, will preach for the opening worship of the 2017 Annual Conference Session (ACS) on Wednesday morning, June 21. The ACS offering will benefit Africa University as the school celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The celebratory offering will take place during opening worship. Clergy and laity from churches across the California-Nevada Conference are encouraged to bring, and present their offering during this time.
With an enrollment of more than 1,500 full-time students and 800 part-time students, Africa University, located in Old Mutare, Zimbabwe, today has more than 7,264 graduates from 32 African countries. More than half of the students (53 percent) are female — more than double other universities throughout Africa. The university offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in agriculture and natural resources, education, health sciences, humanities and social sciences, management and administration, peace leadership and governance and theology.
Today Africa University boasts 7,264 alumni many of whom have gone on to serve in their countries in significant leadership positions. Countless people in the worldwide connection have supported the university with their prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness. Over the years, United Methodists have provided financial support through the Africa University Fund apportionment and World Service Special Gifts, bearing testimony to the high regard for AU within the connection.
Salley has been in ministry with Africa University since its inception. He has helped individual and corporate donors, local churches, annual conferences, and general agencies of the United Methodist Church connection and beyond understand the mission and needs of the "School of Dreams." He serves as the chief advancement officer and fund raiser for the institution; he is in charge of the University’s institutional advancement program; and he is responsible for interpreting the programs of the University to local churches, organizations, and agencies throughout the United Methodist connection and beyond.
Rev. Greg Bergquist
Rev. Greg Bergquist is the associate general secretary for the Division of Ordained Ministry at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. In this role, Bergquist oversees all functions of the division, including the strategic planning for the recruitment and training of United Methodist clergy.
Most recently, Bergquist served as conference superintendent for leadership development for the California-Nevada Annual Conference. He has worked with the conference’s Board of Ordained Ministry (BOM) for 16 years in a variety of roles, including chair for the Conference Relations Committee and cabinet representative to BOM.
Bergquist has more than 30 years of experience in rural, suburban and urban churches across Georgia, Texas and California. Bergquist has also held faculty and instructor positions at the Pacific School of Religion and Southern Methodist University.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in industrial and system engineering from University of Florida, and a Master of Divinity in historical theology from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Bergquist completed graduate studies in the religious studies program at Southern Methodist University.