California-Nevada Pastor to be Commissioned GBGM Missionary
October 08, 2013
The Rev. Brenda Vaca will be commissioned for missionary service with the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM). Brenda is a member of the California-Nevada Annual Conference. Vaca will be the Western Jurisdiction Hispanic/Latino Ministry Missionary based in the annual conference. She will be commissioned on Friday, October 11, at Christ Church United Methodist Church in New York at 7:30 p.m. (EST).
She will be a Western Jurisdiction National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry missionary, based in San Jose, California.
The National Plan, launched in 1992, is a churchwide, interagency approach to planting new churches, revitalizing existing ones, and engaging United Methodists in ministries with growing Hispanic/Latino communities. The Hispanic/Latino population in the US today is around 50.6 million (16.3 percent of the total population) and will constitute 30 percent of the total population by the year 2050. The Hispanic/Latino population is the fastest demographic reality in the Western Jurisdiction of the church.
Brenda is a clergy member of the California-Nevada Conference, having been ordained in June 2010.
She was born in Huntington Park, California, and has extensive pastor experience.
She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California at Berkeley in 1998, a Master of Divinity degree from Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, and a Master of Arts in Biblical Languages from the Graduate Theological Union, also Berkeley, in 2006.
Brenda has held pastoral appointments at Nueva Vida Ministries/Temple United Methodist Church, San Francisco; Pine United Methodist Church, San Francisco, and La Trinadad United Methodist Church, San Jose, California.
She has a rich religious background. Her father’s family was Roman Catholic by origin; her mother’s family, Apostolic. She was raised in a congregation of the Church of Christ, and attended a Quaker youth group as a teenager. As a young adult of 22, attending a Church of Christ, she was deeply influenced by the story of the Ethiopian eunuch in the Acts of the Apostles. She took the eunuch’s question, “Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” to heart, and was she too was baptized.
Brenda came to The United Methodist Church in seminary. “By the time I met John Wesley, I realized that Jesus had brought me to the right place. I knew I was a United Methodist when I was sitting in class and heard articulated [the Wesleyan] concept of social and personal piety.”
After several years in the pastorate, Brenda felt called to mission service. She is particularly interested in ministry with immigrant communities. “I am very passionate about equipping our local church leaders, both lay and clergy, to be advocates for justice for our immigrant brothers and sisters.”