Faced with the challenges all churches experienced when worship services were shut down in April 2020, the Upper Columbia Conference Hispanic department found creative ways to regroup as church elders, Bible teachers, local pastors, church members, men and women, young adults, and children to create a virtual church plant, HispanosUCC. This novel church produces services in Spanish on Facebook and YouTube twice a day, Monday through Saturday, with the goal of providing worship opportunities in the midst of the challenges, social isolation, pain, crises and loss.
Virtual worship responsibilities were delegated and shared among the local pastoral team in order to offer virtual worship services at both 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and minister to the growing challenges the following virtual ministries were quickly developed. The services include:
Daily: 7 a.m. devotionals;
Mondays: "Healthy Homes, Powerful Churches”;
Tuesdays: "A Revelation of Jesus";
Wednesdays: Multiple worship and prayer meetings;
Thursdays: Ministry to men: "According to the Heart of God";
Fridays: Small group ministries: “Me and My House”;
Saturdays: Church at worship, biblical didactics and Sabbath School;
- 5 p.m. For children — "NiñosUCC";
- 7 p.m. Women’s ministries.
In addition to the daily and weekly programming, quarterly evangelism/spiritual emphasis weeks featuring multiple pastors and speakers. Program statistics show 89,000 individuals are clicking on HispanosUCC and 57,000 are actively participating.
NiñosUCC, one of the newest weekly virtual programs, began on Feb. 6 after much prayer, teamwork and a deep desire to see children discipled into knowing and loving Jesus Christ as their lifelong Friend and Companion. One of the leaders is Saul Dominguez, who is pastor of the Hermiston, Pendleton and Rekindle District. He, along with his wife, Katie, identified the need to develop a virtual, multicultural children’s program. They quickly contacted other local pastors who joined them in planning and launching this online ministry. Additionally, many of the children’s ministry leaders in the local churches partnered in recording various program segments.
The two host puppets, Poncho and Laila, welcome the viewing children weekly. The kids worship through songs, a dynamic Bible story and an interactive craft project led by the hosts. Viewers participate by sending in pictures and videos that are integrated into their weekly prerecorded segments.
We praise God for all of our friends, brethren, leaders and pastors, who under the coordination of Cristian Barrera — who also pastors the Wapato, Granger and Central Valley churches — plan, minister and produce HispanosUCC for the glory of God. We also deeply appreciate the brethren and friends who tune in daily and give this virtual church a reason to exist and to continue sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.
Saul Dominguez, pastor, and the Upper Columbia Conference Hispanic ministries department, as reported by César and Carolann De León, NPUC Hispanic ministries