Associations are formally constituted groups of typically under-represented pastors and leaders within Vineyard USA. As described in the Interim Report, the Executive Team voted in September 2020 to formally establish Associations within Vineyard USA.
Our starting point for developing the Associations model was our observation of the transformational work that the Evangelical Covenant Church has undertaken in the area of multiethnicity over the past couple of decades. Angela Yee, Chief Ministry Officer of the Evangelical Covenant Church has worked closely with us in developing this process.
Associations serve two basic purposes:
- Establishing intentional environments for leadership development, mentoring, and hospitality, within the structure of Vineyard USA, for typically under-represented pastors and leaders
- Establishing formal structures by which voices representing groups of typically under-represented pastors and leaders are consistently heard at the national leadership table of Vineyard USA
For many years, versions of such structures have existed within Vineyard USA, specifically La Viña, Vineyard Women, and Vineyard Diversity. On April 14-15, 2021, ten leaders representing these groups gathered in Denver for the first of a series of meetings about how to formally establish Associations within Vineyard USA. In attendance were Dianne Leman, Melanie Forsyth, Kathy Maskell, Dennis Liu, Ray Maldonado, Ruben Quintero, Geno Olison, Josh Williams, Deniqua Washington, Jay Pathak, Danielle Pathak, and Caleb Maskell.
Out of that meeting, which was full of a sense of the presence of God, it was decided that Vineyard USA will formally establish four Associations, no later than January 2022:
- Vineyard Latino/a Pastors and Leaders Association
- Vineyard African-American Pastors and Leaders Association
- Vineyard Asian-American Pastors and Leaders Association
- Vineyard Women Pastors and Leaders Association
The names of the above Associations are provisional, but the groups they represent are not. Over the course of 2021, the current leaders of these Associations will work together with the Vineyard USA National Team to establish leadership processes and rhythms of working relationship to accomplish the purposes stated above. You will hear more about this in the coming months. We have great hope and expectation concerning the value of Associations for the maturing of our movement.