Kimberly Montenegro

Ethnic Background: Mix Raced African American

Conference: California Nevada

Probationary Date: 07/01/2009

Full Membership Date: 06/20/2014

Number of Eligible Quadrenniums: 6

Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA-Master of Divinity 2008
Saint Mary’s College of California, Moraga, CA-Bachelor of Arts, 2002

Ministry Experience:
Director of Religious and Spiritual Life University of Pacific 2021- current
Lead the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life: visioning, planning, and executing short and long term strategic goals.
Oversee daily operations: lead planer and manager, and management for department budgets, including preparing and tracking related income and expenses; and, ensuring adherence to applicable compliance, risk management, and university policy/procedure requirements. Supervise and mentor: students and staff members, actively engage with Advocacy, Inclusion and Support Programs and campus departments/programs to establish and sustain strong collaborations in support of student religious and spiritual needs and interests.
Collaborate with Student Affairs and Campus Life: develop trainings and related curricula for residential life staff, students, SACL staff, and other campus populations.
Primary areas of focus will include religious diversity/pluralism; religious oppression (particularly Islamophobia and antisemitism); interfaith; and, inclusive practices.

United Methodist Church Pastor— 2008-2021
Worship Leadership: weekly preaching (public speaking, presenting), sermon preparation, writing liturgy
Pastoral Care: hospital and home visits for parishioners in need, counseling
Administration: oversaw budget and fundraising annually, volunteer management, provide content for monthly newsletter
Teaching: Building, curating, implementation of regular and seasonal Bible Studies and other book studies for teens, young adults.
Diversity: Group trainer for iRelate providing training for pastors, local churches, youth and young adults.
Service: organize groups of volunteers to do faith-based community service, managed diverse groups of volunteers in a productive work environment.
Community Leadership: local justice organizing

Assistant Campus Minister
Wesley Foundation at University of California, Berkeley — 2004-2006
Curation and creation of weekly programming for college students to build relationship with God, community, and creation
Planning and leadership of an international mission trip to Africa University for college students from across the California-Nevada Annual Conference, summer 2005
Member of Conference Committee on Higher Education and Ministry

Community and Ecumenical Involvement:
New Church Start Creator who engaged 100 families in Spring Break Camp, Art in the Park, and Community Events.

Co Founder and Development Facilitator
Uncommon Grace Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion — 2018-Present
Purpose: to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion by empowering people to engage in growing cultural competency through intra and interpersonal relationship-building across diverse backgrounds, identities, and contexts
Collaboration with organizational leadership to develop and execute diversity strategies within their organizations locally, nationally, and internationally using subject matter expertise gained through 12 years of cultural competency training
Intercultural Development Inventory Administrator
Partners: Sisters of Mercy (Eastern Seaboard), Reno First United Methodist Church (Reno, NV), Abraham Lincoln High School (Denver, CO), Boys and Girls Club of Colorado (Denver, CO).

Keynote speaker for Day of Mourning for University of Pacific Black Students 2020 and 2021

Other Relevant Experience:
Main Stage four day Speaker for “Love Well” Youth 2019: National Gathering of All Youth (grades 6-12) for United Methodist Youth

Wrote and presented Spring 2018 and 2019 Adult Bible Studies DVD series

Contributor to Almost Christmas: A Wesleyan Advent Experience, connecting our Wesleyan heritage with the traditional Advent themes of Love, Hope, Joy, and Peace

Board Member and Contributor and emcee to LEAD UMC 2016-2022

Wrote and presented introductions to Disciple Fast Track DVD series

Co-presenter for United Women in Faith 2022

Certified iRelate Trainer

Intercultural Development Inventory Trainer

Why are you being called to the episcopacy at this time? What is it that you especially bring to the role of bishop with the current challenges facing our denomination and the Western Jurisdiction right now?
I have always believed discernment is done in collaboration with an individual, community, and the Holy Spirit. While I initially didn’t consider myself a person for bishop, after colleagues verbally encouraged me to consider running and my name was submitted, I asked myself was I allowing myself to be open to my own definition of discernment. After reading the first e-mail from the Episcopal committee, I reconsidered and thought I would remain open to the process until I felt no longer called.
As someone who has served in the California Nevada Annual Conference as a church planter, local church pastor, and Interfaith Chaplain at a University, I feel uniquely qualified to see the major issues that face our denomination and our Jurisdiction.
Our denomination and in particular, our Western Jurisdiction is at a decision point. We must take an honest unabashed look of where we stand as local churches, annual conferences, and as a Jurisdiction. I am a person who engaging and encouraging. I am an Ordained Elder who provides strong leadership within and beyond Methodist institutions. I have successfully engaged people from diverse populations to enhance the knowledge and understanding of complex subjects to promote inclusion within and outside of United Methodism. I take an innovative approach to building inclusive organizations, and lead others to action.

Describe how the last two years have affected your ministry.
Not unlike every pastor in a local church, the last two years have shifted my ministry in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Most of all, I believe it magnified what was healthy and also unhealthy in our existing church structures.
For me, the last two years have helped me become more clear about what my boundaries are around work and family. While I always believed ministry happens inside and as well– outside of the church, being appointed to University of the Pacific has allowed me to see in a very up close and personal way young people outside of the church want desperately to change the world, volunteer, and serve. We are missing them because of how we package service to God and neighbor.

Endorser: Lindsey Bell-Kerr

Relationship to Candidate: Colleague

Rev. Kimberly Montenegro is a pastor of deep compassion. She is consummate in looking to the edges of the communities where she serves, and prioritizing the needs of those who are often ignored by systems of power. She is unafraid to hold others accountable in love. Kim is a vision caster and a team-builder. She easily creates spaces in which participants can be open and vulnerable, and can also pivot a group toward consensus and direction. Kim is exceptionally innovative. She is courageous enough to bring new ideas to fruition and grounded enough to lead honest assessment of outcomes. In this period of significant change and instability, The United Methodist Church needs creative, faithful, and fierce leadership. For this reason, I endorse Kimberly Montenegro for bishop.

Endorser: Kristen Gallagher

Relationship to Candidate: Colleague

Kim has been a leader dedicated to practicing curiosity, challenging status quo thinking, and connecting compassionately with people the entire time. She does not shy away from hard truths, and engages the wisdom and knowledge and resources in the community around her to find great solutions to existing problems. She is creative and resourceful, but perhaps more importantly, she is Spirit-led. Everything she does is deeply rooted in her spirituality, saturated with her vibrant relationship with the Divine. Letting God lead in this way helps her know when to push, and when to reflect; when to offer an encouraging word, and when to speak an uncomfortable truth; when to make decisions, and when to keep seeking information. She has unimpeachable integrity combined with a way of seeing the best in people who may not see it in themselves that builds trust and connection with new people and colleagues alike. She engages people wherever they are, wherever she goes.
A Western Jurisdiction Bishop needs to be all of these things — well versed and highly competent in cross-cultural, cross-racial, multi-generational work; curious, compassionate, and inspiring, creating spaces for vulnerability and hope; pushing us to try new ways to connect; and dreaming up new ways to follow the wild and wonderful call of God to love the world. We need someone who appreciates the seriousness of the challenges faced by our denomination, without being cowed by them. Kim Is that person.

Endorser: Sophia Agtarap

Relationship to Candidate: Colleague

It is my privilege to be able to write this endorsement supporting the leadership and giftedness of The Rev. Kim Montenegro. In the amount of time I have known her, she has been someone who is compassionate, justice seeking, and someone who shows up for and with people. As a woman of color who has experienced a variety of leadership roles, responsibilities, and ministerial settings, I know that she is the one who leads from a place of love. Love of family, of God, and love and service for and with God’s people. She is someone who I consider a discernment partner and someone who understands and navigates the ways that power is present in interpersonal relationships and systems.

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