Story Magazine - Third Quarter, 2006

Machado Named Western Mission Cluster Coordinator For Vocational Formation

by Laura Kaslow, Communication Specialist

The coordinator for vocational formation is a three-year call. Machado will collaborate with the admission staffs of both Luther Seminary and PLTS to expand existing recruitment efforts to young women and men who discern that they are called by God for public leadership in Christ's church, and to position the seminanies of the Western Mission Cluster as their first-tier choices for theological education. Special attention will be given to work in faith communities and institutions that have significant ministries with persons of color, languages other than English and new immigrants.

Machado sees the new position as pivotal for the future of the whole church. "The way we deal with our nation and communities is vastly changing," Machado said. "There is now greater opportunity for mission in the U.S. This is an opportunity for Luther and PLTS to build relationships in communities that they have not had strong relationships with in the ast. This will allow us to try new things and connect with new people
in a different way."

The coordinator for vocational formation position was created using funds from a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. This three-year grant encourages the Western Mission Cluster to prepare more leaders for the church, particularly students of color and those called to ministry in underserved areas of the church, including urban, remote-rural, multicultural and ethnic-specific ministries.

"The staffs of this initiative in St. Paul and Berkeley are excited by the wealth of experience Antonio brings, including his obvious passion for helping others discover their vocation," said Patricia Lull, dean of students at Luther Seminary and project director for the Lilly Grant. "He is already regarded as a leader in multicultural initiatives in the ELCA.We are eager to see what God can do as we team up for this three-year effort."

Machado was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, raised in Bronx, N.Y. and now resides in Minnesota. He grew up in an extended family and speaks both Spanish and English fluently. His extensive experience includes teaching in the New York City school system and at Florida International University. He has taught literacy and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. In addition to his parish work, he has traveled extensively throughout Latin America with Lutheran World  Federation to "make church relevant" to people in poor urban areas. Machado is the 1997 recipient of Luther Seminary's Race, Church, Change award, which recognizes individuals who have significantly impacted society through multicultural ministry, race relations and reconciliation. He is also the 2004  recipient of the Latino Pastor of the Year award in Minneapolis, Minn. Machado received the Bachelor of science degree in political science from City College, New York City, N.Y. in 1973 and his Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in 1989.