|Survey Seeks Grassroots Views on Future of United Methodist Urban Ministry|
New York, NY, November 6, 2006-Clergy and laity of urban congregations can help to shape next steps in The United Methodist Church's strategy for strengthening city-based ministries in the United States.
They are invited to complete an online survey, described as a "Call to Transformation," that is available from November 7, 2006 through January 31, 2007. The questionnaire can be found at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=375832674837
The survey is part of the research being conducted for a revision and refinement of the denomination's national urban ministry plan, "Holy Boldness," adopted ten years ago by the policy-making United Methodist General Conference.
"We have reached the point when we must evaluate our plan and make adjustments to keep up with the changing times," said Diane Johnson, the executive for the Office of Urban Ministry of General Board of Global Ministries. "We cannot do our job well unless we hear from the urban grassroots."
"Holy Boldness: Pathways to Transformation" is the tentative name of the next-step urban plan that will be submitted for consideration by the 2008 General Conference.
The survey is sponsored by Johnson's office along with its related National Urban Strategy Council.
"The urban scene constantly changes," said the Rev. Craig French, chairperson of the council and pastor of Immanuel United Methodist Church in Camillus, NY, located in the Syracuse area. "We need to hear from the people who live and minister there as we work with annual conferences and districts in shaping our urban strategy for the future.
"What we learn through the survey will also assist our urban ministry office as it determines how to use and allocate resources."
The original Holy Boldness plan included extensive training in a range of city-based ministry options. It is credited with helping to enliven urban congregations across the country.
The second stage will most likely focus on models, "how to's," and the use of church-wide resources, according to Johnson, citing the introduction to the survey questionnaire.
Other research involves theological seminaries and denominational leaders.
"We hope that many urban clergy and lay members, even people who attend city churches but have not joined, will take part in our initial survey," Johnson said. "We also hope they will take seriously a call to transformation in the city. "Responding to that call means making disciples of Jesus Christ, offering passionate worship, creating faith-forming relationships, and sending people out for risk-taking service."
Date posted: Nov 06, 2006