Petition 81319

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Study of Itinerant Ministry (81319-MH-NonDis-!)

The 2008 General Conference mandates a study into the following:
        1.    that the United Methodist Church sponsor a ten year study to follow the effectiveness of longevity vs. short-term (4 years or less) itinerant pastoral ministry as it relates to church health, growth and long-term stability within the local church
        2.    that the United Methodist Church study sociological, cultural and geographical/demographic factors and trends as it pertains to the alienation, separation and/or de-fragmentation of the American family from extended and nuclear family members.
    

Rationale

American families are often separated geographically from extended family members and natural family support systems.  In these cases, the church has a moral obligation and responsibility to function as an extended family of Christian support and community, maintaining the continuity and stability of an extended pastoral staff and their families.