Petition 80199

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Cooperative Parish Ministry (80199-GM-R9999)

Adopt the following resolution:

COOPERATIVE PARISH MINISTRY
    WHEREAS, numerous changes have taken place within the Cooperative Parish Ministry movement of The United Methodist Church, including general church oversight and new and creative processes and patterns; and,
WHEREAS, historically responsibility for Cooperative Parish Ministry was lodged, first, with the Office of Town and Country Ministry and, later, also with the Office of Urban Ministry in the General Board of Global Ministries; and
WHEREAS, in the past several years Cooperative Parish Ministry has included, for administrative and support purposes, the General Board of  Discipleship, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, and the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, as well as the General Board of Global Ministries; and,
        WHEREAS, some annual conferences are exploring the effectiveness of clusters in which all pastors agree to meet regularly for purposes of holding each other accountable for ministry, outreach and for leading their churches to develop both individual and collaborative cooperative ministry action plans; and,  
WHEREAS, at this time staff of the General Boards of Global Ministry, Higher Education and Ministry, Discipleship, and the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns are creating a administrative new pattern to carry forward work done by the National Cooperative Ministry Leadership Team which planned and carried to completion six national cooperative ministry consultations;
THEREFORE, be it resolved that appreciation be expressed for the good work done by the National Cooperative Ministry Leadership Team across the quadrennia; and,
Further be it resolved that the General Boards and Agencies, the annual conferences, districts and charge conferences of The United Methodist Church be called on to implement processes which will eventuate in understandings of how to initiate cooperative projects, ministries, and parishes and to facilitate their movement toward local and global mission and ministry; and  
Further be it resolved that the above Boards and Agency be expected to continue providing encouragement and financial support to expand the effective use of cooperative patterns and processes within the Church; and,
    Further be it resolved that the above Boards and Agencies be called upon to bring together a group composed on persons from across the church who are knowledgeable and experienced in cooperative parish ministry  to plan and carry forward a national cooperative parish consultation no later than two years following the General Conference of 2008 in order to facilitate broader use of existing cooperative forms and the incorporation of new patterns and processes which continue to emerge throughout the Church.