Petition 80200

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Affirm Cooperative Parish Ministry (80200-GM-R9999)

Adopt the following resolution:

Affirmation of Cooperative Parish Ministry
Whereas, in the United Methodist Church, the hope is to stir the 11.5 million-member global denomination in a spirit of collaboration and consensus-building, and
Whereas, the hope is to give unified focus and resources to the mission of the United Methodist Church so that disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world; and
Whereas, there is a deep yearning in the church for focus and unity; and
Whereas, four "mission initiatives” are being presented to General Conference to build a collaborative movement--Leadership Development; Building New Congregations and Revitalizing Existing Ones; Ministry with the poor; and Combating the Preventable Diseases of Poverty; and  
Whereas, Cooperative Ministry is an intentional style of team ministry that enables groups of congregations and their pastors and laity in a defined geographic area to work together in ministries of nurture, outreach and witness; and  
Whereas, cooperative forms of ministry have been proven to enhance the ministries of laity and pastors, to provide greater support and peer accountability among clergy, and to further connectional awareness and increased resourcing from the connectional church; and  
Whereas, historically from 1975 -2003, a National Leadership Team composed of both rural and urban grassroots persons who lived and worked in cooperative settings designed and carried out six National Consultations on Cooperative Parish Ministries; and
Whereas, these consultations explicitly affirmed the need for support of cooperative ministries by bishops and cabinet, annual conferences, districts, charge conferences and their churches, general boards and agencies, and seminaries in order to reflect the reign of God, call disciples to Jesus Christ and transform communities and the world;  
Therefore be it resolved that cooperative ministry at all levels be given special attention in the pursuit of the four "mission initiatives" of the church in leadership development, congregational development, ministry with the poor, and combating poverty.