Petition 80201

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Support of Cooperative Parish Ministry (80201-GM-R9999)

Adopt the following resolution:

FACILITATION OF COOPERATIVE PARISH MINISTRY  
THROUGHOUT THE CHURCH
    Whereas, cooperative forms of ministry have proven to enhance the ministries of laity, certified lay ministers, and to provide greater support and peer accountability among clergy , and to further connectional awareness and increased resourcing from the connectional church; 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, as United Methodists and ecumenically, to work together in ministries of nurture, outreach and witness; and,
Whereas, during its session at St. Louis in 2003 the Cooperative Ministry Common Table, under leadership of the General Council on Ministries and involving the National Leadership Team on Cooperative Parish Ministry, explicitly affirmed the need for support of cooperative ministries by bishops and cabinets, annual conferences, districts,  charge conferences and their churches, general boards and agencies, and seminaries in order to call disciples to Jesus Christ and shape communities which reflect the reign of God;
    Therefore be it resolved that cooperative parish ministry be supported by:
    1.  all boards and agencies of The United Methodist Church by collaborating around issues concerning cooperative ministry, i.e., training, resourcing, and financial and technical assistance, etc.;    
2.  bishops and cabinets fulfilling the requirements of The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church regarding cooperative ministries, i.e., training, consultation, deployment of personnel, etc.
3.  bishops and cabinets giving priority to cooperative ministries in the appointment making process, including ecumenically-oriented cooperative parishes;
4.  seminaries including training and field experiences for students to learn skills of working in team settings;
5.  courses of study for local pastors, including training and field experience;  
6.  cabinets, conference staff, and other conference leaders of congregational development, parish and community development, etc., to give special attention to cooperative work in rural, urban, declining, growing, stable, racial/ethnic, multicultural, and large and small membership charges and churches;  
7.  cabinets and other annual conference leaders encouraging cooperative projects, ministries and parishes as means of reaching out and starting new congregations in apartment complexes, mobile home parks, recreational areas, prisons, retirement homes, unincorporated sections of communities, etc.