Petition 80415

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Holy Boldness (80415-GM-R180)

Delete current Resolution # 180 and replace with new resolution to the Book of Resolutions as follows:

Whereas, change is inevitable but transformation is optional, the United Methodist Church has the opportunity to transform and energize urban churches and communities with holy boldness.  
Whereas, the Holy Boldness: Pathways to Transformation Plan has been developed to continue and strengthen the National Urban Ministry Plan adopted at the 1996 General Conference and reaffirmed in 2004.  
Whereas, the primary goal of the Plan calls for the United Methodist Church to provide a vision for the future: identify areas of focus and collaboration; to organize and mobilize resources; and equip leaders to carry out the Plan.
  Whereas, according to the “State of the World Population 2007” report, ''in 2008, half of the world's population will be in urban areas, and “without proper planning, cities across the globe will face the threat of overwhelming poverty, limited opportunities for youth, and religious extremism.”
Whereas, ultimately, the Pathways to Transformation Plan will be effective if annual conferences, districts and especially, local churches and faith-based community organizations and agencies develop strategies and carry out the agreed-upon goals and objectives.  
Whereas, it is also critical for the whole church (congregations in and outside urban areas, Annual Conferences and General Church agencies) to work in collaboration to support those working locally to transform urban congregations and the communities to meet the need of growing urban areas.
Whereas, the priorities, goals and objectives identified for this Plan were determined through a national survey of laity, pastors, faith-based community organization staff, Annual Conference staff, seminary presidents and deans, and bishops.  
Whereas, the primary goals are to accomplish the following:
1.    Transform existing urban congregations through training, coaching and mentoring.
2.    Establish new urban churches and faith communities.
3.    Identify and develop urban pastors and laity.
4.    Assist Annual Conferences and districts in urban strategic planning.
5.    Challenge and assist urban congregations to transform the communities in which they reside.
Whereas, the priorities which will inform and guide these goals are:
Urban theology and leadership development

  • Urban evangelism and congregational development
  • Living in community with the poor
  • Strengthening and developing multicultural relationships and congregations
  • Eradicating racism and other forms of oppression
  • Creating and developing urban/suburban collaboration and partnerships
  • Community economic development
  • Wholeness, healing and health
    Whereas, these goals and priorities further support the four areas of collaboration developed by the Connectional Table: 1) leadership development, 2) starting new congregations, 3) partnering with the poor, and 4) global health. This plan is particularly synergistic with the third proposal, “partner with the poor to seek justice and address the causes of human suffering that result from poverty,” which has been assigned to Global Ministries to take the lead on.
    Whereas, urban transformation will require a collaborative effort by local churches working in cooperation with other denominations, community organizations, businesses, and governmental institutions; collaboration will need to occur beyond the city limits by collaborating with exurban churches which share similar challenges, and churches in suburban areas which have committed persons, resources and relational roots in urban neighborhoods, all of which strengthen ministry.
    Whereas, collaboration will also need to occur at the national  level with the National Urban Strategy Council and general agency teams (Global Ministries, Church and Society, Discipleship, Higher Education and Ministry, Religion and Race, and Communications) working together to identify common strategies that they can mutually accomplish; the national  strategies linking with local strategies and needs; national collaboration involving the ethnic ministry plans already adopted by our Church with a particular sensitivity to those who are poor; and finally, national collaboration involving other ecumenical and inter-faith bodies and national urban resources.
    Therefore, be it resolved, that we call upon the general agencies, the National Urban Strategy Council, jurisdictional networks, annual conferences, districts and especially, local churches to take authority and responsibility in being holy and bold to accomplish the goals and objectives of the plan.  
    Be it further resolved, that the General Board of Global Ministries Office of Urban Ministries will be responsible for the coordination and implementation of the plan. Objectives and action steps have been developed and will be implemented as funding is made available.
    Be it further resolved, in order to facilitate this coordination and implementation, the Office of Urban Ministries will have copies of the plan available for any who wish to partner in this effort, and that with God’s help, we can re-claim our cities for United Methodism and, in the process, meet Christ on the streets walking with his people.