Town and Country Ministries
The Office of Town and Country Ministries resources the 20,000 United Methodist congregations, totaling 2.9 million members, that are located in cities, towns and villages with populations of up to 50,000 or where the population is 250 people or fewer per square mile. In many of these represented areas, the economy is based primarily on natural resources.
In the USA, "town and country" is generally considered as those communities and churches located in isolated areas, rural villages, country seat towns, and small cities. Generally, the social environment is characterized by a direct relationship with nature and natural resources, small industries, manufacturing and tourist activities.
Our staff works with partners throughout the denomination, including jurisdictional town and country networks, annual (regional) conferences, districts and congregations to help develop lay and clergy leadership and share information about concerns affecting town and country churches and communities. We also cooperate with other United Methodist and ecumenical rural ministry groups.
The Office of Town and Country Ministries provides information and responds to questions and concerns related to the diverse forms of Cooperative Ministries operating in rural areas. We also make available interpretive materials to help congregations celebrate Rural Life Sunday each year.
Moreover, our staff works with a broad-based advisory team to help implement the Action Plan of The United Methodist Church's National Town and Country Ministries Comprehensive Plan in the United States, titled "Born Again in Every Place." These plans signify the denomination's commitment to recognize and respond to the long-neglected concerns of rural churches and communities and to realize the potential for revitalizing ministry and leadership in town and country settings.
News and Features
Church Supports Farmers Co-op as Act of Stewardship
Edgehill United Methodist Church has always been involved in feeding ministries for the community. Now members of the Nashville congregation have found a way to feed themselves-and support community-based agriculture that keeps family farms in business.
Henderson Settlement to Provide Medical Transportation through Foundation Grant
"I can go to the doctor now!" This national mission institution can now help dozens of people on limited incomes get to routine medical visits, thereby averting the onset of critical health conditions.