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Community & Institutional Ministries
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Our Partners in Town and Country Ministry

The Town and Country Ministries staff works with partners throughout The United Methodist Church, 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.


Cooperative Ministries Interagency Team

This team brings general church agencies together to plan collaboratively for the development of cooperative and shared ministries in The United Methodist Church and ecumenical settings. These ministries benefit from leadership and resource development, research and advocacy - all of which are critical to their growth and success. The Team's responsibility is to address the needs of local churches, conferences, jurisdictions and the Church around the world as they work together to fulfill the mission of Christ through cooperative ministry.  

Jurisdictional Associations and Organizations

Regional Rural Life Centers

Rural Chaplains Association

This membership organization providing support to laity and clergy who are called to be in rural ministry through an annual Focus Event, newsletter and workshops. A rural chaplain is a volunteer--man or woman, lay or clergy--called by God , graced with gifts particularly suited to ministry in small town and country settings, and certified by the Rural Chaplains Association for rural church and community ministries. Rural chaplains continue in their regular job or profession; they receive no compensation for their chaplaincy.

The association has United Methodist roots, a majority of its members are United Methodist, and the General Board of Global Ministries strongly endorses the objectives of the rural chaplaincy movement. However, the association has no organic or legal ties to The United Methodist Church or any of its parts. The General Board of Global Ministries, through the office of Town and Country Ministries, provides some staff support and program grants to the association, as it does for other independent groups and projects engaged in town and country ministry.

Rural Church Network

This ecumenical membership organization is a forum for sharing among denominational leaders and other town and rural strategic partners working for the wholeness and health of rural communities. Contact: Dr. David Ruesink, Executive Secretary, c/o Rural Sociology Program, RPTS 2261, Texas A&M University, College Station TX 77843-2261. Phone:1.800.471.2568.

United Methodist Appalachian Ministries Network

This diverse group works in three jurisdictions comprising 23 annual conferences in the Appalachian region. Its mission is to enhance United Methodist ministry in the Appalachian region by addressing issues, communicating concerns and facilitating networking, interpretation, resources and advocacy among churches, districts and annual conferences.  www.gbgm-umc.org/appalachia/

United Methodist Rural Fellowship

This membership organization provides support to laity and clergy in rural ministry through local groups within conferences, workshops, a newsletter (The UMRF Bulletin) and legislative support and advocacy at General Conference