United Methodist Voluntary Service (UMVS)
Through the United Methodist Voluntary Service, Global Ministries seeks to be in supportive relationship with community organizations that work through volunteers to challenge oppression and injustice and to improve the lives and fulfill the potential of those whom Jesus called the "least of these."
Through UMVS, we are in solidarity with volunteer-based groups that challenge unjust political, social and economic systems which drain the energy and resources of the poor. These groups should demonstrate awareness that their local struggles have national and global implications and that many national and global concerns affect their local struggles as well.
The church is called to move beyond its walls and into relationships with the poor and oppressed - to move from comfort to discomfort, from the familiar to the unfamiliar - to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
The church's mission is to participate in building a global community that makes a place for all, especially those who most often find themselves on society's fringes, and to engage in ministries that foster justice and mercy.
We recognize that the spirit of Jesus is present with and among all who show compassion to people in need, for when we feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit the imprisoned, we encounter Jesus.
- Provide a United Methodist relationship with local, voluntary community organizations.
- Support opportunities for persons to serve as volunteers with local community groups that engage in advocacy and organizing for change in social systems.
- Provide opportunities for persons to receive training in community organizing and organizational development.
- Support community organizations in their efforts to involve communities in their struggles to eliminate conditions that affect the health and safety of individuals and families.
Community organizations participating in the United Methodist Voluntary Service Program shall be those that meet the following criteria:
- Demonstrate commitment to social change and social action.
- Constitute an established volunteer-based community organization.
- Be in relationship, or willing to establish a relationship, with a United Methodist church or a United Methodist-related institution, agency or organization.
- Involve and train youth in community organizing efforts.
- Demonstrate the ability to become self-supporting.
- Have a culturally diverse and inclusive membership.
- Have the ability to provide meaningful community experiences for teams of volunteer organizers.
- Have established guidelines for managerial accountability.
Organizations that engage in ongoing community organizing campaigns and are in need of volunteers may request support from Global Ministries through UMVS. The support requested and rendered may be both financial and human in the form of volunteers.
- Financial support will be in the form of a one-time grant to enable the community organization to carry out its campaign.
- A team of Global Ministries consultants may be available to assist with the community organizing project.
Applying community organizations should submit their applications to the Community Ministries/Development Office for initial review. The staff of the Community Ministries Unit will make a recommendation for approval or non-approval. If the request is recommended for approval by the unit, it will be submitted to the Global Ministries board directors for action.