The Office of Urban Ministries helps annual (regional) conferences and churches address urban concerns through strategic planning, resourcing and advancing model ministries that can revitalize churches and communities in urban and metropolitan areas.
Many annual conferences face shrinking congregations and resources, a lack of leadership and coordination, and racially changing communities that bring new demands and new possibilities for vital ministry. Many are also responding to drug abuse, poverty, crime and violence, poor education, substandard housing and other urban challenges through opportunities for dynamic ministry.
The Office of Urban Ministries supports the efforts of conferences and churches in various ways, such as providing consultation, extensive training and technical assistance through the National Holy Boldness Urban Academy and the Urban Ministry Training Modules. Limited funding opportunities are also available.
The National Holy Boldness Urban Academy is designed to assist urban lay and clergy leaders with the development and implementation of strategies that will transform congregational life and increase effectiveness in community ministry.
Holy Boldness Training Modules have been designed to equip congregational and community leaders with resources to revitalize congregational life and transform communities. Each one day training module will assist in developing long-term focus and new direction for ministries in urban congregations and communities for the building of God's kingdom. The seven areas of training (modules) from the Holy Boldness National Urban Plan are:
- Urban Theology
- Urban Evangelism and Congregational Development
- Developing and Strengthening Multicultural Relationships
- Eradication of Racism & Other Forms of Oppression
- Leadership Development
- Community Economic Development
- Wholeness, Healing, and Health
Whom to Contact
This office works very closely with the National Urban Strategy Council, which is the advisory committee for the Office of Urban Ministries. It is comprised of three representatives from each of the five jurisdictional urban networks; five GBGM Board of Directors; general church representatives; and ethnic caucus representatives. The current chairperson is Rev. Craig French from Syracuse, NY.
For information regarding the Jurisdictional Urban Networks, contacts are as follows:
- Northeastern: Craig French, craigfrench@Twcny.rr.com
- North Central: E. Cary Simonton, Simonton@att.net
- South Central: Joe D. Connelly, JDconnelly@yahoo.com
- Southeast: Jack C. Washington, JWashington@umcsc.org
- Western: Nancy Butterfield, NancyB@rmcumc.com
For more information contact:
Diane H. Johnson
Office of Urban Ministries
475 Riverside Dr., Office 1550
New York, NY 10115