General Conference approves Division on Ministries with Young People

Thousands of dreams came true May 1 when the 2004 General Conference voted overwhelmingly to approve a Division on Ministries with Young People.

"This proposal has been met with enthusiasm and cooperation across the church," said Arthur Jones, delegate from North Texas, as he presented the petition to the conference.

"This is exactly what the church needs."

The conference voted 780 to approve the division; 109 opposed the division and there were 11 abstentions. The budget of $6.6 million, which included $1.8 million off the budget, was approved by a vote of 749 for, 140 against and 7 abstentions.

"This is an historic moment," said Jeffrey Greenway, Western Pennsylvania delegate and chair of the legislative committee on discipleship. "The young people have shown us a model where the old things pass away and new things come into being."

The Shared Mission Focus on Young People, an initiative of the United Methodist Church since 1996, brought legislation to create a Division on Ministries with Young People. The division will be at the United Methodist Board of Discipleship in Nashville, Tenn.

Since 2001, the Shared Mission Focus leaders have been gathering dreams on their Web site, www.idreamachurch.com:

  • "I dream a church that would look upon everyone and see only what God sees."
  • "I dream a church where young people across the global village are celebrated as partners in service for Christ."
  • "I dream a church where young adults are welcome not just in speech but in action."
  • "I dream a church where young people’s call to ministry is recognized and encouraged without taking into account their age."

As part of the proposal, the United Methodist Youth Organization and the Forum for Adult Workers in Youth Ministry will disband. The Shared Mission Focus on Young People will be folded into the new division.

In preparing the petition, the team’s research showed that while the general church offers many opportunities for youth and young adults, those ministries remain disconnected, and often the message does not reach the local church. The division will create a central place for youth, young adults and workers with young adult ministries to find direction for their ministries.

Gilbert is a United Methodist News Service news writer.

Related


Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
General Church
Two excerpts from Paragraph 161.G of the United Methodist Social Principles affirm the sacred worth of individuals and the church’s stance that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Graphic by Laurens Glass, UM News.

Debate about church future heats up

United Methodists are gearing up to go in different directions. At the same time, disputes over church rules and the status of LGBTQ people continue to flare.
Bishops
Access to COVID-19 vaccines continues to be a global challenge. The Wesleyan Covenant Association is raising funds to help General Conference delegates in Africa, Eurasia and the Philippines to get the shots. But United Methodist bishops and other church leaders say the plan appears to serve an agenda and not the community as a whole. Coronavirus image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; syringe image by Arek Socha, courtesy of Pixabay; graphic by Laurens Glass, UM News.

Bishops, others denounce WCA’s vaccine plan

Multiple United Methodist leaders, including some bishops, are raising ethical concerns about the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s plan to help General Conference delegates in Africa, Europe and the Philippines receive COVID-19 vaccines.
Judicial Council
The Book of Discipline contains the rules that guide The United Methodist Church. The Judicial Council — the denomination’s top court — faces multiple questions related to a new Disciplinary provision that allows congregations to disaffiliate with property under certain conditions. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Judicial Council to review church-exit rules

The United Methodist Church’s top court faces multiple questions related to the deadline for General Conference legislation and a new law allowing congregations to exit with property.