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
A diverse group of bishops and other United Methodist leaders gather for a group photo in 2019 after reaching agreement on a proposal that would maintain The United Methodist Church but allow traditionalist congregations to separate into a new denomination. More than a quarter of that team have now rescinded their support for the agreement in its entirety, saying it no longer offers an adequate path forward for The United Methodist Church. Photo courtesy of the Protocol Mediation Team.

Protocol’s day has passed, some negotiators say

Based on discussions with General Conference delegates and other United Methodists, five of the 16 leaders who negotiated a denominational separation agreement say they “can no longer, in good faith, support” the proposal.
General Church
The Rev. Dr. Rebekah Miles. Photo courtesy of the author.

Steps to take to avoid a GC2024 debacle

The Rev. Dr. Rebekah Miles and the Rev. David Livingston, both veteran General Conference delegates, explain what steps United Methodists can take now to avoid "the debacle of General Conference 2019."
Judicial Council
United Methodist bishops process into the opening worship service for the 2019 special General Conference in St. Louis. The Judicial Council, The United Methodist Church’s top court, released a memorandum that clarifies an earlier ruling on bishop elections. File photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Church court modifies ruling on bishop elections

The United Methodist Judicial Council has modified an earlier ruling to say that newly elected U.S. bishops will take office on Jan. 1, 2023.