By Doyce W. Gunter
Is the Rural Life Committee that was voted into existence at the 2001 Annual Conference working?
After early attempts to impact the
Our “David” is the rural United Methodist churches. These churches are the only ones who can lead their communities out of this crisis. They, like David, are willing to face these giants, but they must be empowered. Our task as a conference is to empower and enable these churches to lead their communities to new life.
How could we enable these rural churches? We spent several meetings planning how to do this.
One goal is to keep the conference and general public informed about the plight of the rural areas and the vision of what rural
A second goal is to help all the churches of the conference catch a vision of the possible future for rural
The spring quarter also includes “Rural Life Heritage Sunday” which is the fourth Sunday in April in the Mississippi Conference. Rural Life Ministries has developed an order of worship for this Sunday. We will be happy to send you a copy to guide you in this celebration, which will be on April 22. (To obtain the order of worship, contact Dr. Doyce W. Gunter, 2800 West Main Street #201-B,
Rural Life Ministries also plans to develop “model rural communities.” This requires hands-on work in the rural communities. We plan to start “probe staffs” in rural areas to do this work. In 2005 we started the first probe staff in
Our first need surfaced at the Wesley Foundation at
The need for health care for the poor and elderly has led to a parish-nursing program, which is in its infant stages. Working from the food bank program, we are helping families start gardens to give them a source of fresh vegetables.
The probe staff has approached the Itawamba Cluster about the two cooperative ministries becoming one. This would make both groups stronger. The cluster needs a coordinating group, such as the probe staff. The probe staff needs a laity group, such as the cluster, to help reach out to people in the communities.
The probe staff has also approached the Itawamba County Development Council (ICDC) about working cooperatively in economic development. ICDC has welcomed this offer. ICDC is doing good work but is having difficulty reaching some of the more isolated areas of the county. The local churches can help reach these areas.
With these two links, many good changes can take place in
Someone has to lead when there is a crisis. God called David to lead the Hebrews in their crisis, and Christ is calling the