North Alabama Conference Defines Relationship, Values, and Goals
The North Alabama Annual Conference (UMC) recently became part of the Pan-Methodist Campaign for Children in Poverty and is stepping up to engage every congregation in making an active difference in the lives of children in poverty. Rev. Melissa Self Patrick, Campaign Liaison, is working with the Conference children’s coordinator and members of the NAC Children’s Connexion Team to establish a mission statement, core values, and goals that guide the NAC’s activism in North Alabama.
Our hope is to undergird programs and ministries that already address the needs of children in poverty, coordinate within and across NAC Districts, and mobilize more persons to bear witness to God’s love for children who struggle with the stifling realities of poverty.
Equip congregations to share in God’s mission by providing hope, compassion, justice, and radical hospitality to children who live in poverty. CORE VALUES The Triune God identifies with, defends, and welcomes “the orphans, widows, and sojourners” and calls us to participate in Jesus Christ’s reign of justice, generosity, compassion, and joy.
- All persons are made in the image of God and redeemed in Jesus Christ and thereby have inherent worth, dignity, and potential to flourish as God’s beloved children.
- The plight of children around the world and in North Alabama is a theological, spiritual, moral, and missional crisis for The United Methodist Church.
- The mission of the church is to bring good news to the poor by being a visible sign, foretaste, and instrument of God’s compassion, justice, and radical hospitality.
- Methodism began among God’s people who struggle because of poverty, and faithfulness to the Wesleyan heritage requires solidarity with those who live in poverty as a means of divine grace.
- Ministry with the poor is an invitation to be transformed by the God who comes among us in those whom Jesus called “the least of these” and Charles Wesley called “Jesus’ bosom friends.”
- To urge UMC and related Pan-Methodist congregations to reach out and minister with those in their community who are oppressed by poverty and by prevailing attitudes about the poor.
- To provide resources which will help districts and local congregations in their ministry efforts.
- To encourage partnerships among congregations and community agencies which support people struggling in poverty.
- To advocate for changes in the systems that perpetuate poverty. ~To host at least one (1) annual event to bring attention to children in poverty and to advocate for systemic change.
Celebration of Children’s Sabbath – encourage all local churches to host a Children’s Sabbath between October 12-19. Our team will connect churches to wonderful resources, which include liturgies, from the Pan-Methodist Campaign. These will be linked to the Children’s Connexion website as soon as the new NAC website is up and running.