WHEREAS, the struggle for social, economic, and political survival of Black people in the United States is manifested in their historical migration to urban centers; and
WHEREAS, the problems that have evolved through the decade now face this population of people, isolated from access to the material resources needed to unleash its power and creativity in a manner that will build rather than destroy communities; and
WHEREAS, the Black United Methodist churches in urban communities have historically been centers of spiritual nurture and social and political action that have cared for the youth and offered viable alternatives to the negative aspects of decaying urban centers; and
WHEREAS, there is a demonstrated need in all urban communities in this country for strong, vital Black congregations to reach into the hurts and pains of the community and provide the spiritual revival that is needed in order to reclaim individuals and communities and manifest the healing power of God to combat drugs, violence, and a growing sense of hopelessness; and
WHEREAS, the gospel mandates that we "seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare" (Jeremiah 29:7); and
WHEREAS, Black United Methodist congregations in urban communities are called, as are all churches, to minister to the needs of persons in the communities where the church is located; and
WHEREAS, the conditions in urban communities for Black persons continue to worsen, and the need for grounding in a faith and reliance on the power of God for the strength and vision to reclaim and rebuild strong, proud, faith-centered communities grows daily while the resources and persons in Black urban congregations decrease;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the General Conference direct the General Board of Discipleship to develop programs and strategies that will enable the development of Black leadership, and specific programs and strategies that will foster financial self-sufficiency, such as launching a stewardship education program.
Be it further resolved, that the General Board of Global Ministries work with existing Black churches in urban communities to develop and maintain vital congregations providing practical ministries that address the spiritual, social, and economic decline in these communities.
Be it further resolved, that the General Board of Global Ministries coordinate its work in strengthening Black urban congregations with the General Board of Discipleship, the annual conferences and urban ministry units of annual conferences, the Strengthening the Black Church for the Twenty-First Century initiative.
ADOPTED 1992, AMENDED AND READOPTED 2004
From The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church — 2004. Copyright © 2004 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.