Resolution "Men's Ministry in the United Church of Christ"
99-GS-68 VOTED: The Twenty-second General Synod adopts the Resolution "Men's Ministry in the United Church of Christ."
Men's Ministry in the United Church of Christ
WHEREAS, men and women are created in the image of God and endowed with personality, gender, race, culture, orientation and spiritual gifts for covenant relationships and service in church and society;
WHEREAS, since the mid-eighties there has been an increasing awareness of the need for men to find healthy ways to relate to one another, with women and with children;
WHEREAS, there is a need to support men as they seek growth in their relationship with God and to discover alternatives to relationships based on patriarchy and dominance;
WHEREAS, there are fewer and fewer men taking active roles in our congregations and attending corporate worship and their presence seems to be a key to having a growing congregation;
WHEREAS, in the early 90's the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries, under the leadership of Rev. Alan Johnson, convened meetings of concerned men, resulting in the "Silver Lake Challenge," which called for instrumentalities, conferences, associations and local churches to "join with us in [a] vision of healing and transformation of men and the celebration of their gifts for God's world;"
WHEREAS, there are remnants of a once thriving network of local and regionally-based men's groups, which operate without recognition or support from the national setting of the church. Many are desperate for resources and programming reflecting the core values of the United Church of Christ;
WHEREAS, the Consultation on Men's Ministry in the United Church of Christ, held October 9-10, 1998, by the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries, has outlined a men's ministry which includes Spiritual Formation, (helping men discover the movement of God in their lives through prayer, bible study, spiritual friendships), Community (finding "safe places" where men can be in solidarity with one another as crucial issues are addressed such as ending patterns of emotional and spiritual isolation; confronting racism, sexism, homophobia, and violence); and Service (supporting the various ministries of the church and especially connecting with children in general and mentoring younger men in particular); and
WHEREAS, there are important roles and tasks for the national setting of the United Church of Christ to fulfill in advancing this ministry, namely: articulating vision, serving as a clearinghouse of information and resources, equipping leaders, affirming and celebrating effective ministries, planning and organizing for men's ministries with conferences, associations and local churches;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Twenty-second General Synod of the United Church of Christ expresses its support for men's ministries in the United Church of Christ and encourages the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries and the Covenanted Ministry of the new structure, Local Church Ministries, to continue efforts to support and resource ministries for and with men seeking alternatives to relationships based on patriarchy and dominance.
Funding For this action will be made in accordance with the overall mandates of the affected agencies and the funds available.