Find relationships, partnerships at ministryWITH

"With* each other we can put our faith into action and transform the world into God's kingdom of love and justice," says the video introducing www.ministryWITH.org.

The interactive website encourages United Methodists to revisit their views about people living in poverty and to work together with those who are poor to address conditions and causes of poverty. The emphasis is on "with," not ministry "to" or "for" the poor.

Events at annual conferences throughout the United States this spring launched the With* educational campaign.

MinistryWITH.org provides downloadable multimedia resources for teaching about ministry with the poor. The "Learn" section includes fact sheets about poverty in the United States and globally, videos and podcasts. "Mobilize" invites users to act, serve and donate prayer, hands-on service and money. 

Website visitors can post prayer requests. Worship and study resources include music, Bible reflections, discussion questions and prayers. Readers may add their comments to reflections on ministry and mission with the poor from church leaders and by submitting blog entries.

"Ministry 'with' offers a model that transforms body, mind and spirit, with the giver and receiver blending their gifts together in relationship," says Thomas Kemper, general secretary with the General Board of Global Ministries. "From a practical standpoint, ministry with the poor involves listening to, empowering and training to create sustainable change."

One of four current priorities or areas of focus for The United Methodist Church, ministry with the poor has long been a part of the church's heritage, beginning with John Wesley's ministry in 18th-century England. The General Board of Global Ministries and United Methodist Women collaborated with the interagency task force on ministry with the poor and the Council of Bishops to launch ministryWITH.org.

Originally appeared in July/August 2011 issue of Interpreter Magazine. Reprinted with permission of UMCOM.

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