Report of the XIX General Assembly of the Methodist Church in Uruguay
Excerpts, Translation by Global Ministries
Excerpts, Translation by Global Ministries
The General Objective is to head towards “a sustainable resource situation, using responsibly the donations, time, offerings, and the programs of the Methodist Church in Uruguay. By doing so we are keeping our promise to Jesus Christ to uphold the church with our presence, prayers, participation, and offerings.”
It was proposed as the main theme that “talents be given as service for an abundant life” (Mark 10: 42-45, Acts 2: 44-47). The purpose is to “evangelize using each others’ talents” and with humbleness one has to “go out and find each other…within the church as well as out in society.”
With that the Diaconate decided: that one has to come face to face with reality, denouncing everything that destroys life and embracing the new and abundant life. One also must prepare to make a change, organize oneself according to each others’ talents, acting and evaluating considering the objectives and all parties that are involved.
It was appealed to “go back to their roots — to the congregations, home communities, institutions” and consult with other circuits about what to do as deacons, which will end in a National Forum.
Among other things it was recommended to: open channels of communications with foundational communities and institutions, continue with local volunteer groups, to keep in mind the interconnectedness among different service environments including the economical aspect. And finally, there is a commitment to the adequate organization of ministries.
The most prominent issues in society to be faced are: addictions, health, depression, suicide, sexual violence, discrimination, exclusion. The current situations of the children, older adults, and the homeless were also areas of concern. The Methodist Church of Uruguay needs to confront these situations “without replacing the role of the State.”
It was emphasized to create a church that is all inclusive, proactive, and that is open to the demands and new comings of God. By doing so one is renovating the spiritual experience that is the foundation of the gospel witness.
The goal is to grow in every aspect, such as overcoming discussions that do not create justice, and the mission that God has given us. To respect complexity of situations and the special contexts of each congregation is another goal. A third goal is to work according to the suggestions and guidelines given by the National Consultation of Life and Mission of 2005.
It is important to facilitate processes in which communities can reflect and find ways in which each congregation can design its own Local Missionary Project. The purposes of the project would be to grow in harmony, reinforce the vivacity of God’s transformative love and to discover the necessities that are presented and the opportunities that God offers us.
The challenge is to obtain active participation and commitments from all who compose the local communities. One has to have clear goals that are concrete and can be evaluated and also with the ability to change. Goals with such boldness will help people break the barriers that prevent compromises and advancements.
The Local Missionary Projects should be dealt with in a network; by doing so they will be able to coordinate efforts, resources, and talents. The coordination of such projects will help them to move up to national levels so they will be supported and implemented.
On a different matter, it is recommended to install debate processes in the different levels of the Methodist Church of Uruguay. These debate processes will help create dialogue about the accusations from society. These accusations were brought to light by participants of the Panel in the Assembly.
Ecclesiology and Ministry
First of all, it was recommended that the congregations use the document, The National Consultation of Life and Mission, approved during the XIX Assembly, which will cover from two, five, ten years. The major themes of Stewardship, Mission, Ecclesiology and Ministry, and Diaconate are the foundations for the 2007 work plan. This plan should be presented to the JNVM to help create a national plan which will have implications on the distribution of resources and budgets.
Another recommendation is to emphasize the congregations as the place of privilege from which the missions come. This emphasis will create growth and enrichment of the lives of the communities and the struggles of society. It will also help the congregations that are struggling. We also want to create more churches with active membership in the communities of service. In the next ten years it is hoped that there will be Methodist communities in each state of Uruguay.
It is important to increase the participation and engagement with other social organizations that deal with national, economic, ethnic, and social issues. Congregational life should be inclusive to different ages, interests, and participation. It is also important to evaluate the liturgy, proposals, and the dialogues that take place with the community. One needs to make sure that the church is a place for fellowship, comfort, nurturing so that it will help children grow and bring in new members.
When it comes to ministry, it is important that it be for reflection and guides on a national level. One needs to better the definition of their work with the congregations. It is also important to have clear communication amongst each other to optimize on the resources needed for the specific programs.