The Office of Town and Country Ministries resources the 20,000 United Methodist congregations, totaling 2.9 million members, that are located in cities, towns and villages with populations of up to 50,000 or where the population is 250 people or fewer per square mile. In many of these represented areas, the economy is based primarily on natural resources.
Our staff works with partners throughout the denomination, including Jurisdictional Town and Country Networks, annual (regional) conferences, districts and congregations to help develop lay and clergy leadership and share information about concerns affecting town and country churches and communities. In addition, we cooperate with:
The Office of Town and Country Ministries also collaborates ecumenically through the Commission on Religion in Appalachia and the Rural Church Network of the United States and Canada.
We provide information and respond to questions and concerns related to the diverse forms of Cooperative Ministries operating in rural areas. We also make available interpretive materials to help congregations celebrate Rural Life Sunday each year. Moreover, the Town and Country Ministries staff guides joint implementation of the United Methodist Church’s National Town and Country Ministries Comprehensive Plan.