Who's it for?
United Methodist churches who are working to build more economically-dynamic and socially-inclusive communities in rural North Carolina.
What problem does it solve?
A significant number of North Carolina’s 80 rural counties are still struggling to recover from the Great Recession, with many facing compounding issues of aging populations, out-migration of youth, and worsening health outcomes.
How does it help?
Young adults are likely to return to rural areas to raise a family and attracting those individuals, and keeping those who have stayed, is engaged community institutions and visionary local leadership.
The Faith in Rural Communities initiative will initially partner with 64 Methodist churches throughout the state to assess their congregational assets and opportunities for community engagement. A smaller subset of congregations will then receive in-depth coaching and leadership training to develop local outreach projects that support community growth and nurture laity and pastoral leadership in rural communities. The work with selected congregations will result in high-impact mission projects designed to benefit the economic health and social well-being of the local communities, while also enhancing congregational life within the churches and increase overall church vitality.