Urban Ministry Conference Addresses Purposeful City Living

April 28, 2015 | Heidi Baumgartner

Adventist Church co-founder and prolific writer Ellen White wrote extensively about city and country living. In much of her writing, she urged Adventists to pursue country living. But she didn’t forget ministry to the cities.

She, in fact, urged Adventists to live in the city with purpose. What, then, are the best ways to live and minister with purpose in urban settings? This question served as a central point for a three-day Urban Ministries Conference in mid-March.

“We need to understand the landscape of our cities,” says Marc Woodson, who shared about Bridges to Health, a San Francisco Bay Area health initiative. Woodson, along with fellow presenters, outlined the need to identify problems, pray for communities, find solutions, and build bridges between churches, conferences and communities.

The training conference attracted 80 local and regional community service leaders, pastors and church leaders with a few national and international guests who desire to better serve the needs of their communities.

The practical keynote presentations, workshops and ministry consultations featured urban ministry experts such as Gaspar Colón, May-Ellen Colón, Katia Reinert, Keith Goodman, Gerson Santos, Will and Peggy James, and Rico Hill. The presenters shared how to assess community needs, create centers of influence, pray for communities and mobilize the church for ministry.

“Our cities in the world are in crisis and experiencing a global revolution,” says David Jamieson, a senior pastor from Aldergrove, British Columbia, Canada, in his keynote address. “There is an unprecedented desire in our cities for change. What the world needs is not a revolution but a 'servolution' to break down barriers, open hearts and love people.”