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Dream, pray, work for community, bishops urge

11/5/2003 News media contact: Tim Tanton (615) 742-5470 Nashville, Tenn.

This report is a sidebar to UMNS story #532.

WASHINGTON (UMNS)-The United Methodist bishops are calling the church to action in a new statement on children and poverty.

· In "Our Shared Dream: The Beloved Community," they urge United Methodists to dream, pray and work for the day when:

· "The church is a more inclusive fellowship, in which dividing walls of race and gender, culture and class are broken down…

· "Church and world overcome the competitiveness that dominates relationships.
· "The ability to give with boundless generosity replaces the drive to collect, possess, own and withhold.

· "Our relations across the globe will be characterized not by charity, dependence and paternalism but by partnership and solidarity.

· "We are free from pride of self, group, tribe and nation and thus more completely reflect the image of the selfless, self-giving God who is within us and among us.

· "Every church conference asks: 'How are we living for the impoverished?' 'How are our individual vocations lived for the poor and contributing to the growth of beloved community?'

· "Every human community on earth is a place committed to preventing violence and offering healing to its victims.

· "All things have become new in Christ Jesus … and the beloved community is our reality."

The task force wrote the statement, adopted Nov. 4, for the Bishops' Initiative on Children and Poverty.

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