Urban Commission consultants help plot strategy

The EPA Conference Urban Commission has engaged two part-time, short-term consultants to help plot its course and set in motion a comprehensive strategy for urban ministry. Maurice Simmons, a three-year member of the commission is serving as Urban Strategy Coordinator, while Bethany L. Amey is Coordinator  of the Office of Urban Ministries. Their joint, eight-month task is to update the current urban strategy and devise a new, viable structure and strategy for office operations, ministry support, urban partnerships and programming.

Their work will focus partly on preparing for a capital campaign, alongside Partners for Sacred Places, to help fund innovative ministry among struggling urban churches.

Simmons, a 25-year member of Tindley Temple UMC in Philadelphia, has consulted with the 13 Broad Street corridor churches that are participating in Partners for Sacred Places’ New Dollars/New Partners initiative. He formerly directed the Methodist Action Program in Wilmington, Del., and has an academic certificate in Urban Studies.

Amey, a graduate student at Eastern University studying Organizational Leadership, is a member of the Greater New Jersey Conference.  She is working to forge connections with two dozen urban congregations primarily in the Philadelphia and Lancaster areas and support the Urban Commission’s planning and training initiatives. Her connectional efforts include gathering and featuring stories and photos of the churches’ ministries and facilities while building up the office’s new Facebook page. “We’d love to have more people and churches visit and ‘like’ our page to help us gain more followers,” she said. Visit their page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Urban-Commission-of-Eastern-PA-Conference.

Simmons (msimmons@epaumc.org) and Amey (bamey@epaumc.org) began their consulting in November and are expected to complete their contract in July 2015. The office phone number is 215-878-8054.