Help lead the Rural Center’s new rural church engagement program
The NC Rural Center has received a five-year grant from The Duke Endowment to work with United Methodist churches in rural North Carolina to build more economically dynamic and socially inclusive communities.
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 to develop local outreach projects that support community growth and nurture laity and pastoral leadership in rural communities.
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. North Carolina now has 54 rural counties with more than 30 percent of their population either in poverty or just above poverty incomes. From July 2010 to July 2016, 48 rural counties lost population.
But rural communities are rich in assets, and recent research suggests some young adults are likely to return to raise a family and be part of a tight-knit community. The key to attracting those individuals — and keeping those who have stayed — is engaged community institutions and visionary local leadership.
The Rural Center will work with the selected congregations to develop high-impact mission projects that benefit the economic health and social wellbeing of the local community, but also enhance congregational life within the churches and increase overall church vitality.
We are now seeking a program manager to lead this exciting five-year project. Interested in learning more or applying? Check out the job description, or contact Senior Fellow Jason Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications due October 27.