From Bishop Hope Morgan Ward & Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster:
For more than a century, organizations in the North Carolina Conference and the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church have sought to be channels of God’s grace and healing to families and children living through difficult and troubled times. The Children’s Home, Inc., in Winston-Salem and Methodist Home for Children in Raleigh both share a history and a passion for helping children and families.
Today we, as your bishops, are united in supporting discussions currently taking place between these two organizations to discern how best to serve children across our state for another century. Our goal is to provide the best possible services for children, and to explore the creation of a statewide entity that will serve as a provider and act as a responsible steward of community and United Methodist resources.
The boards of our two organizations are studying the impact of changes in how services are funded and delivered. Since the State of North Carolina embarked on mental health reform more than twelve years ago, public funding for family services has been reduced significantly. However, the need for those services has dramatically increased. The Children’s Home and Methodist Home for Children are evaluating how best to carry out our common mission of service to children as the resources are dwindling.
The boards of our institutions are seeking to act responsibly and carefully while maintaining a tightly focused vision of ministry and service to and for the children of our state. We commit ourselves to prayer, encouragement, and support as we seek new methods and new relationships in this very important ministry. We invite United Methodists across North Carolina to join us in those prayers and encouragement.
Download a PDF of the letter to post or hand out in your church.