Rural & Migrant Ministry invites congregations from all faith backgrounds to enter into a partnership with us and officially declare yourself a Covenanting Congregation.
Rural & Migrant Ministry (RMM) began over thirty six years ago when people of faith recognized that many migrant farmworkers and disenfranchised rural people were their neighbors – and that they were denied many basic necessities and rights. As a result, working through the New York State Council of Churches a unique Covenant was established in which faith bodies would partner with RMM to work for the creation of a more inclusive and just rural New York.
Covenanting Congregations provide an avenue for specific congregations to partner with RMM. The Covenant enables congregations a deeper and more profound way for developing a ministry of advocacy, witness and empowerment.
As your congregation lives into and honors your faith heritage, the Covenant also provides the opportunity to join with rural workers and their families as well as with congregations from different faith traditions. As we gather at this unique table we commit ourselves to making a difference, and in turn celebrate that our own faith will be enriched in the process.
Rural & Migrant Ministry places a great importance upon this Covenant. Indeed, RMM’s success depends upon other joining with it.
RMM brings four commitments to its covenantal relationship with congregations:
RMM will be hopeful about the possibilities and opportunities of building a just community.
RMM will be prophetic through its passion and compassion, holding up the voices of the poor and outcast.
RMM will be a bridge. Through the creation of programs, educational events and liturgies, RMM will offer the possibility for people from a diversity of backgrounds to enter into relationship.
RMM will honor the dignity of all whom its works with and serves, celebrating their talents.
When a congregation votes to become a Covenanting Congregation they make three commitments:
PARTICIPATION: RMM can only be successful in its mission if people are involved. In turn, the opportunities of faith are to be found through relationships. Covenanting Congregations actively encourage their members to participate as volunteers in RMM’s ongoing life and work. Each Covenanting Congregations selects one member to serve as an RMM Advocate, who in turn is responsible for serving as a liaison between the Congregation and the Ministry.
A FINANCIAL PLEDGE: Although pledge amounts may vary from year to year, the important thing about a pledge versus a contribution is that it implies on-going support over time. Some congregations choose to build RMM into their budget. Others choose to take on a specific fund-raising project.
PRAYER: Prayer believes the impossible is possible: that the voices of the poor will be heard; that our lives can make a difference; that justice is real. Covenanting Congregations keep the Ministry ever present in their prayers – through liturgies, announcements, and internet communications.