The Charter has been the tie that binds United Methodist Men units for over 50 years. The concept of United Methodist Men to be united through a "national office" was a grassroots idea in the early beginning of men's work.
Men gladly join and support many diverse, civic and service clubs. They support these organizations with dues, as well as with hours upon hours of volunteer service directed toward doing good for their communities. They do this willingly year after year deriving the spiritual reward of knowing they are contributing to the welfare of humankind. They simultaneously enjoy the association with others, as well as the advance of their own welfare in the business world. Civic service and para-church religious organizations are chartered through a national or international organization.
All such national or international organizations are supported through dues of member organizations. The membership never questions the fact that each local unit must be chartered. Yet, when it comes to supporting a national service organization which is a part of the church, some ask, "Why charter? Why should a local United Methodist Men unit charter and make annual contributions to the General Commission on United Methodist Men?"
United Methodist Men's units are chartered for all the same reasons that a local church is chartered as a United Methodist church, (making its annual contributions to the general church through World Service and Conference Benevolences). Our church is a connectional community of true believers under the Lordship of Christ providing a covenant relationship between persons. It offers a unique and favorable mission and ministry in the world.
Because of the uniqueness of the specialized ministry for and to men, general church funds are not adequate for direction, oversight, administration and maintenance of the mission and ministry of United Methodist Men.
The national office and staff of the General Commission on United Methodist Men provide many services for local units, subdistricts, districts, conferences, and jurisdictional organizations, the U.S. National Association of Conference Presidents, and the International Christian Fellowship of Methodist Men. Each of these important structures exists to support the growth and provide opportunities for men to be in mission and ministry. The goal is to increase the local unit's effectiveness in mission and ministry through opportunities not available through any other source.
The charter benefits for a local unit include:
- UMM Magazine (which includes the MenNews newsletter) 4 times a year for the president and treasurer of the local men's unit.
- Program book and other materials in the President's Packet (which is mailed annually in November).
- A service office, available staff to answer phone calls and letters.
- Staff-led training events in every part of the nation for conference, district and local leaders.
- Local church resources to assist in program planning and enabling officers to carry out duties and responsibilities.
- Representation through national staff in a wide variety of interests in which other United Methodist Church agencies and ecumenical organizations are involved.
The General Commission on United Methodist Men staff oversees and manages the mission and ministries that are funded by United Methodist Men. With the cooperation and help of the National Association of Conference Presidents and the United Methodist Men Foundation, staff relates to, promotes and seeks funds to maintain the United Methodist Men missions. Also, the General Commission staff manages the National Gathering of United Methodist Men held every four years, most recently in 2017 at St. Luke UMC, Indianapolis, IN.
Three important functions of the annual charter recertification:
- The annual charter certification updates and corrects the mailing address of current officers. To insure that current mailings reach the proper hands, the new officer information must be received annually.
- The charter and annual recertification, as stated in The Book of Discipline (¶2302), is the key that links men's units around the world. Witness and strength are measured by annual growth of current chartered units.
- Financial contributions provide support for the General Commission on United Methodist Men's administrative mission and resource budgets. These annual contributions are vital to strengthen and enhance the unique connection of one men's unit with other men's units around the world.
(To charter or re-certify, you can also download the PDF Form.)
For more information contact:
Joe Strausbaugh [email protected]