what do we do?
urban rural mission
The mandate of URM is to encourage, assist and support the WCC member churches in an understanding and practice of mission that involves them in resisting unjust structures in solidarity with those who have been made poor and marginalized. The focus is to enable communities to organize for empowerment and social transformation in the perspective of the reign of God.

URM is a movement of people, rooted in the Christian faith (while working together with people of other faiths), who are committed to being in solidarity with the struggles of oppressed people for justice and liberation. It aims to link urban and rural community organizations, people's movements and networks together with churches and mission bodies, nationally, regionally and globally. Support for community-building will always be a major focus of the work and methodology of the URM. It raises awareness of the dignity and the potential of the underprivileged and the marginalized, and promotes the growth of sustainable communities. It works for Christian initiatives to be with peoples' struggles for community and justice.

URM work with the elderly in Peru

Church "labour centre" in the Philippines. (1988)

Press release: 1-7 May 2004 URM conference in Accra, Ghana
Conference communiqué

URM programme priorities are:
  • to support people's struggles for justice and self-empowerment primarily through the local organization of communities and coalitions of the exploited, marginalized and oppressed. URM enables space for people to come and to act together in resisting unjust struggles.
  • to enable development of leadership, including training of community leaders and organizers.
  • to enable exchange and solidarity among local groups and people's movements by building and sustaining networks, linking those who are actively involved in local and national struggles in the continents of the south
  • to encourage and support church involvement in people's programmes for justice, dignity and identity contributing to community-building and social transformation.
  • to encourage biblical and theological reflection and articulation in the specific context of struggle and involvement in people's movements
  • to give attention to the ways in which such experience and reflection can challenge, inform and shape the mission understanding and practice of the institutional church.
  • to maintain a strong belief in the value and importance of people, all made by God in God's own image - with dignity, identity and for a common humanity. 
  • This work is about mission in Christ's way. It implies taking sides, getting involved, accepting people as they are and building new communities. It strives for faithfulness to the mission of God which is the proclamation of abundant life.

    It is also about "spirituality". We encounter the Spirit of God in other people, through the courage of communities who resist, struggle and have hope of a new life, a new creation and a new community in spite of pain, suffering and death.

    URM programmes are decentralized to six regions: Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and North America. Each region has a contact group/committee composed principally of local community organizers, supported by others to strengthen analysis, biblical/theological and ideological reflection and relations with the churches.

    WCC-URM's work is guided by a global commission. The WCC-URM office in Geneva coordinates and facilitates the whole programme, working with each region to support the regional networks for greater cohesion and collaboration in the global family, and to interpret and promote URM goals within WCC, the ecumenical movement and with supporting churches and donor agencies.