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franklin county times

AMOS Network sets priorities, plans for future

By By Ida Brown and Penny Randall / staff writers
May 30, 2003
After months of discussions at house meetings, more than 200 residents convened at a Meridian church Thursday to unite the community across racial, cultural and denominational lines.
Representing 15 Meridian church congregations, the group is referred to as the delegates assembly of the AMOS Network, a church- and community-based group that also has chapters in Jackson and Madison County.
Joining more than 200 parishioners at the meeting were: the Rev. A.C. Marble Jr., representing the Rt. Rev. Duncan Montgomery Gray III of the Episcopal Church; Bishop Joseph N. Latino of the Jackson Catholic Diocese; Bishop Kenneth Carder of the United Methodist Church in Mississippi; the Rev. Gary Faith, executive director of missions for the Lutheran Church's Missouri Synod office in New Orleans; and the Rev. Dock Everett of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.
The group identified four areas of concern for the community: education/community; neighborhood environment; job development; and household independence, designed to help elderly people continue to live in their own homes.
The delegates' efforts marked the third component, the research/action phase, of a five-step process of the AMOS Network.
The foundation, which began in the 1940s, has trained and organized leaders of other AMOS chapters.
Thursday's hour-long session was held at Poplar Springs Drive United Methodist Church.
It was the first time in a year the delegates had come together in a public meeting. Following the announcement of priorities, the assembly voted on the local network's next steps.
This summer, four actions teams will be trained, volunteers will identify key community members in Lauderdale County and Meridian, members will go on a retreat and will then conduct a door-to-door audit of the community.
In the fall, another delegates' assembly is scheduled. This next phase will involve meeting with public officials and others to begin addressing the AMOS Network's agenda.
Build-up to convention
The final phase of the AMOS Network process will take place in 2004 with a Founding Convention.
Membership in the AMOS Network is open to all Meridian area congregations and organizations.
Bishop Kenneth Carder of the United Methodist Church in Mississippi said the AMOS Network is about the business of being an instrument of the fulfillment of God's dream.