Advocating for Justice
The United Methodist Church has a long history of concern for social justice. Wesley and the early Methodists expressed their opposition to societal ills such as slavery, smuggling, inhumane prison conditions, alcohol abuse, and child labor.
We believe that salvation entails renewal of both individuals and the world. Our faithful response to God’s saving grace has both a personal and social dimension as we grow in “holiness of heart and life.” By practicing spiritual disciplines — “works of piety” such as prayer, Bible study, participation in corporate worship and communion — we grow and mature in our love for God. By engaging in acts of compassion and justice — “works of mercy” such as visiting the sick and those in prison, feeding the hungry, advocating for the poor and marginalized — we live out our love for God through service to our neighbor. “Our love of God is always linked with love of our neighbor, a passion for justice and renewal in the life of the world” (Book of Discipline 2012, p. 51).
Just as our own discipleship occurs both at a personal and communal level, our work in the world extends beyond helping individuals to transforming the conditions that create injustice and inequality: “it is our conviction that the good news of the Kingdom must judge, redeem, and reform the sinful social structures of our time” (Book of Discipline 2012, p. 53).
Our Social Principles are the church’s prayerful and thoughtful attempt to speak to contemporary issues through a biblical and theological lens, seeking “to apply the Christian vision of righteousness to social, economic, and political issues” (Book of Discipline 2012, p. 53).
As the agency tasked specifically to assist The United Methodist Church’s work of advocacy, The United Methodist Board of Church and Society works to provide “witness and action on issues of human well-being, justice, peace” through research, education and training. Learn more about their work.
Domestic violence: “We want our churches to be talking about it”
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Learn more about how people of faith can understand the problem and interrupt the violence. Read More
Talking about race: United Methodist pastor’s tips
Multiple shootings and mounting tension in the U.S. have many asking “What can we say?” Church leader from Ferguson has advice. Read More
Louisiana United Methodists join in prayer after shooting
Pastors led prayer vigil after Alton Sterling was killed by police. “We offered a witness...that the church cares about injustice,” said the Rev. Susie Thomas. Read More
‘Selma’ helps build bridge to racial healing
South Carolina United Methodists are watching new movie and holding prayerful discussions. ‘Just get together and talk, because that’s where the healing takes place.’ Read More
The pastor’s call to speak out
Tips for positive, effective preaching on challenging subjects or social issues can be incorporated into any faith discussion. ‘Are your words shaped by love?’ Read More
More children in poverty not a surprise
United Methodists emphasize need to break poverty cycle along with maintaining programs to care for children. Read More
Faithful urged to contact Congress about debt
Cuts to programs that assist the poor are 'unacceptable' to people of faith, says top executive of United Methodist Board of Church and Society. Read More
Two UM church leaders arrested in protest
Church and Society top exec and an ordained elder among 11 charged as Capitol rally asks U.S. leaders to fulfill nation's promise to poor. Read More
D.C. vigils call for ‘faithful budget’
Interfaith leaders are hosting daily vigils at the United Methodist building to urge lawmakers to remember the most vulnerable. Read More