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Social Principles Preamble changed to declare, “God’s grace is available to all”

Sara Ann Swenson, a delegate from Minnesota, asks The United Methodist Church to stand

A UMNS photo by Kathleen Barry

Sara Ann Swenson, a delegate from Minnesota, asks The United Methodist Church to stand "for love and grace in the Preamble to the Social Principles" during the May 1 plenary at the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Fla.

 

by Art McClanahan
May 1, 2012

“We stand united in declaring our faith that God’s grace is available to all, that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.” So said the delegates to the 2012 General Conference of The United Methodist Church in approving an addition to the beginning of the preamble to the denomination’s Social Principles.

The matter had been discussed by one of the gathering’s legislative committees focusing on “Church and Society” concerns. The new language is part of a minority report proposing new wording. The approved statement was added as an addition to the report’s statement that begins, “We affirm our unity in Jesus Christ while acknowledging differences in applying our faith in different cultural contexts as we live out the Gospel.”

The new wording precedes a statement, “We pledge to continue to be in respectful conversation with whose with whom we differ, to explore the sources of our differences, to honor the sacred worth of all persons as we continue to seek the mind of Christ and to do the will of God in all things.” (Book of Discipline 2008, Social Principles, Preamble.)

The new statement was approved by a vote of 632 to 302 (67.7% to 32.3%)