Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation
A World Council of Churches Convocation on "Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation" was held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, in March 1990 "to engage member churches in a conciliar process of mutual commitment to justice, peace and the integrity of creation." A set of ten affirmations was approved by the convocation for a process of covenanting:
- We affirm that all forms of human power and authority are subject to God and accountable to people. This means the right of people to full participation. In Christ, God decisively revealed the meaning of power as compassionate love that prevails over the forces of death.
- We affirm God's preferential option for the poor and state that as Christians our duty is to embrace God's action in the struggles of the poor in the liberation of us all.
- We affirm that people of every race, caste, and ethnic group are of equal value. In the very diversity of their cultures and traditions, they reflect the rich plurality of God's creation.
- We affirm the creative power given to women to stand for life whenever there is death. In Jesus' community women find acceptance and dignity, and with them he shared the imperative to carry the good news.
- We affirm that access to truth and education, information, and means of communication are basic human rights. All people have the right to be educated, to tell their own stories, to speak their own convictions and beliefs, to be heard by others, and to have the power to distinguish truth from falsehood.
- We affirm the full meaning of God's peace. We are called to seek every possible means of establishing justice, achieving peace, and solving conflicts by active nonviolence.
- We affirm that the world, as God's handiwork, has its own inherent integrity; that land, waters, air, forests, mountains, and all creatures, including humanity, are "good" in God's sight. The integrity of creation has a social aspect, which we recognize as peace with justice, and an ecological aspect, which we recognize in the self-renewing, sustainable character of natural ecosystems.
- We affirm that the land belongs to God. Human use of land and waters should release the earth to replenish regularly its life-giving power, protecting its integrity and providing spaces for its creatures.
- We affirm the dignity of children that derives from their particular vulnerability and need for nurturing love; the creative and sacrificial role that the young people are playing in building a new society, recognizing their right to have a prophetic voice in the structures that affect their life and their community; the rights and needs of the younger generation as basic for establishing educational and developmental priorities.
- We affirm that human rights are God-given and that their
promotion and protection are essential for freedom, justice, and peace. To protect and defend human rights, an independent judicial system is necessary.
The Social Principles of The United Methodist Church clearly reflect our commitment to justice, peace, and the integrity of creation. In addition, The United Methodist Church has demonstrated its support for justice, peace, and the integrity of creation through its complementary Peace with Justice Program.
In affirming its participation in the justice, peace, and the integrity of creation process of the World Council of Churches, The United Methodist Church specifically pledges to:
1. encourage local churches and individuals to study the documents of "Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation" in order to develop greater understanding and support for those movements of people who struggle for human dignity, liberation, and for just and participatory forms of government and economic structures;
2. join the worldwide ecumenical movement to articulate its vision for all people living on earth and caring for creation;
3. urge the General Board of Global Ministries and the General Board of Church and Society to give priority to integrated programs supportive of the four covenants affirmed by the convocation in Seoul, Korea, which advocate
- a just economic order and liberation from the bondage of foreign debt;true security of all nations and people;
- the building of a culture that can live in harmony with creation's integrity; and
- the eradication of racism and discrimination on national and international levels for all people;
4. urge all United Methodists to implement the Social Principles and General Conference resolutions that address these issues, especially "Economic Justice," "The United Methodist Church and Peace," "Environmental Stewardship," "Global Racism," and "Ecumenical Decade: Churches in Solidarity with Women"; and
5. urge all United Methodists to join in covenant with Christians around the world to work to fulfill the goals of justice, peace, and the integrity of creation.
Amended and adopted 2004
Resolution #327, 2004 Book of Resolutions
Resolution #308, 2000 Book of Resolutions
See Social Principles, ¶ 165.
From The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church - 2008. Copyright © 2008 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.