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What is the Social Creed of The United Methodist Church?


The original Social Creed was adopted by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1908 as a denominational statement decrying child labor and supporting the economic rights of workers, better workplace conditions, better wages and worker safety.

"The Methodist Social Creed express Methodism's outrage over the lives of the millions of workers in factories, mines, mills, tenements and company towns....The Methodist Federation for Social Service immediately took up the challenge of getting the 1908 General Conference to address the social crisis. The key strategy was to secure adoption of a statement on "The Church and Social Problems. " Proponents of the Social Creed came up with a "list of 11 social reforms the group believed the church should champion, including the abolition of child labor and an end to the sweatshop system." (Interpreter, April 1988)

The Social Creed became the basis for a continually expanded and revised document of social commitments until, in 1972, that expanded list was completely redesigned and renamed the Social Principles, following the title used for a similar document in The Evangelical United Brethren Church. The Social Creed continues as a separate resource for use in worship, educational, and advocacy settings, and is found at the conclusion of the Social Principles in the Book of Discipline and the Book of Resolutions.

In 2008, General Conference adopted a Companion Litany to the Social Creed. A musical setting is also available.