Skip Navigation

Resolution on Marriage and Family Ministries

November, 2001

Whereas, the disastrous effects of family breakdown on individuals and society have been well documented;[1] and

Whereas, according to the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church, "we believe the family to be the basic human community through which persons are nurtured and sustained in mutual love, responsibility, respect, and fidelity;"[2] and

Whereas, a growing worldwide movement is surfacing new information about the attitudes and behaviors that strengthen marriages and families and is developing new models for teaching essential communication and conflict management skills, for providing relationship education for children and youth and young adults, for preparing engaged couples for marriage, for enriching existing marriages, and for assisting couples and families in transition and/or crisis;[3] and

Whereas, in the United States, there are those sponsoring legislation designed to strengthen marriages and families, such as allocating TANF (Temporary Aid to Needy Families) funds for marriage education;[4]

Therefore, be it resolved, that the Council of Bishops commend to annual conferences and local churches the General Board of Discipleship's efforts to develop, identify, and promote resources and materials for local church ministries to married couples and families; and furthermore

Be it resolved, that the Council of Bishops request the General Board of Discipleship to bring to the 2004 General Conference a resolution addressing the critical issues affecting families and calling annual conferences and local churches to give increased priority to marriage and family ministries; and furthermore

Be it resolved, that the Council of Bishops encourage the General Board of Discipleship to look for opportunities to expand annual conference and local church participation in and commitment to marriage and family ministries; and Furthermore

Be it resolved, that the Council of Bishops request the General Board of Church and Society to study state and federal legislation (both proposed and already in effect) related to strengthening marriages and families, and to make recommendations to Annual Conference Boards of Church and Society regarding the possible impact of such legislation.

[1] Judy Wallerstein, et al., The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study, Amato and Booth: A Generation at Risk: Growing Up in An Era of Family Upheaval, Waite and Gallagher, The Case for Marriage: Why Married People are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.

[2] The Social Principles of the United Methodist Church (Paragraph 161A).

[3] See the following websites: Coalition for Marriage, Family, and Couples Education and the Marriage Movement.

[4] Click on the LEGISLATION link at the Coalition for Marriage, Family, and Couples Education website.