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Church and Society addresses challenges to justice

"The Methodist tradition, since the time of [John] Wesley, has been committed to social holiness, human dignity, peace and justice, and equitable sharing of God's resources," says the Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, top exec of the General Board of Church and Society. The board, she adds, "works daily to fulfill this mission through advocacy, education and organizing."  

Guided by the United Methodist Social Principles, Church and Society aims to be the denomination's public policy and social justice advocacy agency. With the help of World Service Fund dollars, the agency strives to educate, advocate and organize for a world of justice. 

With a mandate of offering forthright witness and action on issues of human well-being, justice, peace and the integrity of creation, Church and Society attempts to address the multitude of challenges facing our world. From war and peace to human rights, and gender justice to health for all, the agency ensures that The United Methodist Church remains relevant and engaged in global solutions.

Rev. Clayton Childers speaking with Young Adult Clergy in the Simpson Memorial Chapel in The United Methodist Building.

Equipping young United Methodists is essential to the journey for justice and continual growth of the church. Seminar programs that cater to youth and young adults ignite a passion for faith-based advocacy and often lead to longer, stronger engagement in participants' home communities. Many seminar participants become interns at Church and Society, strengthening their connection to the denomination.

Beyond reaching young people, Church and Society is committed to informing and empowering clergy, laity and theological leaders across the connection by making the Social Principles accessible to people all over the world. Through curriculum that highlights how United Methodists are "living our principles," Church and Society lifts up the existing work of our neighbors and inspires others to action.

When United Methodists are encouraged to act, Church and Society is there to guide advocates through public witness at community, regional, national and international levels. Organizing grassroots communities to offer witness for peace and justice remains a vital step toward the transformation of the world. Using the Social Principles and the Book of Resolutions as a compass, Church and Society equips United Methodists to advocate for peace, access to health care, environmental stewardship, economic justice, civil and human rights, gender justice and other causes.

Whether it is Social Principles training in Nigeria, a summit on women and environmental degradation in the Philippines or equitable criminal justice reform in the U.S., the World Service Fund helps Church and Society to spread personal, social and civic righteousness around the world.

"We know that, ultimately, we are going to have peace; we know that, ultimately, war will be eliminated," says the Rev. Emmanuel Cleaver (D-MO 5th District) in 'Living Our Principles.' "We know that, ultimately, we are going to have a nation where children are protected; we know that, ultimately, we will have a world where people are not battered and beaten and bludgeoned because of their skin color. We know that. The only question is what role we will play."

General Board of Church and Society

The World Service Fund provides basic financial support to program-related general agencies, which are especially important to the common vision, mission, and ministry of The United Methodist Church. Through World Service funding, agencies support annual conferences and local congregations in living out God’s mission for the worldwide Church. General agencies also provide essential services and ministries beyond the scope of individual local congregations and annual conferences through services and ministries that are highly focused, flexible, and capable of rapid response.