United Methodist Social Creed celebrated

United Methodists celebrated the 100th anniversary of the denomination's Social Creed during the last day of their General Conference.

"The Social Creed tradition of The United Methodist Church represents several streams of social concerns embodied today in the General Board of Church and Society," said Jim Winkler, top executive of the board.

The original creed, written in 1908, was a denominational statement decrying child labor and supporting the economic rights of workers, better workplace conditions, better wages and worker safety.

"The 1908 Creed affirmed the mind of Christ as the sure remedy of all social ills," Winkler said.

The denomination's social action agency still advocates for the poor and working people today, he told United Methodists from around the world. The board also remains "passionately" focused on the abuse of alcohol and works for a ban on the advertising of alcohol, maintaining the beer tax and to strengthen laws and regulations on alcohol. The board also advocates for world peace.

Anniversary

Jim Winkler

The 2004 United Methodist General Conference designated the period of 2005-2008 as a time of celebration, education and study of the Social Creed and Social Principles leading up to the 100th anniversary of the 1908 Social Creed.

As part of that celebration, the Board of Church and Society took on the task of writing a contemporary, timeless version to offer for future generations.

A task force from the board worked on a new "poetic" creed that was accepted by the 2008 General Conference as a "companion litany."

Bishop Jane Middleton, chair of the Social Creed task force for the board, said the adopted litany is "a witness of hope for the worldwide United Methodist Church."

The Rev. Grace Cajiuat, also a member of the Social Creed task force, led the delegates in a musical version of the new creed composed by Carol Simpson, a 23-year-old music graduate attending Claremont School of Theology.

The United Methodist Social Creed has been the inspiration for other faith traditions and groups, including the National Council of Churches, to develop their own creeds, according to Bishop Beverly Shamana, president of the board.

"We take seriously the scriptural mandate to care for the sojourner, the weak, the orphaned," Winkler said. "We believe God wants us to work for a better world that it may be on earth as it is in heaven."

*Gilbert is a news writer for United Methodist News Service.

News media contact:Kathy Gilbert,e-mail: newsdesk@umcom.org.

Related Articles

General Conference headlines

Church adopts proposed creed as litany

Resource

General Conference 2008

Board of Church and Society

Sign up for our newsletter!

SUBSCRIBE

Latest News

General Church
Delegates attend opening worship at the 2019 United Methodist General Conference in St. Louis in February. Given escalating conflict in the denomination over LGBTQ inclusion, two bishops are pushing a plan to create two or three self-governing church groups, with The United Methodist Church remaining as an umbrella organization. File photo by Kathleen Barry, UM News.

2 bishops offer plan for denomination’s future

To deal with schism-threatening conflict over homosexuality, Bishops Bard and Jones favor making The United Methodist Church an umbrella for self-governing church groups.
Annual Conferences
Clergy and lay members from the East Ohio Conference use their voting cards during the 2019 annual conference held at Lakeside Chautauqua. They use cards to cast votes for motions, resolutions and petitions but secret ballot for delegate elections. The conference elected a mix of delegates who support and oppose the Traditional Plan. Photo by Brett Hetherington, East Ohio Conference Communications.

US elections see shift in GC2020 delegates

U.S. annual conferences elected more delegates opposed to the Traditional Plan, but traditionalists say they still have the majority.
General Conference
Delegates Jorge Lockward and the Rev. Beth Ann Cook embrace during the closing moments of the 2019 United Methodist General Conference in St. Louis. The two had previously spoken on opposite sides in a debate over possible church exit plans. U.S. conferences are calculating how much a church must pay if it leaves under legislation General Conference approved. File photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Exiting congregations face hefty price tag

U.S. conferences are calculating how much a church must pay if it leaves under legislation approved by General Conference 2019. The big cost will be pensions.