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: [email protected]

Related Articles

General Conference headlines

Church adopts proposed creed as litany

Resource

General Conference 2008

Board of Church and Society


Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
General Church
Northwest Texas Conference voters pray for the conference’s 14-member transition team appointed by Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe to educate voters about their options under a proposed plan of denominational separation heading to the coming General Conference. During the Aug. 13-14 Northwest Texas Annual Conference meeting in Lubbock, Texas, voters signaled their hope for the conference to move to a new denomination under the plan. Photo courtesy of the Northwest Texas Conference.

Conference signals its plans post-separation

The Northwest Texas Conference passed a nonbinding resolution indicating aspirations to join a new traditionalist Methodist church under a proposed protocol for separation.
General Church
As organizers of the United Methodist General Conference look to the possibility of an in-person session in 2022, the new strain presents new challenges. Coronavirus image courtesy of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; graphic by Laurens Glass, UM News.

Virus bedevils General Conference planning

After two postponements, organizers continue working to hold the United Methodist lawmaking assembly next year. However, the delta variant presents new challenges.
Bishops
With increased giving and reduced expenses, the Episcopal Fund that supports bishops’ work is in better shape. The General Council on Finance and Administration board voted to give bishops their first raise in three years, but the board still sees challenges ahead for the fund. General Council on Finance and Administration episcopal services department graphic, courtesy of GCFA.

Funding for bishops improves but still shaky

With increased giving and cost savings from retirements, the fund that supports United Methodist bishops is in better shape. Financial leaders approved the bishops’ first raise in three years.