Social Justice Ministry

at St. Mark’s UMC

“Educate, advocate and engage our congregation and community on issues of social justice, using the UMC Social Principles to guide us individually and collectively in serving Christ to transform the world.

“Do all the good you can; By all the means you can; In all the ways you can; In all the places you can; To all the people you can; As long as ever you can.”  John Wesley

In the Spotlight

Our Social Justice Committee focuses on quarterly themes.

From the UMC Book of Discipline, Social Principles:
The United Methodist Church has a long history of concern for social justice. Its members have often taken forthright positions on controversial issues involving Christian principles. Early Methodists expressed their opposition to the slave trade, to smuggling, and to the cruel treatment of prisoners.

First Quarter: Racism Awareness

Racism Awareness was focused on providing the congregation information on issues of ongoing discrimination existing in workplaces, and society.  We were offered the opportunity to conduct a 5 week discussion of issues, which has been tabled until Fall 2022. 

From the UMC Social Principles:  Rights of Racial and Ethnic Persons

Racism is the combination of the power to dominate by one race over other races and a value system that assumes that the dominant race is innately superior to the others. Racism includes both personal and institutional racism. Personal racism is manifested through the individual expressions, attitudes, and/or behaviors that accept the assumptions of a racist value system and that maintain the benefits of this system. Institutional racism is the established social pattern that supports implicitly or explicitly the racist value system.

Second Quarter: Native American Mission Needs

Native American Sunday is May 1, 2022. Native American Ministries Sunday serves to remind United Methodists of the gifts and contributions made by Native Americans to our society and in our communities. With more than 20,000 Native Americans within the denomination, this Special Sunday helps to ensure that Native American United Methodist leaders are recognized and to celebrate their special voice in The United Methodist Church. 

In addition to what the Social Justice Committee will be highlighting, you can find more information here:  Native American Ministries Sunday (umc.org)  Native American ministries focus on the preservation of Indigenous Language, Spirituality, Women, and Climate Justice.  Native Americans are adversely impacted both economically and culturally in much of the USA.

From the UMC Social Principles: We believe that our primary identity is as children of God.

With that identity comes societal and cultural constructions that have both positive and negative impacts on humanity and the Church. Cultural identity evolves through our history, traditions, and experiences. The Church seeks to fully embrace and nurture cultural formation and competency as a means to be fully one body, expressed in multiple ways. Each of us has multiple identities of equal value that intersect to form our complete self. We affirm that no identity or culture has more legitimacy than any other. We call the Church to challenge any hierarchy of cultures or identities. Through relationships within and among cultures we are called to and have the responsibility for learning from each other, showing mutual respect for our differences and similarities as we experience the diversity of perspectives and viewpoints.

Third Quarter:  Recycle Force

RecycleForce is dedicated to providing a cleaner environment by enhanced recycling while rehabilitating people returning to society from incarceration. RecycleForce is a 501(c)3 that is committed to reducing crime through employment and job training, while improving the environment through electronics recycling. Since 2006, RecycleForce has safely recycled more than 65 million pounds of electronic waste while providing job training to thousands of returning citizens. More information can be found here: RecycleForce | Innovative Electronics Recycling 

From the UMC Social Principles: All creation is the Lord’s, and we are responsible for the ways in which we use and abuse it.

Water, air, soil, minerals, energy resources, plants, animal life, and space are to be valued and conserved because they are God’s creation and not solely because they are useful to human beings. God has granted us stewardship of creation. We should meet these stewardship duties through acts of loving care and respect

The United Methodist Book of Discipline shares principles that set out the church’s position on social issues. The social principles are categorized into six general sections:

The Natural World

We affirm that we’re responsible for the way we use the Lord’s creation.

The Nurturing Community

We affirm the family and work to strengthen its relationships.
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The Social Community

We affirm all persons as equally valuable in God’s sight. We reject racism and assert the rights of racial minorities, religious minorities, children, youth, young adults, the aging, women, and disabled persons.

The Economic Community

All economic systems are under the judgment of God.

The Political Community

We hold governments responsible for the protection of people’s basic freedoms. We believe that neither church nor state should attempt to dominate the other.

The World Community

God’s world is one world.
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