01.05.22 | Advocacy and Action
Make Visible the Good News in Communities and World
The people of God, who are the church made visible in the world, must convince the world of the reality of the gospel or leave it unconvinced. There can be no evasion or delegation of this responsibility; the church is either faithful as a witnessing and serving community, or it loses its vitality and its impact on an unbelieving world. - ¶130 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church.
Beloved, as disciples of Jesus the Christ we are called by God and then sent into the world to make visible the gospel’s mandate to engage in acts of public justice, to pursue ways that lead to sustained peace and to repair relationships so that all may know the freedom that comes through reconciled relationships. This call embodies God’s first love for persons of all national backgrounds, and all ethnic, racial, cultural, economic and identities.
We must move beyond toxic practices that legitimize state sanctioned access to weapons of mass destruction, life depleting ideologies of exceptionalism, white supremacy, nationalism and ethnocentrism, group biases and presumed privilege, and unchallenged and aberrant theologies that do not affirm the radical grace of God. We must create responsible spaces to affirm human dignity and human rights, equitable health care and economic abundance for all, and the care and security for God’s creation (cf. Proverbs 1:1–9:18).
These spiritual practices lead us in the way of life for both the whole people of God and for our common planet.
As we begin this new year, together and by the grace of God lived our fully in Jesus the Christ, we renew the promises made in our baptism “to accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves and to become the Church made visible in a hurting world”.
Join us, so that together:
We will make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and in the process invite God to consistently transform our minds, hearts, and behaviors.
We will faithfully partner with all others in the holy work of dismantling systems that disenfranchise, marginalize and oppress.
We will renew our commitment to foster, nurture and support the BWC’s presence on urgent public policy priorities at the local, district, state and national level aligned with our United Methodist Doctrinal Standards and Theological Task and United Methodist Social Principles.
Led by a Spirit of love and guided by a passion for justice, we invite all of us to:
- Sign the BWC Pledge to Embody Antiracism.
- Learn more about, join one or more of, and amplify the work of our Eight Social Action Teams: Creation Care/Environmental Justice, Gender Equality, Gun Violence Prevention, Immigrant Justice, LGBQTIA+ Justice, Racial Justice, Restorative Justice, and Wealth and Health Equity.
- Practice the 25 Traits of Building Beloved Community as a congregation.
- Host or join a People’s Supper (Facilitated Brave Conversation hosted regionally) or use the Guidebook to begin one in your local context.
- Participate in a Journey to Beloved Community Course (8+ weeks). This course provides a theological framework for racial justice, brave conversations, justice as a spiritual discipline, and essential language and behaviors so that we become both IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity and antiracism) practitioners, and develop a contextual congregational action plan that embodies antiracist practice.
- Pray with us and for us for racial justice on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the Month from 12:00pm to 12:30pm.
- Join one of our BWC Racial Justice Groups; Team 1 - “How to get started in this work and have brave conversations”, Team 2 - “Moving beyond the building into community”, Team 3 - “Civic engagement and Legislative Actions”
- Work with us to promote priority legislation in your congregation and community, and to receive action alerts. Sign up and share the Take Legislative Action form.
- Reaffirm our Companion Litany to the Social Creed and Our Social Creed
- Reclaim A Companion Litany to Our Covenant for the Worldwide United Methodist Church
- Pray and faithfully seek out others to be in mutual relationships and together center justice, peace and reconciliations in your lives, congregations, and communities.
As we begin this year, may our recommitment to the Word and Table lead us to a renewed and reawakened urgency to make disciples of Jesus Christ so that more transformed lives, transform lives in our congregations and communities.
May our Christ focused response demonstrate the healing power of the gospel for all who suffer systemic oppression, structural exclusion, and marginalization. May our renewed vitality be a witness of our belief formed by our practice that the world may know the goodness, grace, mercy and justice of God.
For questions about Advocacy and Action's 2022 Mission Statement, please email Fathima Rifkey.