Tasked by General Conference, Church and Society continues Social Principles revision.
WASHINGTON — Under the direction of the 2016 General Conference, Church and Society will present to the 2020 General Conference a revision of the United Methodist Social Principles. This is the first comprehensive revision since the Social Principles were adopted in 1970. The newly named conveners of the writing teams met in May to become acquainted with the two-quadrennia-long process and to determine the foundations for their work ahead. The stated goal of this revision process is to make the Social Principles more theologically grounded, globally relevant, and more succinct. The writing teams will meet from July to October.
Each writing team will have a convener and at least six writers in addition to a Church and Society board member. Mary Elizabeth Moore, Dean and Professor of Theology and Education at the Boston University School of Theology, is convening the entire revision process. The conveners for each section are: Allison Mark (California-Pacific), Mark Davies (Oklahoma), Hilde Marie Movafagh (Norway), Kalaba Chali (Great Plains), Lyssette Perez (Greater New Jersey), George Wilson (Liberia Conference), and Jörg Niederer (Switzerland).
Dr. Christopher Momany, Adrian College chaplain and part-time professor of Philosophy/Religion, has been invited by The United Methodist Church to help draft the denomination’s new statement on economic justice. This statement serves as one of six sections among The United Methodist Church’s “Social Principles.” Over two years, Momany has been involved in a formal review of the church’s existing document.
“I am honored to receive an invitation to this very important, international project,” said Dr. Momany. “Most of all, I feel (along with others) the responsibility to craft a document that might help make the world a better place.”
The 2012 General Conference directed the General Board of Church and Society to begin a process to revise the Social Principles. During the 2013-2016 quadrennium, Church and Society facilitated seven listening sessions with participants from a cross section of the Jurisdictions and Central Conferences to determine how the Social Principles are used and how they can be strengthened for use throughout the connection.
Over the course of the 2017-2020 quadrennium, the six writing teams will consider the biblical, theological, historical and ethical implications of the Social Principles and revise the text for the 2020 General Conference to consider. The comprehensive draft of the revisions will be considered by the General Board of Church and Society Task Force on the Social Principles in the Spring of 2018. Following Church and Society’s Spring board meeting, the draft language will be available for public engagement through an open comment period. United Methodists will be encouraged to weigh in during this process. Following the open comment period, the Task Force will consider the public input and revise the draft. The members of the General Board of Church and Society will finalize and approve the text for presentation to the 2020 General Conference.
“We are excited and ready for this next step,” stated the Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, general secretary of the General Board of Church and Society. “The work ahead will be challenging, but we are committed to involving many United Methodists in the process to bring revised, faithful and globally relevant Social Principles to the 2020 General Conference.”
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