Joyce Davis, the new coordinator of United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania, has launched a webinar series to help United Methodists learn about the denomination's Social Principles, which form the basis of much of its Christian witness on contemporary issues.
The video above is an edited recording of the first webinar in the series Understanding the Social Principles. Held on July 22, the discussion focused on how the Social Principles were developed and how they can be used by clergy and groups within the church. Davis served as moderator for the session which included four panelists:
In 2012, the General Conference asked Church and Society to research how the Social Principles are used throughout the denomination. Drawing from that research, the 2016 General Conference called on GBCS to rewrite them, creating a version that is more deeply theologically rooted, more succinct and more globally relevant.
Nearly 100 people from across the denomination served on the Social Principles Task Force, writing teams and an editorial team. Each person brought unique and diverse perspectives. Members of the writing teams were selected to ensure geographic, theological, political, and life experience diversity. Once drafted, listening sessions were held in annual conferences, theological schools and regional gatherings throughout The United Methodist Church. More than 1,500 people participated in those conversations, and more than 3,000 people responded to an open online survey before the final draft.
The revised and streamlined Social Principles, which will go before the postponed 2020 General Conference, are divided into four main sections:
Learn more about and download the Revised Social Principles at umcjustice.org/who-we-are/the-revised-social-principlesRead more about the webinar series in a WPAUMC blog post by Joyce Davis. The next session in the webinar series will focus on specific parts of the Social Principles. Watch for times and dates on this website.