The fact that we live in a challenging age goes without saying. Rapid change is taking place throughout the world and it seems potential crises loom at every turn. The rising price of fuel and the faltering economy that we are all dealing with at present are just a couple of examples of current problems.
I have always found having a matrix through which to view life and help determine how I might respond is of critical importance. We each have to define for ourselves what it is that we truly believe as individuals, but we must also recognize that as individuals our impact is limited. Groups of like minded people can be a positive force for social good and if we find a place where our worldview, or at least the biggest part of it, meshes with a corporate worldview and purpose, we should lend our talents to that corporate purpose.
For me, I have found this larger group in the people of the United Methodist Church. I love my church, both local and global, and am committed to carrying out its stated goals, especially in terms of its Social Creed. Many of you may not be aware of this aspect of the Methodist Church and I just wanted to share with you, from our Book of Discipline, the Social Creed of the United Methodist Church. It is as follows:
We believe in God, Creator of the world; and in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of creation.
We believe in the Holy Spirit through whom we acknowledge God’s gifs, and we repent of our sin in misusing these gifts to idolatrous ends.
We affirm the natural world as God’s handiwork and dedicate ourselves to its preservation, enhancement, and faithful use by humankind.
We joyfully receive for ourselves and others the blessings of community, sexuality, marriage, and the family.
We commit ourselves to the rights of men, women, children, youth, young adults, the aging, and people with disabilities; to improvement of the quality of life; and the rights and dignity of all persons.
We believe in the right and duty of persons to work for the glory of God and the good of themselves and others and in the protection of their welfare in so doing; in the rights to property as a trust from God, collective bargaining, and responsible consumption; and in the elimination of economic and social distress.
We dedicate ourselves to peace throughout the world, to the rule of justice and law among nations, and to individual freedom for all people of the world.
We believe in the present and final triumph of God’s Word in human affairs and gladly accept our commission to manifest the life of the gospel in the world.