The UMC has always been a movement for reform and justice. We’ve been imperfect in countless ways, but there is no question that without the UMC and its predecessor organizations, reform to end the middle ages death camps that were what prisons were in England wouldn’t have happened, and ending slavery would not have been nearly as urgent a topic in the 1800’s.
We were vital in the child labor laws and collective bargaining laws of the early 1900’s, in the ecumenical movement bringing together churches all over the world in National Councils and the World Council of Churches, and in supporting voting rights for women in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Without the Methodists, the civil rights movement in the 1960’s would have risked faltering. That is a short list and misses the movement to make public education, birth control access, hospital care around the world, and many other social reforms.
We don’t fit naturally into any single political ideology other than that of the reign of God. The kin-dom of God. Many UM’s are Republican, many are Democrat, and many are Greens and Independents, too. But as much as we don’t fit into one party, it is true that many of our General Agencies have come out severely against innumerable policies of the recently ended presidential term. We have stood firmly against group targeting, whether of undocumented persons, or Muslims, or transgender people, and the so many others that have experienced harassment and injury from federal government policies in the last four years.
So after these terrible years, we’ll go back to being a church with people from many parties connected together. But we are always, ALWAYS to stand up for the vulnerable and for each person to be loved and treated as we ourselves would like to be treated. There are many ways to go about achieving those goals. Let’s pray for our new president and vice president, and for our country. It is time to recover from this time of grave division and abusive policy.
From your pastor,