New Social Principles bulletin inserts

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) has added four bulletin inserts to its resource featuring individual United Methodist Social Principles. The resource, designed to be included in church worship bulletins, can be downloaded for free from the agency’s website.

Tobacco Social Principles bulletin insert

Free United Methodist Social Principles bulletin inserts are available for download.

The most recently added inserts address “Information Technology,” “Media Violence,” “Sexual Orientation” and “Tobacco.” They bring the total of free downloadable bulletin inserts to 36.

The inserts highlight positions approved by the denomination’s highest policy-making body, the General Conference, on issues such as abortion, immigrants, health care, religious minorities, racism and children’s rights. Besides use as bulletin inserts, users have reported they are effective discussion tools for small study groups and Sunday school classes.

The bulletin inserts are designed in two colors that reproduce excellently in black and white. They are 11 by 8.5 inches. They are available in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format.

The Social Principles

The Social Principles are a call to a "prayerful, studied dialogue of faith and practice," according to their Preface in the United Methodist Book of Discipline. Whlie not considered church law, the Preface emphasizes that they are an effort on the part of the General Conference "to speak to the human issues in the contemporary world from a sound biblical and theological foundation as historically demonstrated in United Methodist traditions."

The Book of Discipline also emphasizes that the "standards of attitude and conduct set forth in the Social Principles" are an "essential resource for guiding each member of the Church in being a servant of Christ on mission" (¶ 220). In addition, local church leaders are to be "loyal to the ethical standards of The United Methodist Church set forth in the Social Principles" (¶ 244.3); they are to encourage investments that contribute to "the realization of the goals outlined in the Social Principles"; and they can grant permission for outside organizations to use church facilities "only when such use is consistent with the Social Principles" (¶ 2532.3 & 5).

Each Social Principle is grounded in scripture, tradition, experience and reason. The Social Prinicples guide the work at the General Board of Church & Society, whose prime responsibility is to seek their implementation and that of other policy statements of the General Conference on Christian social concerns.

The bulletin inserts can help local churches raise awareness about the social-justice ministries at the heart of United Methodism. They also are an easy way to keep congregants apprised of United Methodist positions involving social concerns that may be in the news.

If you need an insert on a particular subject that has not been prepared yet, one will be developed at your request and added to the website. Make your request via email to Wayne Rhodes or call (202) 488-5630. 

For more information about this new resource or Social Principles training opportunities, contact the Rev. Neal Christie, assistant general secretary, Education & Leadership Formation, at (202) 488-5611.

Social Principles bulletin inserts

The Natural World

The Nurturing Community

The Social Community

The Economic Community

The Political Community

The World Community

For more information about this new resource or Social Principles training opportunities, contact the Rev. Neal Christie, assistant general secretary, Education & Leadership Formation, at (202) 488-5611.

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