Cultivating a Culture of Respect

The General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) welcomed LifeWatch into The United Methodist Building prior to the Right to Life March. Rev. Paul Stallsworth serves as the President. I participated in a meaningful service of worship. I appreciate the convictions and public witness of our brothers and sisters.

Affirming human dignity is central to the witness of Jesus Christ. Christians are called to watch over with care the lives of all persons and creation.  We must strive to lead by example through our words and actions. We seek Christian compassion when we fall short in our actions with one another.

A recent action involving a staff member of GBCS did not reflect our culture of respect, openness and hospitality.  Appropriate conversations and action have been taken. We at GBCS recognize the special responsibility we have to cultivate respect, trust and hospitality among those who hold a variety of opinions on social issues.

One of the marks of United Methodism is a spirit of openness and dialogue. We seek to continually encourage open dialogue through hospitality and respect. These are principles that we intend and foster with all persons who seek to live out their Christian faith and convictions through social action.

“We commit ourselves to stand united in declaring our faith that God’s grace is available to all, that nothing can separate us from the love of God. In that confidence, we pledge to continue to be in respectful dialogue with those with whom we disagree, to explore the sources of our differences, to honor the sacred worth of all persons, and to tell the truth about our divisions as we continue to seek the mind of Christ and to do the will of God in all things.”

Preamble Social Principles of The United Methodist Church


—The Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe
General Secretary
General Board of Church & Society
The United Methodist Church
January 23, 2015