A Moment for Mission
“God said that light should shine out of the darkness. He is the same one who shone in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory.” — 2 Corinthians 4:6a, CEB
Going back to school in the COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for students, teachers and parents. The challenges have been compounded by the disproportionate availability and access to resources, highlighting the inequities of our education system. Unfortunately, these inequities are not unique to the pandemic and, like other societal inequities magnified by
COVID-19, existed prior to the pandemic.
To address these issues, the General Board of Church and Society hosted its fifth annual called seminar, “Toward Educational Equity: Investing in the Beloved Community,” November 30 through December 3, 2020.
The four-day series of seminars featured discussions with experts on what an equitable education system for all can truly look like. The seminar equipped participants with tools and resources to continue the work of advocacy toward educational equity.
All sessions were held on Zoom. Registration was free and open to all. Participants also had an option to hold virtual meetings with their congressional offices on December 3.
With offices on Capitol Hill and at the United Nations, Church and Society is the advocacy arm of The United Methodist Church. The board is called to advocate for the implementation of the Social Principles. It seeks “to bring the whole of human life, activities, possessions, use of resources, and community and world relationships into conformity with the will of God” (The 2016 Book of Discipline Par. 1002 ).
United Methodist congregations support this vital work through the World Service Fund.
Adapted from “Toward Educational Equity: Investing in the Beloved Community,” General Board of Church and Society website
Loving God, equip us to be the light that shines out of the darkness. Help us to make the world a more equitable place, with opportunities for all of your children. In your name, we pray. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Transfiguration Sunday — God of Transformation, we come together as those who have met you on the mountaintop. We have each had our holy encounters with you, and in those moments, we have wanted to stay on the mountain and retreat from the world. We know that is our longing, not yours. So, as we offer our gifts this morning in response to your blessings in our life, remind us that our mission begins as we leave this place, and help us hold our memories of those mountaintop encounters with you in our hearts. We pray boldly in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Mark 9:2-9)
I was first introduced to the United Methodist Social Principles in 2009 as a high school junior. The Oklahoma Annual Conference gathered high school students to spend spring break in Washington, D.C., with the General Board of Church and Society, learning about The United Methodist Church’s expansive vision and work for justice.
It was here that my moral imagination was expanded, growing from understanding the church’s mission simply as mission trips and canned-food drives to something deeper and more expansive than my still-developing worldview had ever dreamed.
I feel blessed that my worldview was directly developed by our Social Principles, centering my faith as a United Methodist as that which would be the jumping-off point for the rest of my life. The board’s Seminar Program helped set the course for my undergraduate work, seminary education and eventual ordination as an elder in the Oklahoma Conference.
Your congregation’s support of the World Service Fund is essential to Church and Society’s ministry. Thank you!
Adapted from “Teaching the Revised Social Principles in the Age of COVID-19,” the Rev. Trey Witzel, Church and Society website, Sept. 22, 2020