God’s love for the world is an active and engaged love, a love seeking justice and liberty. We cannot just be observers. So we care enough about people’s lives to risk interpreting God’s love, to take a stand, to call each of us into a response, no matter how controversial or complex. The church helps us think and act out a faith perspective, not just responding to all the other ‘mind-makers-up’ that exist in our society.”
Excerpt from The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church 2012. Copyright © 2012 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Accessed October 4, 2016 – found online here
Tomorrow I start a series of Children’s Messages on the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church. These could be used in a Sunday worship setting, Children’s Church or Sunday School. They could also be adapted to be used in a mission or service learning camping program or even a confirmation class or retreat.
I’m writing from the perspective of a United Methodist Christian, committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ that seeks transformation of our world.
For the past 12 years I served in Children’s and Youth Ministry at a medium/large sized multi-racial, inter-generational urban/metropolitan church in Minneapolis, MN. These principles are laid out in the United Methodist Book of Resolutions and so these talks will be organized in that framework. However, I believe Christians of many traditions could easily adapt these messages to fit their context, Methodists are not alone in our belief that God’s love is active and engaged in the world.
My background before working in church ministry is Elementary and Middle School Education in the Public Schools. I have a great deal of admiration for early childhood ministry and nursery workers and preschool teachers, but I have never found that age an easy fit to work with. While I have tried to make these messages accessible to all ages, I am aware of my limitations as an early childhood educator.
Tomorrow’s message will be an introduction to Social Principles overall, and especially focus on what it means to be made in the image of God whose love for the world is active and engaged in the world.
The next post will highlight our call to show God’s love in our care for the Natural World, followed by: The Nurturing Community; The Social Community; The Economic Community; The Political Community and The World Community.
After the messages are all published, I’ll share a reflection about my desire to write and the process of writing these messages.
I am hoping to get these posts out quickly, but I may need to ask for some grace. I have the first two messages written and would have liked to have more done by now. I am recovering from a major injury and have found that I need to work at a different pace in recovery than before the injury.
Please offer feedback or other ideas. These messages aren’t meant to be an exhaustive study in The Social Principles, but are rather meant to be a way to start us thinking about how we talk with our children about how our faith is lived out in the world outside of our sanctuaries and education halls.
I’m looking forward to this conversation.