Board of Church and Society
The Conference Board of Church and Society helps local congregations discover ways to employ our Social Principles in connecting their faith communities to the world around them. In the Gospel of John, Jesus prays for his disciples – asking the Spirit to keep them strong and effective in continuing the work of salvation left for them. As such, this work is both individual as well as societal. It is the sacred and transforming work inviting faithful disciples to lead the world (individuals and society) into the world of Christ. Our call to the Conference will be “What social response is faithful to the gospel?”
Using the Bishop’s document, God’s Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action, we believe the board effectively can meet conference needs by employing our energy to enact the vision of our Bishops and the vision of our Social Principles. We have ordered our board into four working groups – three of which follow the outline of the Bishop’s Document to focus on our Biblical mandates on: 1. Addressing poverty; 2. Caring for God’s creation; and 3. Ending violence in our world. The fourth working group, Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries, focuses on providing a ministry to all persons who are in prisons, their families, families of victims of crime, and advocates for reform of the criminal justice system.
We are devising ways to better link our Board’s efforts with those of the Conference Board of Global Ministries. We understand the collective work of the two boards to be a partnership where the Board of Church and Society seeks to bring the whole of the gospel to the society, including governments, through social justice ministries rooted in our Social Principles, while the Conference Board of Global Ministries works to assist the church in making disciples of Jesus Christ, strengthening Christian congregations and communities, and alleviating human suffering through mercy ministries. Both approaches are needed, and all of our work is to bring “Social Holiness” to God’s world.
The Conference Board of Church and Society also promotes the Peace with Justice Sunday Special Offering, one of six Church-wide offerings that The United Methodist Church General Conference asks each local church to take. Half of the Peace with Justice Offering stays in the conference to fund ministries in the conference. This offering is taken on Trinity Sunday or at another time decided by the local church.
Each year, our United Methodist Day at the General Assembly is held on the first Thursday in February. We hold this event jointly with the Virginia Conference United Methodist Women. Our maximum participant number for this event is 300 people, so register early!
The Conference Board of Church and Society has developed educational and advocacy materials addressing the death penalty, immigration, minimum wage, voting rights, and wage theft. These can be accessed in downloadable form here.
Contacts for more information:
Conference Staff Person, Glenn Rowley, the Virginia United Methodist Center, 10330 Staples Mill Rd., P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5606. Telephone: (804) 521-1143 or toll-free 1-800-768-6040, ext. 143.
Chair of the Conference Board of Church and Society:
Jaydee Hanson, firstname.lastname@example.org
The General Board of Church and Society, 100 Maryland Ave., NE, Washington, D.C. 20002. Telephone: (202) 488-5600.