By Kent Olson, Board of Church and Society Chair
Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a “throw away” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new… those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited” but the outcast, the ‘leftovers’… (Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel)
‘Leftover’ people need our compassion. They need our prayers. They need to experience what it can mean for a congregation to encircle them in love. But they also need hope that they will see an end to the chronic social injustices they face each day. They need to know there are congregations striving to make the foundational changes we need to make to our economy and our political systems if we are to bring an end to injustices denying so many people the opportunity to experience the flourishing lives which God intends for them.
There are times in our history when United Methodists have indeed brought good news to leftover people. Sometimes, though, devotion to idolatrous ideologies can prevent us from hearing the words of the prophets or from seeking God’s kingdom on earth. We’re certainly not sharing the good news with leftover people if we’re not seeking that kingdom. But that is what we are called to do. Acting for justice is what we are called to do. And courageous is what we are called to be.
Don’t miss the April 28 workshop with Rev. Clayton Childers, of our General Board of Church and Society, who joins us from Washington, D.C. to help you explore how church and society teams in every congregation can help faithfully and effectively bring good news to leftover people. Come to the “How to Form a Social Justice Team in the Local Church” workshop at the Desert Southwest Conference Center, 1550 E. Meadowbrook Avenue in Phoenix on Saturday, April 28, from 9:00 AM-2:00 PM. Please don’t forget to register by contacting Billie Fidlin at 602-266-6956 x221 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let her know if you plan to come in-person or telecommute. Lunch will be served for those that join us in-person.
Updates and details are available at https://dscumc.org/event/church-society-form-social-justice-team-local-church/
If you need help to ensure your church has the right set up for group video conferencing, contact DSC Communications at 602-266-6956 ext. 255 or email Christina Dillabough at email@example.com.