A justice-seeking Methodist Church - the report in three minutes

 

God, whose nature is just, yearns for justice in the world.

As Christians we are called actively to do justice, show loving kindness and walk humbly with God. This invitation is at the heart of A Methodist Way of Life.

Methodists, now and in the past, have challenged injustice, worked for change and supported people experiencing injustices. As the Church in Britain faces new challenges – economic, ecological, political, social and those of declining membership – the time is right for a renewed focus on justice and a fresh approach for our Church.

The justice-seeking Church report proposes a framework to support the Methodist Church’s action for justice over the next five years.

 

Principles of justice

Six Principles for justice underpin our understanding of God’s justice and what it means to seek justice:

  • God made humans in the image of God, each worthy of equal value and dignity. The search for justice entails treating others with respect, and may involve reclaiming lost worth.
  • God desires the flourishing of creation and human community within it. The search for justice does not diminish or limit the flourishing of others but seeks to enable it.
  • God consistently shows a bias to people experiencing poverty and those who are excluded. The search for justice must prioritise people who live in poverty or people who are marginalised in other ways.
  • God entrusts those in power with a special responsibility for upholding justice. Those seeking justice will encourage and challenge those with power to fulfil their vocation.
  • God calls all people and nations actively to work for peace and justice, liberation and transformation. It is never just someone else’s responsibility. We all have a part to play.
  • God calls us to live in hope and in ways that reflect God’s character and the pattern of God’s kingdom. So, seeking justice involves honesty and truth, and may demand protest and resistance, restitution, forgiveness, reconciliation and ultimately transformation.

These Principles help us talk about our understanding of God’s justice and are a tool to help us in our discussing, discernment and action.

 

Priorities for justice

These five key Priorities for justice, which were agreed after a time of listening and reflection, focus our efforts and our resources to support local churches in their worship and action.

  1. Tackling inequality and poverty: seeking life in all its fullness
  2. Enabling a flourishing environment: right relationship between people, planet and God
  3. Seeking justice for refugees: one people, one world
  4. Opposing discrimination: all are made in the image of God
  5. Pursuing peace: seeking justice and reconciliation

Methodists have the opportunity to make a difference.

Through campaigning, being with those experiencing injustice and offering support, building relationships, or striving to tell a different story of a just world, churches will be able to engage with Priorities that are most relevant in their context – through existing involvement or through actions that reflects their gifts.

 

Practices for justice

The Practices for justice challenge people to consider both our ways of doing justice and our ways of being just, and how they can be consistent with each other.

  • Our ways of doing justice involve bringing about change in the systems that hold problems in place. Beyond short term practical help, this can include action to change structures, to build relationships, and to transform understanding.
  • Our ways of being just enable us to be ‘at our best’ when seeking justice. They enable sustainable, transformative and rooted action for justice to develop in churches and communities, and keep our actions grounded in and guided by our faith.

Using these Practices helps us to examine our current and planned justice activities, making sure that they contribute to change and are consistent with our beliefs about God’s justice.

A two-year process is proposed to embed this new framework for justice in the Methodist Church, and enable local churches to engage with and act on the Principles, Priorities and Practices for justice.

 


Share this