Seeking Justice: Thinking globally, engaging locally

More than 200 persons have already signed up for a new monthly resource from the United Methodist Seminar Program on National & International Affairs that provides materials and tools focused on different social justice issues to facilitate education for action.

[Program] provides materials and tools focused on different social justice issues to facilitate education for action

For decades, the United Methodist Seminar Program, part of the Education & Leadership Formation work area at the General Board of Church & Society (GBCS), has welcomed hundreds of youths, young adults and adults each year from ministries and community-based organizations to Washington, D.C., to learn about themselves and their faith; about justice issues that concern them; and discover and/or enhance how they can use their voices for change.

“Inspired by frequent requests for resources from groups who have come to D.C. and those seeking justice in their local communities, we have developed a monthly series that will correspond with liturgical and world calendars,” said Susan Burton, director of the U.M. Seminar Program at GBCS.

Monthly discussion points

The program provides monthly discussion points and a collection of resources to help Sunday school classes, youth groups, campus ministries or local congregations gain awareness, knowledge, and skills to answer God’s call to do justice.

We hope these tools will contribute concrete ideas for engaging all age groups in your ministry.

“We Methodists have the distinct privilege of continuing a journey towards justice that our Methodist forbearers began of church leaders committed to engendering personal and social holiness throughout our society,” pointed out Burton.

“We hope these tools will contribute concrete ideas for engaging all age groups in your ministry to become equipped with the awareness, knowledge and skills to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God."

Monthly focus

The resource series launched in August. Burton explained that each month will have a different focus and resources relevant to common celebrations and/or awareness initiatives.

September’s resources, for example, addressed the following:

  • Labor Day
  • Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept 15- Oct 15)

.

October resources address:

  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • Halloween (chocolate holiday in the United States)
  • Children’s Sabbath
  • Mental Illness Awareness Week

You can view the monthly lineup at Themes & Resources.

You can read and share resources at Seeking Justice.

“We invite people to join us on this journey and to share resources that they have found helpful in building and strengthening a community committed to justice,” Burton said.

You can sign up for the new service at Resources.

United Methodist Seminar Program

The UM Seminar Program is open to anyone high school age and older. A full-time seminar designer works closely with group leaders to prepare seminars to meet the specific interests of each group.

The seminars are a cooperative endeavor.

  • The General Board of Church & Society organizes seminars at the United Methodist Building, which is next door to the Supreme Court and across the street from the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Through community-based experiences incorporated into seminar schedules, groups have the opportunity to visit and learn within local communities in the nation’s capital.
  • United Methodist Women organizes seminars at the Church Center for the United Nations across the street from the U.N. headquarters.

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