SC Annual Conference Defines Campaign Work for ChildrenThe South Carolina Annual Conference (UMC) continues its efforts to have every congregation active in making a difference in the lives of children in poverty. Martha Thompson, its Campaign liaison, reports the establishment of a mission statement, core values, and goals that guide the annual conference’s activism in South Carolina. The document might also be used as a template by other annual conferences as they mobilize persons to bear witness to God’s love for children who struggle with the stifling realities of poverty.
Equip congregations to share in God’s mission by providing hope, compassion, justice, and radical hospitality to children who live in poverty.
The Triune God identifies with, defends, and welcomes “the orphans, widows, and sojourners” and calls us to participate in Jesus Christ’s reign of justice, generosity, compassion, and joy.
- All persons are made in the image of God and redeemed in Jesus Christ and thereby have inherent worth, dignity, and potential to flourish as God’s beloved children.
- The plight of children around the world and in South Carolina is a theological, spiritual, moral, and missional crisis for The United Methodist Church.
- The mission of the church is to bring good news to the poor by being a visible sign, foretaste, and instrument of God’s compassion, justice, and radical hospitality.
- Methodism began among the poor and faithfulness to the Wesleyan heritage requires solidarity with those who live in poverty as a means of divine grace.
- The South Carolina Conference is uniquely positioned to transform “corridors of shame” into “corridors of hope” by providing education, advocacy, and radical hospitality in communities throughout the state and receiving the gifts of those who live in poverty.
- Ministry with the poor is an invitation to be transformed by the God who comes among us in those whom Jesus called “the least of these” and Charles Wesley called “Jesus’ bosom friends.”
- To urge Methodist congregations to reach out and minister with those in their community who are oppressed by poverty and by prevailing attitudes about the poor.
- To provide resources which will help these congregations in their ministry efforts.
- To encourage partnerships among congregations and community agencies that deal with the poor.
- To advocate for changes in the systems that perpetuates poverty.