Social Principles Resources

The General Board of Church and Society has developed bulletin inserts (see right panel) featuring individual United Methodist Social Principles. The new resource, designed to be included in church worship bulletins or newsletters, can be downloaded for free from the agency's website.

The inserts highlight positions approved by the denomination's highest policy-making body, the General Conference. The bulletin inserts are designed in two colors that reproduce excellently in black and white. They are 11 by 8.5 inches.

Most inserts are two-sided, offering a Social Principle from the United Methodist Book of Discipline (¶¶160-166) and some background information such as scripture or other resources that influence how United Methodists think about a particular topic. The Social Principle itself is on the front side.

“Prayers and suggestions for how to live out the principle are also included,” said Julie Wilson, who developed the inserts. “Furthermore, for those who choose the two-sided option, each insert gives examples of how individuals, churches, or general boards and agencies are using that particular principle to guide their work.”

Wilson is a third-year student at Wesley Theological Seminary who is in her second year as an intern at GBCS. She has worked mainly in the areas of Education & Leadership Formation and Civil & Human Rights.

“Many United Methodists are unfamiliar with the Social Principles,” Wilson said. “Even many of my classmates at seminary had not heard about them before they took a class on United Methodist history, doctrine or polity.”

This is unfortunate, according to Wilson. “The Social Principles are an amazing synopsis of who we are as United Methodists,” she said. “They state our beliefs and motivate us to act upon those beliefs.”

For more information about this new resource or Social Principles training opportunities, contact the Rev. Neil Christie, assistant general secretary, Education & Leadership Formation, at (202) 488-5611.

The General Board of Church & Society is one of four international general program boards of The United Methodist Church. The board’s primary areas of ministry are Advocacy, Education & Leadership Formation, United Nations & International Affairs, and resourcing these areas for the denomination. It has offices on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and at the Church Center at the United Nations.