Social Justice

Social Justice

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
ensure justice for those being crushed.
Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,
and see that they get justice. 
Proverbs 31:8-9 (NLT)


United Methodists have a rich history and concern for social justice. Inspired by Jesus’ ministry to the poor and marginalized, we continue the work of John Wesley, our founder, who advocated for issues such as prison reform, human rights, the end of slavery, labor justice and the humane treatment of animals.

The Social Justice Ministry of Manchester UMC works to do good, seek justice, and correct oppression through awareness, education and action, one person, one connection at a time.

If you would like to get involved with the Social Justice or have questions, please complete the form below or email the Director of Social Justice, Ali Fields.

Get Involved

Please complete one form per person:

Our faith calls each one of us into action.  Click the link on the following categories to learn more and how to get involved!

Awareness

Rainbow Stoles
Pride Flag

Rainbow Stoles
We wear rainbows to call attention to our welcoming stance and to show solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community. This Pride symbol is a visual sign of a commitment to justice in the areas of gender and sexuality. Learn more.

No Hate Signs
Hate Has No Home Here

No Hate Signs
We are called by God to love others and to take a stand against hate and the harm it causes so many people in our communities. We do this by educating ourselves, by amplifying the voices of those who have been harmed by hate, and by using our own voices to speak out against hate. Signs are $5. Learn more.

Education

The Social Justice Ministry offers a variety of groups, classes and events throughout the year. Click on the link below for more information:

The UMC and Homosexuality

As part of a “Live in Love” sermon series, Pastor Andy Bryan delivered a compelling sermon laying out interpretations of the “clobber verses.” These are verses in the Bible that have been used to harm or “clobber” members of the LGBTQ+ community. The interpretations are rooted in Biblical scholarship, linguistic analysis, historical context, and other ancient sources.

Pastor Andy asked, “Knowing there is an interpretation of these verses that does harm to your neighbor, and knowing now that there is another interpretation of these verses that doesn’t do harm to your neighbor, why do you believe what you believe?”

Why do we believe what we believe? It is a provocative and necessary question. After Pastor Andy’s sermon people wanted to know more and to better understand the different interpretations. Using a resource created by Nick Mundwiller, and Pastor Andy’s sermon, a summary of the interpretations was created. Click here to read more.

“Live in Love” Sermon Series

If questions or to learn how to get involved, please email the Director of Social Justice, Ali Fields.

Lunch & Learns

On the first Tuesday of the month, the Social Justice Ministry will host monthly Lunch & Learns in Fellowship Hall (and via Facebook Live). These events will take place the first Tuesday of the month and will cover topics related to root causes of injustice. Our first Lunch & Learn is called, “Creating Body and Food Positive Spaces.”  There will be a 30-minute presentation, followed by a 15-minute question and answer period.

Bring your lunch and surround yourself with community as we learn about important social justice issues impacting our community.

Myths and Realities of Human TraffickingFebruary 7, 2022

There are an estimated 50 million people trapped in modern-day slavery today. This number has increased by 25% since 2016 due to conflict, Covid-19, and the climate crisis. Learn about the Myths and Realities of Human Trafficking and how you can take a courageous step to end exploitation. 

This interactive lunch and learn will be led by Cassidy Winters, Communications and Development Officer at Lift Up the Vulnerable (LUV). Lift Up the Vulnerable is on a mission to prevent the trafficking and oppression of vulnerable children and women in warzones and empower them to be changemakers in their communities. Visit: https://liftupthevulnerable.org/

*Save the Date for February 7 & March 7 Lunch & Learns!

Let us know you are coming and if you have ideas for future lunch & learns!

Eating Disorder / Disordered Eating Resources

Here are some resource links to learn more. Click on the link below for more information:

Websites:

Books:

  • Reclaiming Body Trust: A Path to Healing & Liberation by Hilary Kinavey and Dana Sturtevant (releasing in August 2022)
  • The Body is Not an Apology by Sonja Renee Taylor
  • 8 Keys to Recovery From an Eating Disorder by Carolyn Costin and Gwen Schubert Grabb
  • Hunger by Roxane Gay
  • Intuitive Eating, 4th Edition: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
  • How to Raise an Intuitive Eater: Raising the Next Generation with Food and Body Confidence by Sumner Brooks and Amee Severson
  • Decolonizing Wellness by Dalia Kinsey
  • Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness by Da’Shaun L. Harrison

If questions or to learn how to get involved, please email the Director of Social Justice, Ali Fields.

Classes and Events

NEW! Intuitive Eating Support Group
Every Monday 4p
This supportive group will be a safe space to navigate the principles of intuitive eating. Learn more.

Walk Justly 2023 (re) inhabit

Save the Date, October 20-21, 2023

Past Events

The Social Justice Ministry hosted the following events that were open to the public:

Walk Justly

Walk Justly 2022 was a two-day in-person conference featuring interactive workshops, engaging worship, uplifting music, meaningful prayer experiences and much more. The conference is open to everyone and offered annually by Manchester United Methodist Church.

Reconciling

Tower Grove Pride

Sat & Sun, Sept. 24 & 25, 2022

Manchester UMC partnered with 10 reconciling churches and had a booth at the event this year.

Stephanie-Thurmer-

Transgender Q & A
Wed, Oct. 27, 2021
Specials guest, Stephanie Thurmer provided an informative question and answer session about begin transgender. Stephanie is a co-founding member of the Metro Transgender Umbrella Group and a transwoman who has been out for 20 years. Learn from her expertise, listen as she puts to rest many misconceptions about the transgender community, and hear emotional stories of her journey that not only affected her, but her family as well.


What’s Up with Monuments & Signs?
Sun, Sept. 19, 2021
Local scholars will discuss the role of monuments in commemorating history and communicating culture.  Our discussion will include considerations of efforts to remove or replace monuments, as well as a presentation about current initiatives to update commemorative signage throughout the St. Louis area.


Conversation About Our History
Sun, Aug. 8, 2021
It’s Missouri’s birthday; however, how much do we really know about the creation of our state? Guest panelists were: Jeffrey L. Pasley, and Peter Kastor.


Rockwood School District 2 43

Race & Education
Sunday, July 11, 2021
This learning opportunity was offered in response to recent controversy in local schools around this subject. 

A panel of local experts discussed timely topics, including:

  • What actually is “Critical Race Theory”?
  • What does diversity education look like?
  • Why are we still talking about race?

Show Me Democracy
Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019
Show Me Democracy centers on seven St. Louis college students as they evolve into advocates and activists, demanding change through policy and protest. The feature-length documentary chronicles their diverse approaches to combating racism and police brutality; advocating for educational reform.


Photo of a man in a crowd looking depressed.

Never Leave A Veteran Behind
Sunday, May 5, 2019
A panel of veterans, mental service providers, and organizations will
discuss the mental and emotional toll of military service, and provide
suggestions for supporting veterans. While veterans are welcome, our
goal is to educate families, friends, and/or neighbors of veterans.


Mother 2 Mother
Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019
A conversation with black mothers to the white community about “The Talk” with their black sons. The mothers shared the challenges and dangers of raising black sons in today’s world.


No More Thoughts & Prayers
Date
Description

Action

The Social Justice Ministry offers a variety of ongoing campaigns throughout the year. Click below for more information.

Bipartisan Background Checks Action of 2021 (HR8)

The HR8 bill establishes new background check requirements for firearm transfers between private parties (i.e., unlicensed individuals).

Specifically, it prohibits a firearm transfer between private parties unless a licensed gun dealer, manufacturer, or importer first takes possession of the firearm to conduct a background check.

The prohibition does not apply to certain firearm transfers or exchanges, such as a gift between spouses in good faith. You can learn more about HR8.

Support HR8

Manchester UMC clergy have spoken out in favor of the passing of HR8. If you feel called to take action on this piece of legislation, you can download a pre-drafted letter to mail to Missouri’s Senators.

Letter to Senators
Postcard to Senators
Senator Addresses

Roy Blunt
Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse
111 South 10th Street
Suite 23.305
St. Louis MO 63102

Josh Hawley
111 South 10th Street
Suite 23.360
St. Louis MO 63102

Get Involved

Please complete one form per person:

Faith Leaders Called to Action

Faith Leaders Called to Action
We have spoken out in favor of the passing of HR8 which established new background check requirements for firearm transfers between private parties (i.e., unlicensed individuals).

Specifically, it prohibits a firearm transfer between private parties unless a licensed gun dealer, manufacturer, or importer first takes possession of the firearm to conduct a background check. Learn more.

One for the Crow
Preparing the gardening bed 43

One for the Crow

Do you enjoy gardening? The One for the Crow garden really needs some weeding. Please wear work clothes, closed toes shoes, and bring your work gloves. Learn more.

LGBTQ+ Family Support Network
LGBTQ Heart in Hand

LGBTQ+ Family Support Network
Monthly Meetings
Any LGBTQ+ person or family member, including parent, grandparent, or guardian of an LGBTQ+ person(s) are welcome! This faith-based group provides on-going education, guest speakers, and peaceful advocacy. Learn more.

If you would like to get involved with the Social Justice or have questions, please email the Director of Social Justice, Ali Fields.


Check out these related websites: