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 create awareness and action that addresses the root causes of injustice in our community and beyond and then uses our influence and voices to change systems for the better.

Our faith calls each one of us into action.  Click the links below to find out how to get involved!

Special Events

Voter Education

Worried about going to the polls in November? Confused by the absentee ballot process? Wondering what’s going on with Medicaid expansion in Missouri? Join us as we host The League of Women Voters on Tuesday night! A panel of experts will let us know how we can make sure our votes count!

The League of Women Voters has been providing nonpartisan voter education services for over 50 years. This event is open to all community members, so be sure to share the opportunity!

Date: Tuesday, July 14
Time: 6:00-7:00 PM
Zoom Meeting ID: 923 3928 3076
Required Password: votered

Absentee Ballot Notary

If you are planning on voting via absentee ballot and you DO NOT have an underlying condition that makes you high-risk for Covid, your absentee ballot MUST BE notarized. MUMC Social Justice Ministries will be providing drive up notary services this weekend. Bring your ballot with appropriate ID to the church entrance during our open hours to make sure you get your ballot.

Absentee ballot requests should be placed in the mail by July 15.

Download your ballot request here:

Drive up date and hours:
Saturday 7/11, 5-6:30 pm
Sunday 7/12, 12-1:30 pm & 5-6:30 pm
Monday 7/13, 9-10:30 am, 12-1:30 pm, & 5-6:30 pm


Learning Opportunities

The recent killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd have brought heightened awareness of the racial inequality and injustices that exist in our nation. Manchester UMC is offering a series of online study groups to explore Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility: Why it is So Hard for White People to Talk About Race.

White Fragility Book Groups

As Missouri Bishop Bob Farr stated, “It is not enough to be non-racist.  For those of us who are white people who follow Jesus Christ, we are called to be anti-racist.”  Participating in this six-week book study that will help us to examine our racial identity, understanding the history of racism in America, and process the complicated emotions that arise when we talk about race. 

Check out these learning opportunities! All are welcome, including newcomers! You do not need to register…just join us!


Mutual Aid and Solidarity Circles

Do you have enough toilet paper to share? Do you need help getting groceries? Are you feeling really alone? Solidarity is vital in times of social uncertainty. It is our responsibility to care for and support one another during times of crisis and uncertainty. We have three ways to get involved:

Material Needs: Let us know what kind of support you can offer and what kind of support you need!

Solidarity Circle: Get matched with 3-5 folks in a solidarity circle. Solidarity circles connect frequently to offer community, conversation, and prayer. Conversation guide will be provided. Circles will be facilitated by volunteer leaders.

Social Justice Leadership: There are more opportunities to respond to our community than any of us are able to track alone. Join a task-force of justice-minded individuals to compile, brainstorm, and home-based social justice opportunities for our congregation.

Register now to get started today!

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LGBTQIA+ Resource

FAQ

Why are people at MUMC wearing rainbows?

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.

If someone isn’t wearing a rainbow, are they homophobic?

Not participating in the rainbow stole project is simply a decision not to participate in a specific action-much like choosing not to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day.  Change comes from all directions, and not everyone is comfortable participating in this initiative.  If you are not yet ready to wear a rainbow to church, we invite you to prayerfully consider how you can lift up and support LGBTQIA+ people in your community.

Aren’t we already welcoming?

We are a welcoming congregation, but this is also a scary moment for our LGBTQIA+ siblings.  Damaging experience in past churches, public discourse on identity, and the Methodist Connections failure to include LGBTQIA+ persons make attending worship a daunting prospect for some.  We need to be over the top welcoming in order to share the Gospel of love!

Why are we still talking about this?

The church has been talking about sexuality for a long time.  The topic can get tiring and some may claim that adding gender and orientation to our welcome statement is enough.  However, LGBQTIA+ individuals continue to fight to protect their lives, families, and livelihoods.  Our denomination has recently supported more exclusionary language regarding human sexuality.  This is the moment to increase our efforts for inclusion and continue on our path towards justice!

ResistHarm

For more information about the social justice work that occurs at the Missouri Conference Level, click here.

Missouri Conference Social Justice News

At the national and worldwide connectional level, Manchester UMC utilizes resources from the United Methodist Women, https://www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/about  and the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society that is dedicated to the work of living faith, seeking justice, and pursuing peace.  The Church’s specific positions on more than 30 social justice issues can be found online and include the categories of Civil and Human Rights, Economic Justice, Environmental Justice, Health and Wholeness, Peace with Justice and Women and Children https://www.umcjustice.org/.

If your passion for doing God’s work extends to building relationships, being a change-maker and advocating for others, join the Social Justice Ministry Team.  Our work starts here, but extends beyond our walls to make our world a better place. 

To get involved, please contact Social Justice Coordinator,  Nicki Reinhardt-Swierk

Advocacy/Social Justice Group Resource List