The United Methodist Church is in the process of revising its Social Principles to make them "more global" - "globally relevant" that is. (UMNS news story here.) The process comes out of resolutions put forward at General Conference 2012 by the European Central Conferences. The idea is that many of the Social Principles currently speak primarily (or even solely) to a U.S. context. Thus, the Social Principles become another way in which The UMC remains a primarily U.S.-focused denomination rather than a truly global church. Yet, thanks to action on the part of General Conference and a recent plan put forward by the Connectional Table, work is underway to reduce or eliminate the American bias in the Social Principles. The plan will begin with a series of symposia around the world with possible suggestions for General Conference 2016 growing out of these.
In addition to the opportunity to make the Social Principles more globally relevant to all national branches of The UMC, this re-examination process seems to be the perfect time for the church to consider its transnational Social Principles. As more and more social problems are no longer confined within national borders, it is necessary for churches to speak out on global social issues. The opportunity to do so in an informed and credible way may be one of the true forms of service that The UMC can render to the global community because of its nature as a global church.
What do you think? What in the Social Principles should be changed to be more globally relevant? What should be added to address new transnational, global social issues? Comment below.