Advocacy and Justice

The United Methodist Church has a long history of concern for social justice. Its members have often taken forthright positions on controversial issues involving Christian principles. Early Methodists expressed their opposition to the slave trade, to smuggling, and to the cruel treatment of prisoners.

In 1972, four years after the uniting in 1968 of The Methodist Church and The Evangelical United Brethren Church, the General Conference of The United Methodist Church adopted a statement of Social Principles, which was revised in 1976 (and by each successive General Conference).
The Social Principles are a prayerful and thoughtful effort on the part of the General Conference to speak to the human issues in the contemporary world from a sound biblical and theological foundation as historically demonstrated in United Methodist traditions. They are a call to faithfulness and are intended to be instructive and persuasive in the best of the prophetic spirit; however, they are not church law. (Read more here.)
Advocacy & Justice Committees:
  • Addiction Recovery:
    Is something hurting you? Is something holding you back from living fully? The United Methodist Church has developed programs and resources to help. Read more here.
  • Environmental Justice:
    The United Methodist Church will strive for a global sense of community to help achieve social, economic, and ecological justice for all of creation. Read more here.
  • Immigration Task Force:
    Approximately 850,000 immigrants enter the United States without permission every year. America benefits and prospers as a result of their labor; yet denies many of them basic rights like fair wages, health benefits, the opportunity to be with their families, and social services. As Christians and United Methodists we are called to love the stranger in our midst and to treat that stranger as we would our own family. We must be a church that welcomes the foreigners into our cities, our towns, our neighborhoods, our churches, our homes. Read more here.
  • Israel/Palestine Task Force:
    The Task Force is working to implement change - leveraging the power of United Methodist investment portfolios to affect faithful and positive change in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as well as partnering with UMKR and with United Methodist conferences throughout the country to build support for divestment and to address the resolution on Settlements that was passed in the 2012 General Conference. The Task Force also supports Janet Lahr Lewis, a UMC missionary with the Board of Global Ministries serving in the Middle East, and relies on her guidance and resources for our work on the ground. Read more here.
  • Occupied Tibet:
    Since the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1950, tens of thousands of Tibetans have gone into exile; refugees fleeing persecution, resettling in India, Nepal and other countries. Though displaced from their homeland, they hope for freedom to preserve the valuable religious and cultural heritage of their country. Bay Area Friends of Tibet (BARoT) became involved in the resettlement of Tibetan refugees when the 1990 Immigration Act opened the door to 1,000 Tibetans and their families to resettle in the United States. San Francisco was among 10 designated resettlement sites across America. Since that time, the Bay Area Tibetan community has grown to be the third largest in the country, and BAFoT continues to work with them toward freedom for Tibet, raising public awareness of the plight of Tibet, and helping preserve the Tibetan heritage for this and future generations. Their work is made possible through the generosity of volunteers and donors throughout the community. See more at