'John 10:10 Challenge' Calls People of Faith to Work for Healthcare Reform

July 24, 2009

New website provides resources to empower advocacy in community and with Congress


WASHINGTON, D.C. - United Methodists are invited to participate in the "John 10:10 Challenge" to raise the faith community's voice in support of comprehensive U.S. healthcare reform. The challenge, issued by the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), is based on Jesus' declaration that he came so all "may have life, and have it abundantly." A new website, http://www.1010challenge.org/, contains resources to enable persons to be informed, engaged, and empowered to begin advocacy for U.S. healthcare reform.


The United Methodist Church states in its Social Principles (ΒΆ162.V) that it believes health care is "a basic human right." Last year, the denomination's highest policy-making body, the General Conference, adopted a resolution that supports a single-payer system. That resolution, #3201 in the 2008 Book of Resolutions, urges United Methodists to exert influence through all structures and means "to connectionally advocate and fervently lobby the federal government for the adoption and implementation of a totally nonprofit health-insurance system, a single-payer system administered by the federal government."


More than 47 million people are without health care in this country, and 14,000 people are losing their coverage daily, according to both healthcare industry and Congressional estimates. While the U.S. Congress deliberates on health-care reform, the 10:10 Challenge will enable the faith community to learn about details under consideration, start dialogues around reform, and to act on behalf of the United Methodist witness that health care is a basic human right.


The 10:10 Challenge website offers a "justice-filled prescription for health care." People who visit the site are asked to make a commitment to take action in the next 10 weeks to help convince Congress that reform is necessary.


The website offers 10 actions that persons who accept the challenge can choose to take during these 10 intensive weeks of Congressional advocacy. Actions are suitable for individuals or for groups, - such as United Methodist Women or Men, youth fellowships, or Sunday school classes. The website encourages persons to start a team challenge and invite others to join to commit to being a part of healthcare reform.


Actions include:

  • Signing a "Prescription for Healthcare Reform." The petition will be forwarded to the White House and Congress.

  • The petition gives a strong endorsement to a public option to insure everyone.Conducting a Healthcare Justice Sabbath. The website contains a suggested worship service, including litanies, prayers, and Bible verses.

  • Holding prayer vigils. The website offers an enhanced prayer service that supports the United Methodist position on health-care reform.

  • Contacting members of Congress. The website includes scripts that feature faith-based messaging.

The website is predicated on United Methodist principles that healthcare should be inclusive, available, accessible, and accountable for all. The site states: "As people of faith, we envision a society where each person is afforded health, wholeness and human dignity."


Download one-page 10:10 Challenge overview (in pdf format) here.


For more information about the 10:10 Challenge or United Methodist positions on comprehensive healthcare reform, contact the Rev. Cynthia Abrams, director of GBCS's work area on Alcohol, Other Addictions and Health Care, at 202.488.5636 or cabrams@umc-gbcs.org.


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

Read related story, GBCS General Secretary Urges UMs to Call Representatives on Capitol Hill