This Sunday we will conclude worship with the World Methodist Social Affirmation (Hymnal 886). Here’s the background on it:
“This affirmation was adopted by the World Methodist Council when it met at Nairobi, Kenya, in 1986. It had been drawn up by the Council’s Social and International Affairs Committee in a process that included the following: (a) all member denominations were invited to send a copy of their current statement of social principles; (b) representatives of each region of world Methodist met for a week and after intensive Bible study and examination of all the social principles statements formulated a first draft; (c) this draft was sent back to the member denominations for their response; and (d) the responses received were the basis of revisions in preparing the final draft for submission to the World Methodist Council, from which the hymnal version was drawn.” (The Worship Resources of The United Methodist Hymnal, Hoyt L. Hickman, Volume Editor. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1989. pp. 201-202)
The Affirmation reflects a long tradition of social concern that dates back to the Wesleys. At the beginning of the 20th Century it found expression in The Social Creed. After the merger of 1968, these affirmations were expanded into The Social Principles, which is found in The Book of Discipline.