SOCIAL JUSTICE SUNDAY SCHOOL/SMALL GROUP MATERIALS
The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
We hope that many FUMC Sunday school classes or other small groups will take the time to study social justice issues. Members of the social justice team are sometimes available to teach Sunday school or small group lessons. Potential topics include a review of the Methodist Church Social Principles or reviews of various books that address social justice matters. There are also any number of organizations that have prepared curriculum that you may choose to follow. And if cost is an impediment, the social justice team may be able to buy the curriculum for the church so that you can utilize it in your small group study.
The Church and Homosexuality
Some examples of small group lessons are:
The United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society has many materials that would be appropriate for small group studies. Those resources include Cry of Creation — A Call For Climate Justice, For the Peace of the World — A Christian Curriculum on International Relations (from the National Council of Churches), Environmental Racism — An Ecumenical Study Guide, In Search of Security, Global Poverty — A New Year in God’s World, and In His Place (a Lenten devotional). The GBCS also has speaker videos from the November 2007, Living Faith, Seeking Justice conference that would likely be appropriate for a small group lesson. Additionally, the General Board of Church and Society has a “knowledge center” that contains information on specific issues, including examining what the Methodist church social principles say on each issue. The General Board of Church and Society has come out with a new, 7 week small group study on the Letter of James.
The National Council of Churches is a partnership of American churches, including the United Methodist Church. The National Council of Churches has an eco-justice arm that has many resources designed to teach us what our faith says about caring for God’s creation, including a new study for each Earth Day. The NCC also has other resources on social justice issues, such as Eradicating Global Poverty and For the Peace of the World (co-sponsored by the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society).
The Sojourners Ministries, led by Rev. Jim Wallis, has as its mission to articulate the biblical call to social justice. One of the way Sojourners lives out this mission is by providing a number of small group studies. There are over twenty offerings, that include: Hungry For Justice, Crossing the Racial Divide, Christians and the Environment, and Christians and Immigration.
Nooma is a non-profit that was created to distribute short video sermons by Rob Bell, the founding pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan. There are currently twenty videos in the series, and each video comes with a discussion book. Many of the videos focus on social justice issues.