Bearing Witness in the Kin-dom

Bearing Witness in the Kin-dom: Living into the Church’s Moral Witness through Radical Discipleship. New York: United Methodist Women, October 2020. ISBN: 9781952501043.

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Imagine God’s Justice and Lead with Compassion

Love. Justice. Solidarity. Living as siblings in the “kin-dom” of God requires bold faith. Women in the United Methodist tradition have courageously led ministries in race relations, creation care, substance abuse, sexual orientation and inclusion, poverty, relationships with indigenous nations, and other concerns. However, The United Methodist Church and its predecessors have a sometimes-uneven history of resisting the evil and violence that damage the world. This book explores this history, empowering us to imagine God’s justice and to lead with compassion. Together, we bear witness to God’s gracious presence in ways that make a material difference to all of creation, all persons, especially victims of injustice and those who are most vulnerable. This is the moral witness of the church.

Bearing Witness in the Kin-dom: Living into the Church’s Moral Witness through Radical Discipleship is the 2021 Spiritual Growth Study for United Methodist Women.

Acknowledgements

A special word of thanks is due to those persons who shared stories of their ministry with me for this project: Garlinda Burton, Liz Fulmer, Eunice Musa Iliya, Cindy Andrade Johnson, Tweedy Sombrero Navarrete, HiRho Park, Jenny Phillips, and Marilyn Zehring. I would also like to thank Pamela Brubaker and Jane Dutton for allowing me to quote material from their sermons.

From the Introduction

The moral witness of the church is rooted in baptism, in which we are welcomed into the kin-dom of God as disciples of Christ. Following Jesus’ words and deeds, we find ourselves part of a larger community bearing witness to Christ and each other. Human dignity, basic goods, justice for victims, and full flourishing in community are expressions of Wesleyan faith. These fruits stem from God’s gracious activity: bestowed worth, redemption, forgiveness, and reconciliation. All of this is rooted in God’s salvific work to make new all of creation. The moral witness of the church is our human participation in God’s good work. Attention to full human flourishing and community prompts us to imagine God’s justice and notice when actual communities fall short. Our common vow “to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves” leads us to work together for a more just world as we grow in the life of faith, both individually and as a church.

From Bearing Witness in the Kin-dom: Living into the Church’s Moral Witness through Radical Discipleship © 2021 United Methodist Women. All rights reserved.
Used by permission.

Funding

This work was fully funded by United Methodist Women.