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a social creed for the 21st century

Minute for Mission: A Social Creed for the 21st Century

What does it mean to labor…to work…to earn or make a living? Whether in a period of inflation, stagflation, or a robustly resilient economy, it’s reasonable to equate labor with a job—or the lack of one. And yet consolidating what it means to “make a living’’ with what may or may not provide a living wage, risks devaluing both the dignity of all created beings and the Gospel promise of “life abundant’’ (John 10:10). Mindful that our faith calls us to an expansive understanding of life, labor and love, A New Social Creed for the Twenty-First Century (2008) sets our living-making within the creative justice, deep relationality and restorative movements of the Triune God. For economies that thrust communities into subsistence-existence are counter to the commonwealth of God.

Minute for Mission: A Social Creed for the 21st Century

Of all the economic indicators this year, it seems that the “labor numbers” are pretty good. Even though prices have been rising, unemployment is at an almost record low. People are working again, but interestingly a labor shortage persists. Jobs are still available everywhere. “Help wanted” signs are hanging in merchant windows. Employers continue to offer better wages and benefits and flexible work hours, all with the hope of attracting workers to fill needed jobs. The labor numbers may be good, but labor is still a problem.

Minute for Mission: A Social Creed for the 21st Century

What’s the use of the Social Creed for the 21st Century? Yes, the Social Creed gets cited in books that deal with ecumenical social ethics, but how many read those after they leave seminary? Well, actually, Cynthia Rigby’s book “Promotion of Social Righteousness” (2010) did get broader circulation, and it reprints the Social Creed as the key illustration of what the church stands for in its social witness. Her title is one of the six “Great Ends of the Church” and it means both social justice and public integrity.

ACSWP’s new General Assembly resources focus on civic responsibility, religious freedom

The Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP), which serves the Church by providing the General Assembly with careful studies on issues with moral challenges, Christian discernment, and making policy recommendations for faithful action, announced the publication of two new General Assembly resources. Honest Patriotism is a theological and ethical guide on civic responsibility. Religious Freedom Without Discrimination describes claims of religious freedom being used to exempt individuals and employers from providing women’s reproductive health coverage or goods and services to LGBTQ+ individuals.

‘A Social Creed for the 21st Century’ turns 10

“People sometimes look at 20-to-40-page reports on energy, tax policy or end-of-life issues and ask, ‘Do you have something shorter?’ Well, the ‘Social Creed’ is that concise statement of what the churches stand for, deliberately avoiding ‘hot button’ language,” said Christian Iosso, coordinator for the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy for the PC(USA). “The Trinitarian format, loved by the Orthodox churches, was suggested by Patty Chapman, a marketing executive as well as Christian educator who served on the Presbyterian writing committee.”

Labor Day 2018 marks 10-year anniversary of ‘A Social Creed for the 21st Century’

This Labor Day marks the 10-year anniversary of “A Social Creed for the 21st Century,” an ecumenical message of hope adopted by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA. The creed’s foundation lies in the Christian bases of faith, hope and love and offers a vision of society that “shares more and consumes less, seeks compassion over suspicion and equality over domination, and finds security in joined hands rather than massed arms.”

A Social Creed for the 21st Century

The “Social Creed” is a concise summary of what we stand for, written in a positive way, and in three sections, recalling God’s Trinitarian nature and the great Christian bases of faith, hope and love. It reflects many long-standing convictions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), reinforcing the work of the Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C., and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations. It is also meant to strengthen the responsible citizenship of each Presbyterian Christian.

Minute for Mission: A Social Creed for the 21st Century

Do churches care about working people? The Social Creed for the 21st Century says yes. Right after its adoption in 2008, for example, it was invoked to support ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage. So how did the 33 churches in the National Council of Churches reach agreement to update the original Social Creed of 1908? The answer is threefold and gives us hope for ecumenical cooperation to advocate for working people.