The purpose of Benson’s Memorial’s Work Area for Church and Society is to raise awareness of issues of justice and peace within our society and how we as a Christian community are called to social service, social education, social witness and social action in our local community, our state, our nation and the world. Our focus is on long-term, root causes of social injustice and suffering while we also work closely with the Work Area on Missions to identify and meet immediate needs through acts of mercy. We affirm our church’s longstanding commitment to these acts of mercy, which can produce immediate, tangible results. But we also affirm that we are called by Christ to confront the societal causes of injustice and suffering in our world.
Biblical Basis for Peace and Justice
“And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." –Micah 6.8
“…Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison and did nothing for you?” And he will answer, “I tell you this: anything you did not do for one of these, however humble, you did not do for me.” –Matthew 25.44-46
The Benson Memorial Enlarging the Circle Reconciling Community is dedicated to living with open hearts, open minds, and open doors. We recognize that all persons are created in the image of God, loved by God, and reconciled to God through Christ. We also believe that, in the words of John Wesley, “Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike?” In that light, we are committed to welcoming, affirming, embracing, and including as part of our faith community all children of God—regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, race, sex, ability, ethnicity, national origin, culture, education, faith tradition, or family, marital or socioeconomic status—treating all equally and with dignity.
As members of Enlarging the Circle, we are pledged to:
Benson Memorial has been taking steps to worship and serve in more sustainable ways in accordance with our call to care for God’s creation.
We stand in solidarity with our siblings of color and provide opportunities to learn more about and act against the racial injustices present within our society.
Benson Memorial welcomes all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, race, sex, ability, ethnicity, national origin, culture, education, faith tradition, or family, marital or socioeconomic status, treating all equally and with dignity.
Following the biblical call to remember those in prison, we recognize the inequities inherent in the criminal justice system and the challenges that those entangled in it face.
God calls us to care for the poor, and to do that we must see them and understand their issues.
We believe that full participation in society without hierarchical boundaries is in line with Christian teaching, and voting is a critical part of that participation.
The Bible tells us to welcome the stranger, and we are called to carry this out in our present life as immigrants and refugees risk all to find safety and security.
We continually look for ways to promote and to take action on these subjects and other important social justice matters. If you would like to participate with us in any of these areas or would like to share other ways that Benson Memorial can further God’s justice in our world, please reach out to John Reese at firstname.lastname@example.org or Susan Brooks at email@example.com .