#BeUMC: Justice-seeking People of God
The Mississippi Conference’s core value of justice is a reminder of self-reflection to continuously challenge ourselves by asking, do we see people as the world sees people, or do we see people as God sees them—of sacred worth and made in His image? Are our hearts and actions demonstrative of a commitment to live out justice? At the 2017 Session of the Mississippi Annual Conference our teaching, being and doing centered around how “Justice is The POWER of We,” and we studied Micah 6:8 ESV, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Within the focus of justice and the #BeUMC values of belonging and inclusion, this #BeUMC feature spotlights how here in Mississippi, we are ‘Justice-seeking People of God.’ Rev. Lydia Michelle Dailey, former senior pastor of the Philadelphia Parish in Philadelphia shares about how justice is essential in the process of making disciples of Jesus Christ.
|Mt. Zion Church state history marker near Philadelphia, Mississippi
The Philadelphia Parish is made up of four United Methodist churches—Hopewell, Prairie Chapel, Stevens Chapel and Mt. Zion. On June 21, 1964, voting rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, who had come to Mississippi to investigate the burning of Mt. Zion Church, were murdered. Victims of a Klan conspiracy, their deaths provoked national outrage and led to the first successful federal prosecution of a civil rights case in Mississippi.
“James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman lost their lives while leading our parish into an understanding of the treasures of a great democracy. They taught civic involvement and responsibility, voter registration and the power of elected office. We are continuing to build on this foundation laid by these three giants of the Civil Rights Movement.
I choose to #BeUMC because I love structure, organization, holiness, generosity and equipping disciples for the transformation of the world. As a pastor serving a church that was bombed or burned to the ground in 1964, and no one held accountable, I get to teach principles of justice and love for all people no matter what their ethnicity or color may be. We do not want acts of injustice to set the bar for making disciples of Jesus Christ.” - Rev. Lydia Michelle Dailey
Choosing to #BeUMC is choosing to be a part of a church where all will be loved, and to be a part of a church that is dismantling racism.
Share Why You Think It's Great to #BeUMC
United Methodists around the world are sharing why they choose to #BeUMC. Why are you United Methodist? What makes you optimistic about the future of our congregation’s ministry and mission? Create your own photo, video or written post about your personal experiences, values, hopes and heritage and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
. Don’t forget to include #BeUMC in your post!
#BeUMC honors the core values that connect the people of The United Methodist Church. No matter the challenges we face, God is with us, and we continue to have opportunities to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world! Now is our chance to embrace our Wesleyan heritage and envision a promising future. This grassroots effort, built upon powerful stories of congregations and people living their faith, celebrates what draws us to The United Methodist Church and what we aspire to be. The United Methodist Church is founded on a Wesleyan theology of grace, anchored in Scripture, and based in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the continuing movement of the Holy Spirit.