United Methodist have believed, from the beginning, that each of us is called to participate in the outreaching ministry of Jesus Christ. John Wesley described this work in simple, practical terms: "Do all the good you can, in all the places you can, to all the people you can."
At APSU Wesley Foundation, we take that call to heart.
"You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove." James 2:18 from The Message
There was a village holding a social gathering one summer, when a person noticed a baby struggling and crying in the river. As someone rushed to save the baby, more babies were discovered in the river, so the people tried saving the children. As others became busy with their rescue efforts, though, two people stepped back to look at the bigger picture, then went upstream to stop whoever was throwing the babies into the river.
This may seem to be an improbable tale, but one that illustrates the difference between charity and social justice. Charity occurred when the townspeople put their efforts together to rescue the babies, while justice was sought by the two folks who went upstream to stop whoever was throwing the babies downstream. Charity deals with the immediate need, while justice leans more towards addressing the root cause of the problem.
United Methodist believe that social justice cannot be divorced from our faith.