Advocacy Resource Team
Seeking to Transform the World through Witnessing to God’s Love, Righteousness, and Justice.
The goal of the Advocacy Resource Team’s (ART) work is to help the Annual Conference and our local churches to live out the biblical mandate found in Micah 6:8, “. . . What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Jesus’ calling and ministry echoed these values of the Reign of God. He was always seeking to include those who were marginalized, disenfranchised, or oppressed. When John the Baptist’s disciples came to Jesus and asked if he was the Messiah in Luke 7, Jesus then responded, “Go tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them.” The actions of Jesus’ ministry call those on the fringes of society or established religion into a deepening life of faith and service to one another—a wholeness of life through relationship.
As the ART prepares to go out into the mission fields of the Peninsula-Delaware Conference, we are guided by the Scripture that has been both the theme of this Annual Conference and the General Board of Church and Society, John 10:10, “. . . I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” These words of Jesus inform the work of the Advocacy Resource Team as it continues its mission to the world with the love of Christ through advocacy, mercy, peace, and justice-related ministries.
ART also continues the legacy of our Methodist forbearers who have a long and rich history of engagement on issues of social concern. John Wesley was a forthright advocate of prison reform, human rights, abuse of alcohol, labor justice, healthcare, slavery, and the humane treatment of animals. Slavery was a divisive issue within the church during the 18th and 19th Centuries with many Methodist taking strong abolitionist positions while others were less forthright. The women's rights movement, the labor reform movement, the temperance movement and the Civil Rights movement all saw leadership from a number of courageous and prophetic Methodist voices advocating for justice. So, we embrace the mission that we adopted in 2008: This team supports and cares for empowering and transforming the human community through actions of social justice and advocacy, ecumenical and interfaith concerns, monitoring of inclusiveness, combating racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression, ethnic community concerns and providing diversity training and consultation.
We endeavor to help the church and world embrace and embody The Social Principles of The United Methodist Church, which also helps to direct and guide the quest for justice in our world. As our Bishop, Peggy Johnson, has said, “The goal of justice is not for me to win and for you to lose, but for us to find a way forward together. The goal of justice is not to continue to punish yourself or others, but to find a new freedom that energizes all of life . . . Justice is the real deal: the radical surgery that creates real healing. It demands our total involvement. And God is using it every day to change the world.” It is this call upon all of us that drives the team and helps give it the passion to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a hurting world.