United Methodist Churches Observe ‘Human Relations Day’ to Commemorate Martin Luther King Jr Day

CrossRoads United Methodist Church in Phoenix, Arizona is seen here in a Feb. 13, 2010. | AP Images/Matt York

United Methodist Church congregations across the United States and abroad are observing “Human Relations Day” Sunday as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.

Known as a “special Sunday,” it is one of six such observances found on the annual UMC church calendar that is aimed at showcasing a fundamental calling of the Church.

According to a statement posted on the UMC’s website, Human Relations Day is centered on helping to “bridge the gap between church and community.”

“For more than half a century, United Methodists have observed this churchwide special Sunday in recognition of the message Jesus demonstrated during his life: all of God’s children are important,” the UMC stated.

“On Human Relations Day, we join other UMC congregations in a special offering to support neighborhood ministries through Community Developers, community advocacy through United Methodist Voluntary Services and work with at-risk youth through the Youth Offender Rehabilitation Programs.”

The UMC also stated that the special offering makes “an impact in communities where people struggle because they don’t have the tools or resources to reach their God-given potential.”

The UMC Book of Discipline notes that special Sundays like Human Relations Day are “placed on the calendar to make clear the calling of The Church as the people of God and to give persons the opportunity to contribute offerings to special programs.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski