Issue Study (2007)
Globalization: Its Impact in Our Lives
2006 and 2007 Mission Study Theme
“The United Methodist Church, as the covenant community committed to God's justice, must work toward a just global economy.”
General Conference Resolution 206: Economic Justice for a New Millennium
Throughout the history of the Schools of Christian Missions, United Methodists have turned their attention to issues of the economy, thus, continuing the church’s public witness for economic justice. Today, in this time of globalization – when what occurs in one part of the world, whether it concerns wealth, poverty, abundance, and scarcity, affects people in many other parts - it is appropriate that as United Methodists, we once again focus on this issue.
Where and how do the economic policies of globalization touch the lives of ordinary people? If United Methodists are to “manifest the gospel values in the economic order,” as a General Conference Resolution maintains, then we need a better under-standing of how and where contemporary issues of economic justice touch our lives, and of how and where our decisions for responsible actions can be made.
There are diverse ways and means by which economic globalization impacts the lives of people in the US. In this study, you will focus on a few but important issues -- “free trade” policies (including strategies of investment, privatization), “outsourcing” or “offshoring” (the expansion of business operations into countries beyond the nationality of the corporate offices), global media consolidation (deregulation) -- and their effects on people everywhere.
The possibilities of Globalization – the chance for greater connection and interdependence between people and nations are manipulated, renamed, exploited by Countries as well as corporations through economic policies that make ‘the market’ all powerful. Depending on opinion and opportunity, globalization can be called democracy, consumerism, social evil, economic injustice, trade opportunity, and political hay-making.
Economic policies are only as good as the human values that inform them. Economic policies that exploit individuals and communities effect US citizen in much the same way as they effect people in other parts of the world, Globalization creates opportunity to work with others to fight injustice. This study will assist us in seeking means to think about refashioning our own lives and our nation’s economic policies at home and abroad. We will explore alternative economic policies that build justice and to affirm the vision of global community for each of us, as individuals and in concert with others. Because we are people of faith, we must seek to build a global community based upon justice and solidarity. Because there is no returning to the past, so we must make globalization’s possibilities work for us in the future.
As local/global citizens we will look for opportunities to be the change that we want to see using the tools like solidarity, fair trade and human rights to build global community in our own communities and around the world.
"It is time we manifest gospel values in the economic order. It is after all our calling."