The vote was 54-19 with one abstention to approve recommending “A Social Creed for the 21st Century” to the 218th General Assembly. The new creed will be forwarded to member churches in the National Council of Churches of Christ (NCC) for their ratification.
During a lengthy debate, youth advisory delegate Michael Mishkovsky urged the creed’s adoption. “Why do you think kids aren’t joining the church?” he asked. “It’s because we don’t pass things like this. I want to be defined by love, and this is the way.”
The creed seeks a vision of society “that shares more and consumes less, seeks compassion over suspicion and equality over domination, and finds security in joined hands rather than massed arms.”
The committee also approved a revised version of the overture “From Homelessness to Hope: Constructing Just, Sustainable Communities for All God’s People.” The overture affirms “universal access to safe, decent, accessible, affordable and permanent housing” as a “measure of a just society and a sign of the coming Reign of God.”
In other items, the committee voted to recommend three measures to strengthen the status of women and racial ethnic people within the denomination: pay equitable and just compensation, cultural competency for various denominational agencies, and a study on the status of women and the declaration of a decade of “Hearing and Singing New Songs to God” that is designed to increase opportunity for women of color.
By a 67-4 margin, the committee voted to urge Congress and the President not to saddle future generations with any more debt. An overture from the Presbytery of the New Covenant asks the General Assembly to “declare that federal government practices and policies that create ever-increasing debt and unfunded or underfunded obligations for future generations of Americans are a grave moral concern as well as a clear danger to the republic” and calls upon public leaders “to have the courage to address this economic and moral crisis while there is still time.”