Why Is Human Relations Day important?

“Love each other like the members of your family. Be the best at showing honor to each other.” — Romans 12:10, CEB

We have been asked to love one another like members of our family. Knowing how hard this request would be, God sent Jesus to show us how. Jesus walked with those in the margins during his life and shared the message that everyone is valuable and loved. This is the message we celebrate on Human Relations Day.

On Jan. 19, across the United Methodist connection, we come together to help bridge the gap between church and community. We do this by participating in an offering set aside for Human Relations Day. For more than half a century, United Methodists have observed this churchwide special Sunday in recognition of the message Jesus demonstrated during his life: every one of God’s children is important.

The Human Relations Day offering supports neighborhood ministries through Community Developers, community advocacy through United Methodist Voluntary Services and works with at-risk youth through the Youth Offender Rehabilitation Program. Such ministries give us the opportunity to walk in the margins and continue the work of Jesus.

Now is a great time to assemble a planning team and design a ministry plan that reflects the spirit of Human Relations Day. We have created a tool kit for you to prepare and lead worship, children and youth ministries and small-group discussions. Promote Human Relations Day through social media, videos and newsletter articles with relevant and meaningful messages. Please use and adapt the resources to fit your context and to encourage generous giving on Jan. 19.

Download worship ideas, social media graphics and other resources from our Human Relations Day Pastor and Leader’s Kit.

If you don’t already have offering envelopes for Human Relations Day, please order them today. Call 1-800-991-6011 or order online.

As you prepare for Human Relations Day 2020, invite the Holy Spirit to open your congregation’s heart to the message found in Romans: to love and to honor one another. Please be in prayer with the people whose programs reach out to neighborhoods and teens in crisis and share the love and hope of Jesus Christ. We pray that your congregation will celebrate wholeheartedly and join us in this important work.

Blessings,

Dana Lyles, Ph.D.
Director, U.S. Office on Multicultural Ministries
Global Mission Connections
General Board of Global Ministries

The Rev. Neal Christie
Assistant General Secretary
Education and Leadership Formation
General Board of Church and Society