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Human Relations Day Sunday

Courtesy Photo: General Board of Church and Society.


At a seminar funded by the churchwide Human Relations Day Sunday offering, church leaders from the Central Russian Conference studied The United Methodist Church’s Social Principles. The Rev. Irina Margulis, a Church and Society board member and superintendent of the Moscow District, helps churches in her region benefit from these interactive training experiences so that they can respond to social challenges such as drug trafficking and abuse, alcoholism and domestic violence.

“We wanted to raise awareness with young people [on] how all these issues connect — addiction, violence, spousal abuse, mental health, sexual abuse,” said The Rev. Neal Christie, assistant general secretary at General Board of Church and Society. They explored reasons and ideas for promoting values of justice and mercy in everyday life. But it wasn’t just philosophical. Those values resonated with real experiences for some.

Participant Victoria Kaldekova shared her story about an uncle who had committed suicide. “The most terrible thing was that his wife and children were persecuted by people,” she explained. “I have never told (anyone) about it, because in my childhood, my father said the families of self-murderers were rejected by (Russian) society and by the church.” In Victoria’s view, such families need help and support. “What the Social Principles say about life and death and suicide mean more to me than people imagine — and I want to learn more.”

Margulis wants to help Victoria and others learn more. “In most cases, people do not think about the connection from the Social Principles to their daily lives,” she said. “The Social Principles invite us to step out of our comfort zones and take care of the world we live in, just as Jesus cared for it.”

Your generous gift today strengthens community outreach and empowers at-risk youth. The Human Relations Day offering makes a difference for God’s children everywhere. Thank you for your generous gift!

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