General Board of Church and Society

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General Board of Church and Society
UMC GBCS logo.png
PredecessorMethodist Board of Temperance, Prohibition, and Public Morals
TypeAgency of the United Methodist Church
HeadquartersWashington, DC; New York, NY
Bishop Robert Hoshibata
Parent organization
United Methodist Church

The General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) is a general agency of the United Methodist Church. It is one of four international general program boards of The United Methodist Church as set out the UMC Book of Discipline; the General Board has headquarters on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and at the Interchurch Center in New York City. There are five divisions within the GBCS: Public Witness and Advocacy, Administration, Ministry of Resourcing Congregational Life, United Nations Ministry and Communications.


According to the 2004 Book of Discipline, the GBCS's purpose is thus stated:

1002. Purpose - The purpose of the board shall be to relate the gospel of Jesus Christ to the members of the Church and to the persons and structures of the communities and world in which they live. It shall seek to bring the whole of human life, activities, possessions, use of resources, and community and world relationships into conformity with the will of God, it shall show the members of the Church and the society that the reconciliation that God effected through Christ involves personal, social, and civic righteousness.

Spheres of Influence[edit]

There are six stated spheres of influence for the GBCS

  1. The Natural World
  2. The Nurturing Community
  3. The Social Community
  4. The Economic Community
  5. The Political Community
  6. The World Community

Social Issues[edit]

The GBCS was traditionally pro-choice and supportive of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.[1] In 2008, this was affirmed by the General Conference, but, in 2016, it voted in favor of withdrawing the United Methodist Church from the pro-choice organization;[2] the GBCS remains supportive of legal abortion in certain circumstances stating "the General Board of Church and Society continues to be an advocate for a full range of safe and legal reproductive health care – including, in certain cases, the option to safely and legally end a pregnancy."[3]

On human sexuality, the GBCS opposes discrimination or prejudice against people based on sexual orientation.[4] In 2013, the organization allowed its building, in Washington D.C, to be used by supporters of same-gender marriage.[5]

In 2019, the GBCS joined with 42 other religious and allied organizations in issuing a statement opposing Project Blitz, an effort by a coalition of Christian right organizations to influence state legislation.[6]


  1. ^ "Coalition Members | Religious Coalition For Reproductive Choice". Archived from the original on 2016-05-24. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  2. ^ "UMC withdraws from interfaith pro-abortion rights group". Religion News Service. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  3. ^ "Maintaining our Commitment to Support Abundant Life for Women and Girls | General Board of Church & Society". 2016-06-03. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  4. ^ "162 III. The Social Community | General Board of Church & Society". Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  5. ^ "Did DC Methodist Building Violate Church's Rules on Homosexuality?". Christian Post. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  6. ^ "Statement from 43 National Organizations United in Opposition to Project Blitz and Similar Legislative Efforts" (PDF). Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 February 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  • 2004 Book of Discipline, United Methodist Publishing House

External links[edit]