In the Gallatin Valley, we are facing a housing and affordability crisis. As home prices and cost of living rise, the poor and working class get more squeezed and disadvantaged. We advocate for affordable and safe housing, meaningful employment, supporting a living wage, and adequate access to health services.
“As a church we are called to support the poor and challenge the rich. To begin to alleviate poverty, we support such policies as: adequate income maintenance, quality education, decent housing, job training, meaningful employment opportunities, adequate medical and hospital care, humanization and radical revisions of welfare programs, work for peace and efforts to protect creation’s integrity” (Social Principles, ¶163.E)
In the Gallatin Valley, we are not immune to racism. We must recognize the injustices and evils of systemic racism and white supremacy in all forms they present themselves. We advocate for a radical reform of the justice system and dismantling systemic racism in our government, schools, churches, and community.
The United Methodist Church calls on government and society to “stop criminalizing communities of color in the United States” by dismantling unjust, racist policies and practices, including racial profiling, mass incarceration and communal disenfranchisement. (Book of Resolutions, 3379)
Montana is usually one of the top 5 states in the U.S. of suicide deaths. We feel it is critical to acknowledge suicide and mental health concerns as a top priority for the communities of Gallatin Valley. In our work, we strive to change our perception of mental health, and erase the stigmas surrounding mental health and suicidal ideation. By advocating and supporting those in need, we can help make a difference and saving lives.
“No person deserves to be stigmatized because of mental illness.” (Social Principles, ¶162.X) And so we believe that each of us must work to remove the stigmas around mental health.
As United Methodists, we recognize our denomination is in deep discernment and turmoil over how to recognize and welcome LGBTQIA+ people as part of the life and ministry of the Church. In the Gallatin Valley, we continue our call and commitment to affirm all persons are made in the image of God, and thus all persons have a sacred worth and dignity. Therefore, we welcome and advocate for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.
“Certain basic human rights and civil liberties are due all persons. We are committed to supporting those rights and liberties for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation.” (Social Principles, ¶162.J)
In the Gallatin Valley, hundreds of residents that live here are migrants from a different nationality of origin, and most of them come from Latin or Spanish-speaking countries. During this political time, there has been a rising of xenophobia and racism towards migrants and people of color. We advocate for legislation that will uphold the civil and human rights of all migrants in the United States and will provide an opportunity to attain legal status for all undocumented migrants currently in the United States, as well as for those arriving in the future.
“We recognize, embrace, and affirm all persons, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God.” United Methodist Social Principles, ¶162.H