Many persons have asked questions about the United Methodist position on the health-care coverage plan passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on March 22. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mentioned in a speech that The United Methodist Church had advocated for health care reform (see the UMNS release). General Conference, the only body that speaks officially for The United Methodist Church, has taken no stand on current legislation, but has been a strong advocate for universal health care.
Resolution 3201 in The UM Book of Resolutions 2008 states the position on health-care coverage passed by the 2008 General Conference of The United Methodist Church.
The General Board of Church and Society is the social advocacy agency of The United Methodist Church. Its responsibilities are outlined in ¶¶1002-1004 of the Book of Discipline 2008. Part of those responsibilities includes educating legislators about the positions of The United Methodist Church.
Under Internal Revenue Service definition, the work of the General Board of Church and Society is advocacy, not lobbying, because this agency is not asking Congress for anything that benefits the church, but for measures that benefit others. The agency definitely does not offer gifts or perks to influence voting.
More information can be found in ¶162 of the Book of Discipline 2008.