Justice Series at St. John’s, February 2017
But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
As God’s justice rolls down, how do we roll with it? How do we keep the momentum flowing?
Next month we embark on a justice series, during the Sunday School hour, highlighting a variety of needs and opportunities in our community and beyond. Seeking and working for justice is a vital way we demonstrate love for God and love for our neighbors. Listening well and learning about the good and effective work already unfolding allows us to be wise advocates as we discern how we can better engage with and support these efforts.
Each session will be Sunday morning, 9:30am, in the L.P. Brown Fellowship Hall, and we are grateful to welcome the following speakers:
-February 5 – Criminal Justice Reform
Josh Spickler, Executive Director of Just City
-February 12 – Racial Justice
Rev. Earle Fisher, Pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church and representing Memphis Grassroots Organizations Coalition
Representatives from the Official Memphis Chapter of Black Lives Matter
-February 19 – Human Sexuality
Helen Ryde, Southeastern Jurisdiction, Regional Organizer for Reconciling Ministries Network
-February 26 – Gun Violence
Kathryn McRitchie and Ann Hawkins, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
We are also glad and grateful as we anticipate a day with our own Bishop Bill McAllily and Bishop Sally Dyck, of the Northern Illinois Conference, on Saturday, February 25.
More information will be shared soon regarding “Refusing to Be Comforted: A Methodist Response to Violence in Our Cities”, a day of conversation and worship together as we lament the violence across our country, and particularly the record levels of violence in Memphis and Chicago in 2016. We lament, yet we are not without hope. We will gather hopefully and faithfully to discern God’s call for God’s church, God’s call for us. Bishop Dyck will preach during Sunday worship on February 26.
With all of this to ponder, I was reminded of one of the Affirmations of Faith we share in worship:
THE WORLD METHODIST SOCIAL AFFIRMATION
We believe in God, creator of the world and of all people;
and in Jesus Christ, incarnate among us,
who died and rose again;
and in the Holy Spirit,
present with us to guide, strengthen, and comfort.
God, help our unbelief.
We rejoice in every sign of God's kingdom:
in the upholding of human dignity and community;
in every expression of love, justice, and reconciliation;
in each act of self-giving on behalf of others;
in the abundance of God's gifts entrusted to us that all may have enough;
in all responsible use of the earth's resources.
Glory be to God on high;
and on earth, peace.
We confess our sin, individual and collective,
by silence or action:
through the violation of human dignity
based on race, class, age, sex, nation, or faith;
through the exploitation of people
because of greed and indifference;
through the misuse of power
in personal, communal, national, and international life;
through the search for security
by those military and economic forces that threaten human existence;
through the abuse of technology
which endangers the earth and all life upon it.
Lord, have mercy;
Christ, have mercy;
Lord, have mercy.
We commit ourselves individually and as a community
to the way of Christ;
to take up the cross;
to seek abundant life for all humanity;
to struggle for peace with justice and freedom;
to risk ourselves in faith, hope, and love,
praying that God's kingdom may come.
Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
May we be willing to seek, proclaim, and live fully into God’s kingdom.
May we be willing to struggle for peace and justice and freedom, not just for a few, but for ALL God’s children.
Blessings of Peace and Joy to all,