I'm currently in Washington DC attending GBCS's Young Adult Clergy Gathering. (Check out our blog, here.) The weekend is a gathering of under-40 clergy, with a purpose of introducing the work of the Board, talking about justice issues, and resourcing/idea sharing to take back to our own communities. Being a board member, I'm obviously already very familiar with the work of GBCS, but I wanted to come just to actually see other young clergy people! There are 90ish of us here from all over the connection, and it is great to NOT be the youngest clergy person in the room for once. (To be fair, one of the newest pastors in my annual conference is nine days younger than me - I'm now only the second youngest clergy person in the AC.)
A couple of thoughts from today that stuck with me:
Clayton Childers shared thoughts about how we define justice, and suggested something like, "Justice is when all people have the ability to flourish." He emphasized that this doesn't guarantee that all will flourish, but that the opportunity/ability exists for all people to thrive in a just world.
Clayton also talked about the mission of the church. In the Book of Discipline, the stated mission of the church is "to make disciples of Jesus Christ." Clayton talked about the mission as "to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world," adding the phrase that has been emphasized by the General Board of Discipleship and the Council of Bishops. He talked about the language change between the Gospels and Acts from 'disciples' to 'apostles' - from being students to being sent out. He talked about churches that spend a lot of time on nurturing, but less time on going back out again, reaching outside of our walls, outside of our comfort zones."
How do you define justice?
What do you say is the mission of the church? How do we live out our mission?