jusTice initiative update – http://www.justice-initiative.com
The sun is shining, it’s February and it feels like Spring is on the way! January has been a bit of a whirlwind, but a really interesting and, we trust, fruitful time for us.
India – The second week of January was spent in Bangalore, India. This was our first time in India, so the weeks leading up to it were spent reading India Today, a newly published book with some cutting-edge research on developments in the India context, and watching some films and documentaries to help us understand the context a little more. Of course, none of this really prepares you for the ‘real thing’, so it was exciting to be there, even if it was only very brief. The preparations also involved us producing a 70 page manual of material and resources for use on the course.
We were invited by International Justice Mission to deliver a pilot training course on biblical justice to a group of around 35 pastors from Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore, together with some of the IJM staff from those offices. It was a full-on 3 days, but we were so impressed with the engagement of the group as a whole, that it made our time together feel not only worthwhile, but deeply impactful in mutual ways. The feedback at the end of the course from the pastors was very helpful, and it was encouraging to read about the mind-shifts and new perspectives gained.
We were able to have one day out of the classroom before flying back, and used this to catch up with some ex-Redcliffe students who are working with an urban mission organisation – again we were humbled by the work that’s being done in the slums and throughout the city of Bangalore and elsewhere.
India reminded us of aspects of our time in Bolivia, although the sheer scale of the country and its population is quite staggering. Our time there brought home the huge scale of injustice and need that exists in India today. In the opening session with the pastors we brainstormed what were considered to be some of the key contemporary justice issues they experience, and the caste system was labelled as the single-most on-going and negative force…and not just outside of the church! Added to this were issues of bonded slavery, trafficking, gender equality and the increasing fall-out from the negative effects of globalisation, urbanisation, migration and environmental degradation.
Our time in Bangalore might have been short, but it has left an indelible mark on us; the hunger and thirst for biblical engagement in these areas is so apparent. We are grateful to IJM for the opportunity we had to collaborate with them in providing this training.
Carnival Kingdom – biblical justice for global communities
Last week saw publication of Carnival Kingdom which we co-edited with Jonathan Ingleby & Marijke Hoek. More information can be found here:-
Publisher: – http://www.wide-margin.co.uk/carnival-kingdom
We have really enjoyed this project and hope that it will be an inspiration to those who read it. We are having a book launch on Saturday, 2nd March 2013 commencing at 16:45, straight after the Environment Day conference (see below) at Redcliffe College, and more details will be posted up on our facebook page, and on Redcliffe College’s website www.redcliffe.org nearer the time.
- The new Justice MA module (MA14 – Just Mission: justice issues in intercultural contexts), started in January and the first class sessions have gone well. We have a great bunch of students, who are very eager to learn, so this has been an encouraging start to the new course. The second specialist module on ‘Advocacy and Reconciliation’ (MAJ1) starts in May 2013. We are delighted that Canon David Porter from the Cross of Nails ministry at Coventry Cathedral will be teaching on this module, and the sessions will be based in Coventry, which will give the students a unique opportunity to be immersed in a reconciliation ministry context to aid their learning. The module will also entail teaching in the area of Christian advocacy, and will include some direct input from Christian Aid, Micah Challenge and Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
- Last week we had a follow-up consultation with key personnel from some of the justice-related organisations that have been journeying with us so far. We met with Christian Aid, IJM, Lawyer’s Christian Fellowship, Latin Link, Micah Challenge International and CARE, and some interesting and creative ideas were discussed – much to mull over now as we consider our various responses.
- On 9th February we are doing a training day at the ‘Dive in Deeper’ event at All Souls, Langham Place on biblical justice. It should be a great opportunity for the initiative to further engage with the church scene. Details if you are interested in coming along are at: – http://www.justice-initiative.com/latest-news/.
- July 2013 sees us host a conference with Christian Aid – more details will follow in the early Spring.
- The next Environment Day conference is set for 2nd March 2013 at Redcliffe College, on the topic of GM foods. It’s not too early to book! It should be a lively debate on a hot topic with significant implications for present and future contexts. The book launch of Carnival Kingdom will follow this event.
- A post for a ‘scholar in residence’ at Redcliffe College could be available for next academic year, 2013-2014 – if you know of anyone interested, particularly from the Global South, then please encourage them to contact us. We are also looking for placement opportunities for undergraduate students and also research possibilities, both for students and the initiative more generally.
- Please pray that we will be able to secure the funding needed to continue to develop the initiative – it is a faith-based ministry, so if you would like more information on our financial needs, or would like to give, please let us know.
Thank you for your on-going prayers, interest and support.