jusTice update – July 2014

Dear friends and supporters of jusTice,

We have just returned from Chennai, India. It’s our second trip to India in partnership with International Justice Mission (IJM) to engage church pastors in thinking around issues of justice from a biblical and theological perspective.

It is always a huge privilege to be invited to take part in a conversation around issues of justice and faith but it is also deeply humbling to hear first-hand the stories of how much it costs to ‘do the right thing’ in contexts where biblical concepts of equality and fairness are very far from the norm. In addition to the stories of bonded slavery there were also personal stories of how seeking to do the right thing makes life so much harder; like the father who took the risk of sacrificing his son’s entry to further education because he refused to cooperate with systemic corruption, or the professional who had blown the whistle on workplace injustice and been sidelined for promotion and eventually forced out of their job.

Seeking to do the right thing is often slow, hard work; there are very few ‘efficient’ short cuts. It is painful to see the woundedness of those who leave the comfort of the cultural highway to forge a new path through the thickets…pioneering a new way of being human…transgressing culturally-accepted norms which don’t measure up with the biblical picture of shalom; the well-being and flourishing of both human and non-human creation.

IJM’s focus is specifically on assisting marginalised individuals and communities in accessing legal justice and in Chennai much of that work revolves around issues of bonded slavery, where generations have been enslaved to ‘pay back’ a small debt. Biblical concepts like the year of jubilee are deeply relevant in such contexts and yet they are far away from the public imagination. The radical scope of the biblical vision in the contexts of many of our empire-building and unequal cultures is breath-taking. It begs the question…how can we dare to hope for change?

At the heart of the biblical vision for justice is the hope in the goodness and faithfulness of God to complete His work of reconciling and renewing all things. That reconciling work came by the way of the cross, and in contexts such as India it is particularly easy to see the sufferings which accompany the kind of faithful discipleship of which the apostle Peter speaks in 1 Peter 4:12-13.

One of the starting points of a journey of justice is the recognition of injustice in our world and lament is an appropriate response to the chronic and sometimes severe and brutal effects of injustice in our communities. As we engaged in some teaching around themes of lament one pastor shared how his wife was a composer and a number of her songs of lament were written from the perspective of the abused and disabled children they worked with. She sings these songs of lament in churches and schools and often teachers and children weep as they hear them. Changes of perspective and attitude take place which begins to change the culture of the school environment. Lament had turned hearts of stone into hearts of flesh…compassion opened the way for a tangible change.

Howard Zinn emphasises the ‘infinite succession of presents’ in which our actions determine the future…

 ‘To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places — and there are so many — where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.’

Other news

1. Carnival Kingdom: biblical justice for global communities book

Last year saw publication of Carnival Kingdom which we co-edited with Jonathan Ingleby & Marijke Hoek. Sales continue to be encouraging, but we know that there are many more places where we would like to see the book made available and publicised.

More information can be found here: Publisher: Wide Margin, Facebook Page: Carnival Kingdom

If you would like to buy a copy, or more, for your organisation, please contact us, as we can offer discounts on multiple copies. We are beginning to think through some further book projects for the next couple of years, including a booklet on biblical advocacy.

2. jusTice on the road

In addition to the recent India trip, we presented internal research findings at Latin Link’s international assembly in Ecuador in February, within a keynote talk on the biblical and missional imperative for justice, along with a couple of seminars to explore issues that missionaries are engaging with on the ground. This followed our engagement at mission-net, Europe’s largest youth mission congress, in Germany at the start of the year, where we coordinated the justice stream, including contributions from Micah Challenge and A Rocha. In early July (8th) we speak at the Justshare network at St. Mary-le-Bow (http://www.justshare.org.uk/), and In late August we lead a justice retreat near Madrid, Spain.

 3. Redcliffe College – Justice MA programme

  • Redcliffe’s new Contemporary Missiology MA retains the justice modules as a specialist stream within the programme. If you are interested in further study, more information can be accessed on Redcliffe’s website at http://www.redcliffe.org/Courses/Postgraduatecourses/ContemporaryMissiology
  • The next Environment Day conference, in collaboration with the John Ray Initiative and A Rocha, is set for 7th March 2015 at Redcliffe College, on the topic of climate change. Andy will be leading a seminar on the effects of climate-induced migration, exploring the role of the church in mitigating/adapting to this increasing reality and being a conduit of hope
  • We hope a post for a ‘scholar in residence’ at Redcliffe College could be available in the next couple of years – 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 at Redcliffe College and the initiative more generally

 4. Resourcing and social media

Please pray that we will be able to secure the funding needed to continue to develop the initiative. It is a faith-based ministry; if you would like more information on our financial needs, or would like to give, please let us know. You can follow us on twitter (@just_mission), subscribe to our blog at https://justiceadvocacyandmission.wordpress.com/, like our facebook pages (jusTice initiative and Carnival Kingdom), or check out our website (www.justice-initiative.com). This August, we plan to do some more thinking and planning for the initiative’s work in the coming academic year, and in particular hope to develop our social media presence further., interest and support.

Thank you for your ongoing interest and support

Andy & Carol 

India training course – jusTice update – February 2013

jusTice initiative update – http://www.justice-initiative.com

february 2013

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Facebook Page:-

https://www.facebook.com/CarnivalKingdomBiblicalJusticeforGlobalCommunities

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.

Other news

  • The new Justice MA module (MA14Just 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.
  • 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.

In Him, Andy & Carol 

december 2012 jusTice update

http://www.justice-initiative.com

jusTice initiative update – december 2012

Dear friends and supporters of jusTice,

As we enter the season of Advent we are reminded again of the good news of ‘God with us’. We also remember the incarnation as the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God, heaven come to earth, and it is with that sentiment in mind that we wish to take this opportunity to wish you a very joyous and blessed Christmas-time. We trust this Christmas will be a time of reflection, thanksgiving and prayer for our needy communities and the world. We would like to express our thanks to you for journeying with us this past year, which has been a significant one of development for the jusTice initiative.

Praise points for 2012:-

1.        Validation of the new Justice MA by University of Gloucestershire in April

2.        Commencing this September, we have 5 students on the Justice MA, with a further 3 to join in January. Good interest has already been expressed for the next academic year, 2013-2014

3.        An excellent inaugural justice and mission lecture by Joel Edwards last month

Here is an update on activities and related events involving jusTice, since our last edition in September, for your interest and prayers:-

1.        Inaugural justice and mission public lecture – Joel Edwards, 13th November 2012

Joel Edwards delivered an excellent inaugural public lecture on justice and mission at Redcliffe College on Tuesday, 13th November. You can download a free copy of the transcript of his talk on the web link under praise point 3 above. The evening also featured a short presentation by us on the initiative. Do check out the Jesus Agenda, (details on Micah Challenge Int. website), which Joel shared with us.

2.        Encounters journal – October 2012 edition 42

The October edition of Encounters (Redcliffe’s online journal) focused on the topic of Water and included the talks given at the JRI Environment Day conference earlier in the year, together with a couple of other contributions.

3.        Carnival Kingdom – biblical justice for global communities

We are delighted with the progress made on the new book, which Carol and I have edited and contributed to, along with Jonathan Ingleby (former head of Mission at Redcliffe) and Marijke Hoek (Forum for Change – Evangelical Alliance). We anticipate the book will be published and available for purchase in February 2013. Free downloads of the chapters that Carol and I have written are available on our website at http://www.justice-initiative.com/writing/ . The book is a collection of essays by contributors from different parts of the world and is aimed at the interested, thoughtful reader, rather than being too academic. If anyone would like to do a book review let us know!

4.        India training programme – Bangalore, January 5th-13th, 2013

We are busily preparing for the intensive training course we are delivering in collaboration with International Justice Mission, in Bangalore in a few weeks’ time. Please pray for energy and space to complete our preparations before the Christmas break.

5.        New website

Last month saw the launch of our new website. We are new hands at this and so the site is still in its infancy, but do check it out and download any articles that are of interest to you. If you have suggestions on how it might best serve as a resource, feel free to comment!

6.        Other news

  • January sees commencement of the first Justice MA module (MA14 – Just Mission: justice issues in intercultural context), and 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, together with input from Christian Aid and Micah Challenge
  • We will shortly be hosting a follow-up consultation (to our initial one in May 2011) with key personnel from some of the justice-related organisations that have been journeying with us so far. We will be meeting with Christian Aid, IJM, Lawyer’s Christian Fellowship, Latin Link, Micah Challenge International and CARE, along with Redcliffe Leadership at CARE’s offices in London on the 29th January
  • July 2013 sees us host a conference with Christian Aid – this promises to be a fascinating event; more details will follow in the Spring
  • The next Environment Day conference is set for 2nd March 2013, on the topic of GM foods. It’s not too early to book!
  • A post for a scholar in residence at Redcliffe 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
  • The new academic year saw a new budget set. Please pray that we will be able to secure the funding needed to continue to develop the initiative. If you would like more information on the financial needs of the initiative, or would like to give, please let us know

Thank you for your on-going prayers, interest and support.

Feel free to forward this newsletter on to interested parties.

In Him,

Andy & Carol (akingstonsmith@redcliffe.org and ckingstonsmith@redcliffe.org)

jusTice initiative – september 2012 update

Dear friends and supporters of jusTice,

With the recent publication of documents relating to the Hillsborough enquiry, justice has, once again, been prevalent in the media with pictures of ‘justice’ and ’96’ emblazoned on the backs of red Liverpool shirts. I remember being profoundly struck by the events of that day over 23 years ago, and yet the fight for justice has not ended, and seemingly enters another period of struggle for truth, for the families of the victims.

I remember writing a poem in the days that followed 15th April 1989, trying to understand where God fits into all this. Suffering in this life is as certain as taxes and, ultimately, death, yet much suffering is caused unnecessarily, or willingly. What does God require of us? The message puts it quite clearly, “do what is fair and just to your neighbour, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don’t take yourself too seriously – take God seriously.” (Micah 6:8). So God’s justice reminds us to seek justice for others, primarily – a sobering reminder to our egotistical nature.

Here is an update on jusTice, since our last edition in May, for your interest and prayers:-

inaugural justice and mission public lecture – Joel Edwards, 13th November 2012

We are delighted that Joel Edwards has agreed to deliver the inaugural public lecture on justice and mission, at Redcliffe College on Tuesday, 13th November 2012. The evening, which will also include us giving a brief presentation about the jusTice initiative, starts at 7:30pm and should be over by 9:30pm.

Further details are on the following link, http://www.redcliffe.org/Events/vw/1/ItemID/108, and bookings (the event is free, but prior booking is requested) can be made at http://www.redcliffe.org/Events/BibleandMissionLecture/JusticeandMissionLectureBookingForm. A flyer is available to distribute through your networks, so if you would like electronic/hard copies, we will be happy to send these out to you.

MA course – Justice, Advocacy & Reconciliation in Intercultural Contexts

We have 7 students currently signed up for the new MA (Justice, Advocacy and Reconciliation in Intercultural Contexts) starting this month, with a number of others showing interest. Please help us publicise this new course by informing colleagues and friends, so that any prospective students are made aware of its availability. A pdf flyer is available and once again if you would like this for distribution through your channels and networks, do let us know.

We hope it will provide the tools for missional thinkers and practitioners to engage more deeply with justice issues, and equally for those currently working in justice-related organisations and charities, who wish to gain a theological and missiological ‘big picture’ to their current work. Our new undergraduate course, Just Mission; justice and transformation in a complex world also starts this month.

There is a link on the Redcliffe website at: – www.redcliffe.org/justice-ma, with more specific detail of the MA course content at http://www.redcliffe.org/Portals/0/Content/Documents/Study/2012-13%20course%20information/MA%20in%20Justice_Studies_12_13.pdf

encounters journal

Andy is editing the September edition of Encounters (Redcliffe’s online journal) which is focusing on the topic of Water. This is scheduled to be out at the end of September/early October. It will include the talks given at the JRI Environment Day conference held earlier in the year at Redcliffe College, together with a couple of other contributions.

other news

  • Work on a new justice and mission book we are co-editing and contributing to, is well and truly underway. We hope to be publishing it early in the New Year.  It will be a collection of essays by contributors from different parts of the world and it is aimed at the interested, thoughtful reader, rather than being too academic
  • We are working jointly with International Justice Mission (http://www.ijm.org/) to deliver a short intensive course on “biblical justice” to church and community leaders in Bangalore, India in January 2013
  • We are also working with one of our partners to host a conference/symposium next summer, based at Redcliffe College. More details will emerge in the coming months on this
  • In mid-November we have been invited to speak at Northwood Hills Evangelical Church’s first ever missions weekend – which we hope will be a really special time. One of the key aims of the jusTice initiative is to share with local churches and others interested in understanding God’s heart for justice (‘the reconciliation of all things’) as a central tenet of His mission in the world, so we are very interested in considering invites to speak
  • The new academic year sees a new budget set for the initiative. Please pray that we will be able to secure the funding we need to continue to develop the initiative into a new phase. If you would like more information on the financial needs of the initiative, or would like to give, we would like to hear from you

Thank you for your on-going prayers, interest and support in journeying with us.

jusTice initiative – may 2012 update

Well, what a lot of rain we’ve had! Great for gardens and farmers, and it’s got plenty of people talking about floods, droughts and climate change. It is sobering to read though, of the tragedies that do occur at such times of extreme weather across the globe.

Below is an update on jusTice since our last update at the beginning of March, for your interest and prayers:-

  • New MA course – Justice, Advocacy & Reconciliation in Intercultural Contexts

We are delighted to share with you the exciting news that the new justice MA was validated by the University of Gloucestershire last Friday. The validation event went smoothly, with some very helpful recommendations and suggestions put forward. The University recognised the potential of this course, to such an extent that they wondered whether some form of franchise might be considered enabling the course to be run at/through the University too. This has very interesting implications, not least the possibility of engaging a missions-related course in a secular context – what an evangelistic tool that could be in encouraging Christian dialogue with other faith/non-faith students!

Please help us publicise this new course by distributing/forwarding the attached pdf flyer through your channels and networks, so that prospective students are made aware of the availability of this new course. There is also a link on the Redcliffe website at: – www.redcliffe.org/justice-ma,

More specific detail of the course content at:- http://www.redcliffe.org/Portals/0/Content/Documents/Study/2012-13%20course%20information/MA%20in%20Justice_Studies_12_13.pdf

We are pleased to see some applications coming in already for September!

  • Encounters Journal

The April edition of Encounters (Redcliffe’s free online journal) dealing with the topic of economic injustice is now out. You can access the articles and download a copy of the whole edition at:-

http://www.redcliffe.org/SpecialistCentres/EncountersMissionJournal/vw/1/ItemID/103

We’ll be editing the next edition (September 2012) which will focus on environmental issues, specifically the theme of water, to follow on from the JRI (John Ray Initiative) day in March. If you would like to contribute any articles, or have suggestions/recommendations to make, please get in touch over the coming months; we’d love to hear from you.

  • Funding

Please continue to pray for the remaining £5,000 of this year’s budget, to come in during the next few months, despite the tough economic context we are all living in.

We have some exciting things to work on in the coming months, including a book project. We have a review meeting of the initiative with College leadership in June, when we hope to outline the vision for the next stage (2012-2015) of development of jusTice, in the light of the new MA course and other prospective projects.

Thank you for your prayers and interest in journeying with us on this,

Andy & Carol

jusTice initiative – march 2012 update

Dear friends and supporters of jusTice,

We trust this update finds you well and enjoying the first flushes of Spring!

A reminder that the JRI Environment day conference, in partnership with Tearfund, takes place this Saturday, 3rd March at Redcliffe College and there is still space to come – pay on the day! More info at http://www.redcliffe.org/Events/vw/1/ItemID/87,where where a downloadable booking form can be found.

Below is an update on jusTice developments for your interest:-

1.       New MA course – Justice, Advocacy & Reconciliation in Intercultural Contexts

We now have a date for the Validation Event of the new MA; 27th April 2012, so would be grateful for your prayers as we prepare for that. Whilst it remains the final hurdle to gaining validation, the University is happy for us to advertise this new course now, so attached you will find a flyer with more details. Please help us publicise this by making prospective students aware of the availability of this new course. There is a link on the Redcliffe website at: – www.redcliffe.org/justice-ma

Next week we intend to write to some of the organisations you are involved with, with a batch of hard copies to distribute or put on display as you see fit. As always do raise any queries/requests for more information; we are eagerly hoping for an excellent first group of students for the new academic year 2012-2013.

2.       Biblical and Missional Justice – training packages

Last month we mentioned the possibility of offering an intensive training programme with one of our partner organisations, delivering a course on ‘Biblical and Missional Justice’ to church pastors in parts of the Two-thirds world. We are aiming to pilot a scheme in the Autumn and discussions are progressing well, as we explore the provision of training initially for an overseas context.

We are also collaborating with the Centre for Bible and Mission (see http://www.redcliffe.org/SpecialistCentres/CentrefortheStudyoftheBibleandMission and their blog at http://bibleandmission.redcliffe.org/), which is based at Redcliffe College, with the idea of developing  the provision of a suitable short-course, or intensive training package, geared to churches and Christian practitioners in the UK too.

3.       Encounters Journal

The April edition of Encounters (Redcliffe’s free online journal) will focus on issues of economic (in)justice, and how the Christian community should respond; many such issues are high on people’s radar, be it the Occupy Movement, the Eurozone crisis, widening wealth/poverty gaps in the US/UK with its devastating social fallout, or looking for the church to take a prophetic lead by challenging us to seek alternative and sustainable ways of living through reduction of debt and the promotion of simpler living. We still have room for a couple of ‘guest articles’, so if you would like to contribute please get in touch during the next 2 or 3 weeks – we’d love to hear from you!

4.       Funding

We are grateful for a further trust-fund gift last week, which now means we have reached two-thirds of our budgetary needs for this coming year. Please pray for the remaining £5,000 to come in during the next 4 months, ideally, despite the tough economic context we are all living in.

5.       New OSCARactive page – Justice Issues (http://oscaractive.ning.com/group/justice-issues)

OSCAR (http://www.oscar.org.uk/) is a fantastic resource for cross-cultural workers and mission-minded people, and we are pleased to be linking with them in this new forum, raising such important issues for discussion and debate. Check out the link above for details on how to join the conversation.

Thank you for your prayers and interest in journeying with us on this,

In Him,

Andy & Carol

Follow jusTice, a new justice, advocacy and reconciliation initiative:-

facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Justice-Advocacy-and-Mission/148143665240215

twitter – @just_mission

jusTice initiative – february 2012 update

jusTice initiative – february 2012 update

http://www.redcliffe.org/SpecialistCentres/JusticeAdvocacyandReconilicationinMission

Dear friends and supporters of jusTice,

Last month we asked you to pray over a couple of specific items and we want to update you on the outcome.

We were delighted to receive a positive response from the University recommending that the application for the new MA be moved forward to its final stage, the Validation Event. We don’t have a date for that yet, although there will be some delay as the University is unable to convene that event until April, at the earliest. We have further documentation to submit for that event, but essentially the outcome of the current situation is that we are now able to publicise and market the new MA, “subject to validation”. Please take a moment to have a look at the new webpage here, www.redcliffe.org/justice-ma, by way of information. We will be writing again soon with specific publiity material that may be disseminated through your channels and networks formally advertising the new course and inviting applications from prospective students.

The second piece of good news was the very positive meeting we had with Canon David Porter, Director of St. Michael’s House Reconciliation learning centre (Coventry Cathedral). We were able to see a coming together of minds and vision, and the positive synergy generated is enabling us to proceed towards the joint delivery of the proposed MA module on reconciliation and peace-building. There are practical details to work through over the coming weeks, but we are excited by the fresh approach we hope this will provide for new students, accessing a world-renowned ministry with expertise in such fundamental Biblical truths.

We are also exploring the possibility of offering an intensive training programme with one of our partner organisations, in which we hope to deliver a course on ‘Biblical and Missional Justice’ to church pastors in parts of the Two-thirds world. We are aiming to pilot a scheme in the Autumn, with a view to developing a mini-course that could be delivered to churches both in the UK and overseas. Our Proposal will be discussed with their International Board shortly.

Further trust fund applications and financial requests have been submitted to organisations we are engaging with. Please pray that despite the tough economic context we are all living in, funding would be made available to enable us to continue the progress the initiative is making. We have received half of the budget set for this current academic year, so please pray that the other half will be released in the coming weeks and months.

As regards the new courses, unfortunately, of the 5 students we had for the initial delivery of the first justice module, four have had to withdraw for a variety of reasons, meaning the module has been cancelled. Whilst disappointing, it does allow us the time to continue to work on the numerous elements of the initiative which are developing quite quickly. The disappointment was also offset by the College’s decision to run the new 3rd year undergraduate course next year because of significant interest from the current undergraduate students. So we continue to work hard on the researching and preparation of materials and resources for the 4 justice-related modules expected to be run next academic year, at both undergraduate and MA level.

Please continue to pray for continuing momentum towards full validation of the new MA, strategic thinking and networking with organisations, new ideas and initiatives, and the finances to enable these steps to come to fruition.

Thank you for your prayers and interest,

In Him,

Andy & Carol