… what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God? -the prophet Micah
And it’s all the more exciting that the conference is being launched here at Christ Church.
But why a conference on justice?
Justice in the Bible is closely related to the ideas of righteousness (or, “right-ness”) and peace (shalom), and it is at the center of God’s mission in the world. It is through God’s own mission to save and restore the world that we come to know God.
And it is in the hope and expectation of God’s justice, righteousness, and peace coming on earth that we make God’s mission our mission.
Every believer in Christ, therefore, is called to participate in the work of God toward justice in the world.
And since the God of justice cares about education, war crimes, the vulnerable, the oppressed, civil rights, women’s rights, abuse, slavery, community development, the economy, the incarcerated, healthcare, and every other issue of injustice in our world–and he promises to put things right–he works through his people to that end.
Our journey and destination, then, as the prophet Amos puts it, is justice rolling down like waters and righteousness flowing like an ever-flowing stream.
In this light, main conference speaker and widely-respected theologian N.T. Wright defines “justice” as:
shorthand for the intention of God, expressed from Genesis to Revelation, to set the whole world right–a plan gloriously fulfilled in Jesus Christ, supremely in his resurrection (following his victory over the powers of evil and death on the cross), and now to be implemented in the world.
Many other speakers, musicians, and artists will join Dr. Wright to discuss how we can better share in God’s mission of justice, including:
- John Perkins (a fixture at the Urban Summit here at Christ Church)
- Nicole Baker Fulgham (one of last year’s speakers at the Urban Summit)
- Bernice King (daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr.)
- Lynne Hybels
- Donald Miller
- … and more
And to learn more specifically about what working for justice looks like in the city of Memphis, we will host a variety of exhibitors:
- World Relief – Memphis
- Memphis Teacher Residency (a gold-level sponsor at the national level)
- Operation Broken Silence
- Binghampton Development Corporation
- A Way Out
- Christ Community Health Services
- Jacob’s Well
- Memphis Leadership Foundation & The Urban Summit
- Shelby County Public Defender’s Office
- Church Health Center
- Ekata Designs
- Su Casa
- Life Choices
- … and more