Social Justice Umbrella
Christians have long recognized in Scripture a call to defend and uphold the dignity and well being of all persons, especially the poor and powerless. Participating in movements seeking justice, positive reform, and empowerment is one of the most Christ-like things we can do.
Jesus wasn’t preaching a universal salvation message for the world, but he was addressing specific political, social, and racial issues. He was helping those who were being abused, violated, and oppressed. Involving ourselves within these issues — serving those who need justice — is an example of following Jesus.
We at St Hilda’s take the words of Oscar Romero to heart. Nobody can do everything but everybody can do something. “We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for God’s grace to enter and do the rest.”
We have created St. Hilda’s Social Justice Umbrella.
Under this umbrella are numerous social justice causes that our members are passionate about and that St. Hilda’s by extension supports.
Because God calls us to both compassion and justice:
“I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me… Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” – Matthew 25:35-6, 40
“How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” – 1 John 3:17-18
“…cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow” – Isaiah 1:16-17
“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” – Micah 6:8
“Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” – Proverbs 31:8-9
Because it is part of our baptismal covenant…
“Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbour as yourself?” “I will, with God’s help.”
“Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?” “I will, with God’s help.”
“Will you strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and respect, sustain and renew the life of the earth?” “I will, with God’s help.”
– Holy Baptism, Book of Alternative Services
… and the mission of our Church:
The Five Marks of Mission of the Anglican Communion:
- To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
- To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
- To respond to human need by loving service
- To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
Social justice and advocacy is also a key part of how we “engage faithfully with the world” as expressed in our Diocesan Mission statement.
Some of the social justice issues that St. Hilda’s and her members are involved with are;
Fair Trade: Fair trade is a social movement whose stated goal is to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions and to promote sustainable farming. Members of the movement advocate the payment of higher prices to exporters, as well as improved social and environmental standards. The movement focuses in particular on commodities, or products which are typically exported from developing countries to developed countries, but also consumed in domestic markets (e.g. Brazil, India and Bangladesh) most notably handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, wine, sugar, fresh fruit, and chocolate. Contact the Environmental Advocate at email@example.com
Climate Change: Contact the Environmental Advocate at firstname.lastname@example.org
Indigenous Justice: Contact John and Nancy Denham at email@example.com
Homelessness and Affordable Housing: Contact Meg Stevens at firstname.lastname@example.org
Elder Care and Disability Rights: Joan Brock at email@example.com
LGBT Rights: Contact Jill Halliwell at firstname.lastname@example.org
Refugees: Contact Michael and Jenny Starr at email@example.com or Sher Sacks at firstname.lastname@example.org
Amnesty International: Amnesty International works to protect the human rights of people around the world. Interested in forming an Amnesty Action Circle with me at St Hilda's? Contact Jackie email@example.com
Ndandini Partnership: Contact Carol Eades at firstname.lastname@example.org
and Environmental Justice. Contact David Moul at email@example.com.
In the Bible, peace and justice are never separated. Peace is never simply the absence of war, it is the active presence of justice. It has to do with human fulfilment, with liberation, with wholeness, with a meaningful life and well-being, not only for the individual, but for the community as a whole. The prophets speak of peace as the offspring of justice.
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“Faith-based charity provides crumbs from the table; faith-based justice offers a place at the table.” Bill Moyers
A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.