What could it mean to do justice?
We could grow more aware of the inequalities that surround us – in our city, in our country, in the world.
We could long to understand the lives of others and to advocate for them.
We could look for ways to bring more equality and fairness into the world.
Our daily work levels out the world. Our congregation includes educators, farmers, doctors, homemakers, builders, writers – and the list goes on. Being part of this church supports all these people’s commitments to work with respect, fairness, and integrity. Their lived commitment to justice is a slow, profound, and deeply transformational ministry.
To help themselves, individual people need access to information and capital. KIVA lending, which has broad support among the St. Thomas membership, makes microloans all over the world to help people establish their own small businesses. Our annual ECHO Plant Sale supports ECHO, a worldwide organization helping development workers find information and resources to improve the productivity of small farmers. On behalf of the congregation, the Council has made a budgetary commitment to support the work of the Synod’s missionary in Chile, Karen Anderson, who is working in health education and clinic development.
How can we grow in understanding others? Accompanying others in mission and ministry is an important part of our congregation’s justice work. Through Sister Parish, we have an ongoing relationship with Santo Domingo de Guzman Parish in Chichipate, Guatemala. We also have a partnership with The Lutheran Church of the Living Waters in Cherokee, North Carolina. You can find background on these ongoing friendships in the Saint Thomas Mission Blog.
What about political activism? Politics is the set of tools we use to govern ourselves as a city, state, and nation. We don’t go on and on about our personal opinions at church, but we are an aware, active group of people. And we view the church as a place where Christian conscience is shaped and active engagement with the world is encouraged.
Could we do more? Of course we could. If your heart is calling you to do justice, make it known. The Mission Committee can help you find allies and structures at St. Thomas to support your vision.
The Creation Windows: And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear…Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. (Genesis 1: 9, 11)