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Grace Presbytery » Congregational Support Committee

Congregational Support Committee

Social Justice

Tzedek is the Hebrew word for righteousness or justice; and it contains within it the idea of right relationships. We were created to be in relationship with God, others, self and creation. Sin has fractured and distorted all of these relationships, but Christ is reconciling them to, through and in Himself. The restoration of these relationships is central to our understanding of what it means to do social justice.
Character

The church’s mandate to do justice is rooted in the character of the God that we worship. God is just in the way that God relates to creation. The God revealed to us in the bible, and ultimately in the person of Jesus, is a God who cares about justice – about his creation and living in right relationships. The Hebrew Scriptures demonstrate how God opposes those who perpetrate injustice and sides with the victims of oppression. The prophets repeatedly challenged both idolatry and social injustice among God’s people. In the New Testament, Jesus embodies this concern for the poor, and He calls the people who worship him to reflect His character. If we are seeking to be more Christ-like, we will care about justice.

Creation

We are created in the image of God and called to be good stewards of God’s creation.  Paul tells us, “the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God” (Romans 8:19).  When we do justice, we join in God’s ministry of reconciliation and reveal ourselves as children of God exhibiting the kingdom of God to the world.

Commandment

Throughout scripture, God repeatedly commands His people to work for justice – caring for the poor, the widow, the orphan and the foreigner; breaking the chains of injustice; demonstrating our faith by what we do. He tells us that whatever we do for others we do for him.

Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.’ He used the parable of the Good Samaritan to demonstrate that the call to generous, self-giving love for our neighbor crosses social, religious and racial boundaries.

The great commandment demonstrates that loving our neighbor is inextricably bound to loving our God. Working for justice, therefore, is impossible to divorce from worship.

 

God is love and God’s love is a just love, therefore we believe we are called to do justice out of love for God, neighbor, self and creation.

 

 

Moderator: Rev. Susan Sytsma Bratt, Associate Pastor – Northridge Presbyterian Church, Dallas

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Resource:

Leah Wyckoff  (Director of Resource Center)

Joanna Kim (Director of Ministry Services)

Tammy Stepka (Executive Assistant)

 

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RESOURCES:

 

2018 Ministry Initiative Grant Application
 2018 Ministry Need Grant Application
 www.justloveuk.com
Presbyterian Mission Website

 

 

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