What is Justice Leaders Engaging and Developing?
The vision of Justice & Witness Ministries is of a more just, peaceful and compassionate world that honors all of God’s creation. Leaders are needed throughout our churches and communities to help share, pursue and achieve this vision. Justice Leaders Engaging and Developing (Justice LED) is a program that offers training, leadership skills and support to local churches and UCC members who seek tangible ways to move our world towards this vision.
• Download the Justice LED Planning Guide to host a training and use Justice LED!
Going Up River: Why the Church Must Work for Systemic Change
There is a parable that describes individuals coming down a river, struggling to stay afloat. Villagers quickly responded by helping people out of the river and caring for them. But the people kept floating by and the villagers kept rescuing them. In time a few of the villagers decided to go up the river to try to end what ever it was that was causing people to fall into the river.
The church is really good at “downstream” responses. Charitable actions and direct services such as soup kitchens, clothing closets and emergency funds are vitally important – they must be done. Unfortunately, they are not enough to sustain the long-term social change we pray for and long to see. To build the realm of God we need to not only continue to offer mercy by the riverside but also go up river and work for justice.
The Justice Leaders Engaging and Developing (Justice LED) program is a faith based, biblically grounded curriculum and leadership training resource. It is designed to support local church members – laity and clergy – who wish to develop and strengthen their congregation's justice ministries. The one-day training includes Bible study and theological reflection, socio-cultural exploration and practical tools for building justice into existing ministries and mission.
If you are interested in exploring the possibility of hosting a Justice LED training or simply want more information contact our Justice LED organizers, Peter Wells and Lizette Merchan.