Will social justice become central to overall mission at St. John’s episcopal in Aptos, CA?
Highly likely. Mother Tracy brings her perspective and changes are happening. This inference is based on reading the lengthy email sent out by the Mother Tracy (aka Mother T) concerning the proposed Mission Statement.
What we do know:
One: Mother T chose the well known social justice verse from the old testament — what doth god requires of thee? written by the prophet Micah.
New International Version
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Mother T quotes Micah as “Do justice” not “do justly…” There are numerous translations. Few translations use the words “do justice”. Most translations say “do justly”. There’s a large difference between “justice” and “do justly”.
We do know that Mother T — who has numerous, excellent skills — has not parented her own small children. Children often say or demonstrate ‘that’s not fair’ concerning sibling antics and parents step in on a daily basis to deal justly with them. As most parents who have raised small children know, handing out justice is a far cry from dealing justly with their children.
The prophet Micah is better translated as ‘do justly’ or ‘act justly’ rather than ‘do justice’.
Courts of law, judges and juries “do justice”. As individuals we can choose to ‘act justly’ and ‘do justly’.
Two: the words of the proposed Mission Statement for St. John’s are vague — sufficiently so that most anything can be plugged in as a Goal / Objective tied to an underlying ‘do justice’ theme (Micah 6:8).
The guts of the proposed Mission Statement:
Love like Jesus. Respect all persons. Transform lives.
All three prongs — love, respect and transform — easily morph into social justice goals which focus on equality — which for many includes providing free needles for persons addicted to heroin / opiates and provide free living space for all homeless persons residing in Santa Cruz county.
Here’s a suggestion for a far more simple Mission Statement for St. John’s which is based on the core words Love, Respect and Transform. The word Alert. Be alert. Stay alert.
And ALERT means stay off heroin/ opiates. Stop using needles. Stop pushing free needles for addicts. Support free detox via methadone tablets and mobile detox facilities. There’s a truck that provides free showers which goes to St. John’s episcopal and other Aptos area churches. Let’s have a truck that goes to those addicted and supports persons who choose to get free of drugs and be ALERT!
And, no more nodding off while alive. The apostle St. Paul told people to stay alert.
The word ALERT readily connects to the core words of Love, Respect and Transform which form the basis of St. John’s proposed mission statement.Just add a couple vowels to L R T — add a and e — and ah,ha — the word ALERT.
Yes – stay alert! That a decent, basic, solid stance towards life — to Love, Respect and Transform.
And for non-believers and non-Christians and atheists — of whom there are quite a few at St. John’s — the word ALERT contains no mention of Jesus Christ, of Him as the Son of God, of Logos or of anything explicitly Christian. There’s little liklihood of offending anyone with a logo of ALERT.
Note however that in the above image for ALERT that there is a triangle. The triangle could symbolize Father, Son and Holy Spirit for those who do believe Jesus Christ lives yesterday, today and forever.
Back to the beginning ….
Social Justice is largely all about equality – and not about freedom. Social justice advocates seek equality at the expense of freedom.
Like a say in the direction St. John’s takes? Then come on Sundays at 9:15 – 10:15 for the next couple week or so. Come, listen and participate. Stay ALERT!
Written by Cameron Jackson