Core Value - Justice
Working to talk less and do more, we are committed to resisting the structures that oppress people and standing with those who suffer under the weight of oppressive systems, being guided always by our commitment to Global Human Rights.
When I was confirmed as a teen, one question always stood out to me. “Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?” The same question was a part of the baptism service as well. One congregation had added “even within the church.” I didn’t understand that addition until I lived into my queer identity and found the church did not live their vows of confirmation and baptism.
Our MCC commitment goes beyond resistance to identifying oppressive systems and structures and standing with all those affected. This commitment to justice clearly stated is still often the core value that doesn’t get translated beyond our self interest in specific cases of queer injustice which abound but it doesn’t stop there.
We like mercy better than justice—water for the thirsty, food for the hungry, clothes for the naked, safety for the vulnerable, healing for the wounded—which are very basic requirements of our faith and good ministry, but we err if we stop with mercy only.
For system changing justice which is less prone to immediate gratification results, we have to question how the thirsty, hungry, naked, vulnerable and wounded got that way in the first place and then how also ask how we can prevent that from happening again and again.
Often deeply caring and motivated justice seekers are stymied when their ministry and actions are labeled political negatively. I recommend we embrace political in the same way Jesus embraced political: debating with those in power, putting compassion over policy whenever they conflicted, taking direct public action unmasking deeper challenges, training a core community to create a just world.
During these polarized times when the basic requirements of our faith are politicized, I’ve needed the accounts of Jesus to remind me of his refusal to dehumanize, of his commitment to stay in conversation with, and have meals with the opposition, and of how he modeled restorative justice to strengthen community leaving behind our practice of retributive justice.
Yep, I need Jesus to remind me that woven into my very baptism is the
commitment to justice that transforms everyone, including me, along the way.