“Justice is a garment, a billion threads, interwoven, interlocked, knit together with strength and integrity. Pull one thread from the fabric and the garment begins to fray. Pull ten million threads and justice unravels into injustice. The work of justice is to mend the holes injustice inflicts upon the garment…” from The Justice Conference website.
I’ve attended a lot of conferences and I’ve walked out of a lot of conference sessions because I found them boring or I was just tired of sitting in one place. But at the Justice Conference 2011 I attended every pre-conference workshop and every main session, and made good use of breaks and mealtimes to connect with other attendees and speakers. It wasn’t hard to fill each free moment with great conversation, given that over 1000 people showed up for this 2-day conference in the middle of nowhere. (My apologies to lovely Bend, Oregon, but you are pretty hard to get to!)
The next Justice Conference will be held in Portland, Oregon on February 24-25, 2012. I wouldn’t think of missing it! I’d show up just to hear Walter Brueggemann and Miroslav Volf. But they’re just the beginning; the speakers’ lineup includes Francis Chan, Ken Wytsma, Stephen Bauman, and Rick McKinely, just to name a few (and oh yeah, me). In pre-conference workshops and main sessions we’ll have the opportunity to explore subjects like Christian ethics, gender equality, genocide, the environment, immigration reform, human trafficking and the sex trade, conflict and hope in the Middle East, social entrepreneurship, and how to raise compassionate kids.
The conference is co-sponsored by World Relief, which is why I attended the event last year. I had previously been involved with World Relief’s ministry to immigrants in Chicago as well as their work against gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. World Relief’s passion and expertise, and the passion and creativity of young activists from Kilns College and Antioch Church, combined to create an extraordinary conference in 2011. I’m confident that the 2012 conference will be even better, offering a great opportunity for individuals or church groups to be educated about the gravest issues facing our world—and to be challenged to take next steps. One of the pre-conference workshops I attended at last year’s Justice Conference inspired me to write an article on human trafficking, so I know the power of this conference to move people to action!
Check out The Justice Conference and register today. See you next February.