Bayshore Christian Ministries is pleased to offer a four-week Justice Series presented by Amy Joh about key social justice topics affecting our community. Our desire is to support partner churches and organizations as they seek to understand justice issues and discern how to respond as Christians. The series begins with Immigration which explores the basic understanding of how the US immigration system works, reviews misconceptions and studies Scripture about immigrants. Next, we dive into Educational Injustice and the disparity in our education system between wealthy and low-income schools, the effect of race on education and what responsibility Christians have for our education system. We then discuss Mass Incarceration and examine the dramatic increase in incarceration in America, especially the disproportionate number of African Americans and Latinos imprisoned, and how the Church should respond to those who have been criminalized. We end with Love Your Neighbor As Yourself (Debrief, Processing and Next Steps) a space to process with other Christ followers and explore possible responses to these justice issues. The three main goals for our series are to promote:
TRUTH: Establish a knowledge base of facts and scripture about current issues that can be used as a foundation to respond to injustice and as a tool for conversation with others.
JUSTICE: Encourage the Church to confront systems of inequality through intentional relationships, service, integration of work and faith, finances, advocacy and prayer.
COMPASSION: Cultivate compassion for those in our country who are affected by unjust systems and humanize the experience of the marginalized.
Our most recent social justice workshops were held at Chinese Church in Christ Milpitas, Cru Winter Conference, Highway Community Church, Home of Christ Menlo Park, King's Academy, Menlo Church (Menlo Park and San Jose campuses), Peninsula Covenant Church and Valley Church.
Here’s what some of the participants had to say:
How did you see God at work in you or in your church through the series?
It brought together a community of concerned members who know they can work together when they feel inspired to take action.
It prompted me to volunteer and get to know a community I had not worked with before.
He just opened my eyes to the injustice in my own community, and I struggled with some of the topics. Our church got involved (mostly short term) in many projects to help others. I think a lot of God's work is internal in these matters, and He changes our thinking about things.
What was worthwhile about attending the Social Justice Series?
It keeps the issues in front of me and keeps me asking what I can do about social justice or the lack of it.
Learning about inequality in education, and more about inequality in incarceration.
It addresses major topics with facts.
I think Christians need to know what is presented in this series so they can respond.
Very informational and I would recommend highly. I've already been sharing with others. Also still pondering the issues from a biblical perspective, from a political perspective, and from a personal perspective.
What are the strengths of the series?
Awareness. I found it valuable to avoid presenting a solution which could be perceived as liberal or conservative. Maintaining neutrality while presenting facts helped convey messages - then leave God and Holy Spirit to work on moving each person's heart. Have received positive feedback from the youth as well.
GREAT info! Amy did great job of presenting. Good issues that people were concerned about. I liked that pre-reading/watching was suggested prior to each session topic. It refutes misinformation.
I definitely left feeling more informed; some of the topics I had never even thought were social justice issues. I would recommend it to others, and I had some good conversations afterwards.
We are grateful for the way God is at work and drawing us together through these important conversations. If you are interested in having a BCM staff come and teach at your church or small group, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.