The Leading Edge 2010: A National Conference for Leaders on Faith, Justice, and the Economy

August 18, 2010 @ 10:14 am by Jacqui Lewis

I wrote these words last week for Middle Church’s Listserve as I went off the grid for my vacation:

…(We) share our stories, we learn about folk, we read their Holy texts, and we read our own. We find out that the One God is the God of everyone. God is on the side of justice and mercy and peace and reconciliation. Ain’t nothing wrong with a little prayer, is my belief. And the place of prayer should not matter. We have all come “over a way that with tears has been watered . . .” walking a path “through the blood of the slaughtered.” May hope and prayer heal our world.

These sentiments are still on my mind today. It remains my hope and heart’s desire for our world to be healed from racism, classism, sexism, and heterosexism. I’m listening to NPR right now, and sighing as I hear the stories of war and floods and intolerance. Despite the news, I, without a doubt, believe that God calls us to peace and reconciliation. We’re all still walking that path . . .

One of the ways The Middle Project ‘walks that path’ of hope and reconciliation is by coming together and learning from one another. The prophets and the gospel writers depict an alternative reality to the status quo, one in which justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. In this reality, God requires us to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God. What does that look like in our lives of faith? What does “doing justice” mean in today’s economy?

Building on the success of four annual national conferences for leadership in multicultural congregations at Middle Collegiate Church in New York City, The Middle Project is proud to host a three-day conference for clergy, seminarians, and other congregational leaders, The Leading Edge: A National Conference for Leaders on Faith, Justice, and the Economy, April 30–May 3, 2011. Our confirmed speakers are Dalton Conley, Gary Dorrien, Miguel de la Torre, Jacqui Lewis, Ivan Petrella, Tricia Sheffield, Chad Tanaka Pack, and Roger Touissant.

Participants will not only engage in deep theological reflection about these issues, they will also do practical work as they—
• Deepen their understanding of economic justice and the widening disparity between the rich and the poor (power analysis).
• Find power and purpose in the narrative of the progressive movement’s historical involvement in economic justice (labor movement, etc.).
• Discover practical tools for congregational education, activism, and advocacy.
• Create strategies for developing leaders and organizing their communities for justice work.

Conference Offerings: All speakers will do implications and applications as part of their presentations.
• American Empire, Militarism, and Economic Justice
• A Liberation Perspective on Global Economic Justice: Learning from the Margins
• Creating a Culture of Critical Consumption
• Building a Movement for Economic Justice
• Race, Immigration, and the Economy: Why the Rage?

Middle Church and The Middle Project is in the ‘business’ of training ethical leaders for a just society. I hope you will consider attending the conference in April. For more information, or to register now, please click here.


I suggest the following reading on social justice, by the esteemed economist Thomas Sowell: or if you have more time: "Economic Facts and Fallacies", and "The Quest for Cosmic Justice" It's well worth it.

donald green on August 21, 2010

About This Blog

Preparing ethical leaders for a just society. Posts by Jacqui Lewis, Senior Minister.

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