Philadelphia and The Justice Conference 2013 are in the rearview, and we are back home in Washington state with our brains packed full with history and information. I will spend the next couple of weeks going through my notes and handouts and turning them into coherent blog posts, but for now I leave you with a quick blurb of what’s to come!
So about the conference.
In one word: Amazing. In more words: having the conference in a city with so much of our nation’s history was a perfect choice. And next year the conference returns to the West Coast in L.A.!
We arrived in Philly late Thursday night and the pre-conference started bright and early Friday morning forcing us to adjust to the three-hour time difference. Lucky for us our hotel was connected to the world’s largest convention center where the conference was held. I’m not sure if it really is the world’s largest, but a million-square feet has got to rank up there!
I attended break out sessions in regard to using social media for good, Jesus, Jazz and Justice, and how to bring flesh to vision. There were quite a few people in attendance from the West Coast, including Pastor Eugene Cho from Quest Church in Seattle, but more on him later.
The main conference opened with words from the conference founder, Ken Wytsma (who by the way has a book out Pursuing Justice that I highly recommend!). I actually had the opportunity to meet him and shake his hand. Ken spoke about not just doing justice, but becoming just.
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” — Proverbs 11:2
I will go into deeper detail about the conference speakers, but for now I will share one of the highlights for me: Brenda Salter McNeil, President and Founder of Salter McNeil and Associates. She is an associate professor of Reconciliation Studies in the School of Theology at Seattle Pacific University.
Brenda shared about the “messy theology of justice” and left us with a call to action:
1. Examine your theology and the foundation that has been laid in your life.
2. Think about what it means to me to see an issue that causes my stomach to hurt.
What I have written so far doesn’t even break the surface of my experience at this year’s conference. It was reiterated at The Justice Conference to reach deeper in the pursuit of justice. In that manner my blog posts will also go deeper into what I took away from an amazing weekend.
But wait, there’s more! I will also be writing about the many amazing things we saw while being tourists in Philly. So please check back soon!