Looking Back, Looking Forward, with Gratitude

2022 was a big year for us, and while it’s impossible to capture it all in words, we wanted to share:

  1. Gratitude for over a decade of faithful service and innovation
  2. Celebration as we look back on 2022
  3. Hope as we look forward
  4. Calling to a world and faith in tumult

Read to the end to hear how your support makes all of this work possible!

GRATITUDE for over 10 years of faithful service:

  • A Brief History: Many of you know that in 2020, the Faith and Justice Fellowship resulted from combining the Newbigin Fellowship, the Newbigin Year, and the Ministry Fellowship. We made the difficult decision to bring these three separate, vibrant programs together because of the many cries for justice we were hearing in the world. You can read the more extended, still brief history here.
  • A New Chapter: This past fall, the Center for Faith and Justice was established as a new organizational home to the Faith and Justice Network, a monthly membership community open to anyone, anytime. You can rest assured we still have our core nine-month contemplative journey, now called the Faith and Justice Fellowship.

CELEBRATION as we look back on 2022:

  • Gathering in person is something we will never take for granted again! In recognition of the fact that we are a community of people from all over North America and the world (over the past three years, we’ve had participants from over 30 US states and over ten countries), we hosted gatherings in San Francisco in January, Los Angeles in May, and Denver in October.
  • Our first-ever summer session focused on Christianity and Race in America! We had a spectacular team of teachers joining us from a wonderfully rich diversity of places: Helen Jin Kim from Emory, Lisa Sharon Harper from Freedom Road, Alexis Wells-Oghoghomeh from Stanford, and Daniel Camacho, an independent writer who last month became the newest acquisitions editor at Fortress Press (congrats, Daniel!).
  • In the fall, we launched six new Faith and Justice Fellowship cohorts for the 2022-23 year with 53 participants.
  • We recorded 14 podcast episodes covering a range of issues like “Money, Power, and Justice” to, more recently, probing questions like “What Does It Mean to Be an Evangelical (No More)?” Listen here, or subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.
  • The launch of a monthly Network membership option (individuals can now join anytime), enabling participation in our learning community with a different commitment than the Fellowship (comprised of cohorts that journey nine months together).

HOPE as we look forward:

  • The Future of Faith Gathering (January 27-28, 2023, happening in San Francisco at City Hope Community Center, with an online streaming option): In January, we will be hosting our fifth annual January conference.
  • Our spring focus will again be Public Theology: The Work of Justice, with exciting new topics and books (we are adding art, biography, and storytelling!). We have a fantastic line-up of speakers from various fields, including artists and educators.
  • Our May gathering will be in New York City, a strategic location to learn about the craft of storytelling by exploring the long history of resistance and justice work in NYC. 
  • We plan to offer another summer session in 2023. We’ll announce our new summer focus in the spring, so stay tuned!
  • We’re looking forward to building on the solid foundation of this past year with a new fellowship of cohorts. We hear the same feedback year after year: there is just something inexplicably beautiful about gathering regularly around hard conversations that builds incredible community in the most profound, unexpected ways. With so many exciting developments, the nine-month fellowship program will continue to be the centerpiece of all we do.

CALLING to a world and faith in tumult:

  • You may have heard about the Pew research on church disaffiliation and the rise of “nones,” Gallup reporting this past summer on the plummeting confidence of Americans in their churches, last year’s Barna study that finds pastors more discouraged than ever. In these challenging times, we are coming alongside individuals, pastors, churches, and seminaries to help navigate through a time of crisis and disorientation for many.
  • Our sense of call has never been clearer – to deepen faithful witness to a God who cares about faith and justice as two sides of the same coin, as inseparable callings that are impossible to pursue, one without the other.

INVITATION to partner:

There is incredible momentum and great trembling and anticipation in the work we are doing. We regularly marvel as a team at the privilege of the work we get to do, even as we also wonder how in the world we will be able to sustain it. And we take great encouragement from the fact that we get to do it with extraordinary supporters like you. As we shift to becoming a financially independent organization, we have set an ambitious goal to raise $100,000 between now and August 2023. This amount covers about 1/3 of our operating expenses. Your end-of-year financial contribution will help us move forward and continue to grow a community of learners.

You can make a tax-deductible donation and track our progress here. In this Advent season of agonizing as well as joyful waiting, we are thankful for partners like you that help us point the world to Jesus.

Wishing you every Advent blessing!


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