“These materials represent a valued partnership that has been forged between the Baptist Churches of South Australia and Baptist Care SA. The resource reflects a mutual interest of the parties in further strengthening and understanding the Lord’s call on us all and recognises our collective ambition to authentically be salt and shed light in the world”. Graham Brown, CEO, Baptist Care SA
On Wednesday 4 July, Baptist Care SA and Baptist Churches of SA hosted the Launch of the ‘On Earth as it is in Heaven’ teaching series on biblical justice for Baptist Churches. Sixteen churches were represented across the more than 35 attendees.
In his words of introduction, Executive Minister Mike Mills welcomed the opportunity to spend time on this topic. “It’s been a great, collaborative project as we together, the churches and our care arm, have reflected on our engagement in this area of justice and realised that we’ve got some growing to do. We’re working together as a movement to explore ways in which we can gain a greater sense of strength in this area”.
The series is designed to be modular and flexible to the needs of individual churches and their members. “I want those who take time with this resource to consider how does this story give me a window into another way of seeing, how does it shape me and our Movement?” said Scott Higgins, author of the series. Scott outlined three premises which underpinned his work in preparing this resource:
- Our understanding of justice must be grounded in the biblical story
- Our practice of justice must be sensitive to the particularities of power and privilege
- Our promotion of justice must make it possible for people to take the next step.
He outlined four steps that churches and members could take in approaching the resource:
- Prepare – identify where your church is on justice and set series goals (use the Justice Survey Tool)
- Explore – Justice in the Old Testament, Justice & Jesus, Justice & Power, Justice today (use the Background Document and Sermon Outlines)
- Apply – Consider practical situations such as Leaving Prison, Mental Illness, Refugees and Homelessness (use the Prayer Cards, Discussion Guide and video clips)
- Partner – Consider if there are areas you’d like to pursue as an individual or church (contact Baptist Care SA to discuss ways in which you can take action).
In summary, he said “The idea is that at the end of the four weeks of Baptist Care SA Month, we’ve got to a point where we’re actually doing something – we’re doing justice, not just talking about it”.
Excitingly, this resource has been prepared by and for South Australian Baptists, but we anticipate it will be shared across the Baptist Movement nationally in the very near future.