Christ’s call to sacrificial service that leads to genuine change will be forefront at the upcoming Justice Conference, to be held in Cape Town on March 17 and 18, where the organisers hope to inspire 1 000 delegates to “live justice together.”
According to conference organiser Valerie Anderson attendees will be exposed to a range of Christian leaders, many of whom are young and black, who are shifting the status quo in their work and lifestyles, and mobilising others to do the same.
Encouraging young Christians to engage with the tough issues faced by the country – like landlessness, sanitation and poverty — will be on the agenda, according to a conference media release.
Speakers include Lovelyn Nwadeyi, whose passionate speech at the University of Stellenbosch went viral last year, the HSRC’s Sharlene Swartz, author of Another Country, a book on restitution, Clint le Bruyns, lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal who was arrested during the #FMF protests, social entrepreneur Msizi Cele, Anglican priest Rene August, CEO of The Warehouse Craig Stewart and Stellenbosch University lecturer and theologian Llewellyn MacMaster.
Artists like Siphokazi Jonas and Verb will be performing.
“This is not a talk-shop to academically understand the issues South Africa is facing. It is a call for people to immerse themselves in the hard places and realities that the nation is facing, and take hands with others to bring about a society that is just for all,” says Anderson.
“It is going to be a space that invites people to wrestle with their understanding of who God is, what He is doing in the world today and what that means for Jesus followers.”
Calling the church to lead
This is a crucial time in the history of South Africa.
Whilst parts of the South African church have been actively involved in pressing for a more just society and have a history of fighting for justice, many believe that the Church has become irrelevant as it has not embraced a theology that integrates social issues facing the country now.
“If the church does not find itself on the forefront of these challenging conversations about decolonisation we will find ourselves very irrelevant and very useless quite soon,” says Lovelyn Nwadeyi.
Anderson agrees that it is time for ordinary South Africans to stop skirting around these issues and face them head-on as the country is in a state of teetering between hope and desperation, between restoration and destruction.
“It is time to put Jesus and justice back together – first in our theology and then in our lives.”
This conference aims to shine the spotlight on this and show people that Jesus and justice cannot be separated, says the media release.
The organising committee says: “If you are asking what Jesus has to do with justice, then the conference is for you. If you have a theoretical understanding of how Jesus and justice fit together, but you don’t know how you should live; if you are somebody who is doing the long hard work of justice and is feeling tired, abandoned and isolated, then this is for you.”
The Justice Conference SA is part of the Justice Conference Global Movement.
For more info, and to book, visit www.thejusticeconference.co.za.