What is Practice Justice?
The Practice Justice Day of the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering is a witness to Jesus' commandment to love our neighbor as our self, to follow one’s convictions with actions, and to do God's work with our hands. Many have asked that if we are doing God’s work with our hands what does that mean? Practicing Justice includes learning about injustices in our world, getting equipped to make changes in our communities, partnering with local organizations that are already making a difference and working together, using service learning models for growing our own Christian leadership.
On the Practice Justice Day, we will put our faith into action in a city that has persevered through one of the biggest natural disasters in our world. We will learn from the people of New Orleans about their struggles and their strength, we will discover places of amazing resilience and places of neglect, violence and pain. Now, six years after Katrina, New Orleans is slowly recovering, yet the need is still great.
On the Practice Justice Day, youth and adults with come together in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to learn about what it means to practice justice and how our presence in 2009 made a difference in the everyday lives of those living in New Orleans. Then, groups will walk justice as they enter into a multi-sensory experience to help them connect to the many areas of injustice existing in New Orleans today. Next, groups will depart by bus or by foot to practice justice in the midst of the fragile realities evident in the public education system, in housing, and in the shrinking wetlands. At the end of the day, each group will reflect on their Practice Justice experience by debriefing with trained young adults who will help connect their experiences with their own sense of call to live out their baptismal identity in the communities to which they return.
May God help to open your heart with truth, grace, understanding and passion to Practice Justice in New Orleans so that you are ready to serve in all the places that you go!