The central theme in Shane Claiborne’s message of justice is relationship; that our world’s many ills can be solved if people—particularly people from different social strata—simply take the time to get to know each other.
Days that open with wacky dancing and end in prayer. Meals spent discussing Bible study and Frisbee games. Evenings filled with worship and cotton candy. This was Canada Youth, a week-long conference held at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont.
It was an itchy assembly. Lots of scratching; little relief. One commissioner said it was “sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Another called it “confusing.” Several wondered if anything had “actually happened.” The most common word used was “proxy.”
Respect is about how we evaluate and treat others. It’s not so much about civility or good manners, but about attitudes and behaviours rooted in how God treats us that should shape how we treat others.
Rev. Joel Sherbino was once sitting in a conference. This is how he tells it: "The whole conference was based around this one question: ‘If your church were to disappear tomorrow, would anyone in the community notice or even care?"
“I would say the vast majority of ministers are sincere; they are unhappy; they are discouraged. They’re often stuck in feeling they’re limited in terms of what they can do in their ministry. So, it’s hopelessness that permeates more and more of their life.”
This issue goes to the deepest, most personal question we can ask ourselves as Christian believers: Do I trust God to know wherein the good of my life is to be found, or shall I insist on self-definition?