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Moving the Dial: Developing Practices of Justice

A resource to help churches explore and embody the 'Practices of Justice' from the Methodist Church's Justice-Seeking Church strategy.

Foreword

The old song said “Tain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it”. Or put it another way, how matters more than how much.

That’s what is at the heart of this resource. Churches around Britain are involved in a huge range of justice-seeking activities. This isn’t about doing more, it’s about inviting you to look at what you’re doing and reflect on how you’re doing it.

In its report on being A Justice-Seeking Church, the Methodist Conference adopted five approaches to practising justice, in addition to some Principles which underpin our understandings of God’s justice and five Priorities for action.

The approaches to justice, or Practices, are about helping us to stay close to God and to those who experience injustice. By exploring how we are doing justice, we might find we can gradually orient ourselves more towards God’s justice through what we’re doing.

You might find just one thing you can do differently which will help you to be with people, not for them, in seeking justice, or finding more partners in your community. You might explore what power means and how building power with others can increase the impact you are having, or how you can orient yourself towards tackling both immediate needs and longer term causes of injustice. And through all this you can root what you are doing more deeply in prayer, in worship and in God.

I am delighted to welcome this resource from All We Can and hope it will help you to reflect on what you’re doing for justice locally and around the world – and how you’re doing it – and to explore how the Practices for Justice can help us embrace more “sustainable, flourishing, transformative, rooted, actions for justice.”


Rachel Lampard
Director of Social Justice and Social Action, the Methodist Church

Introduction

You are probably already doing quite a lot. You are almost certainly doing a lot for your size. Some of that ‘doing’ might already fall under the category of justice-seeking. So you would be forgiven for approaching this resource with a pinch of trepidation or scepticism.

Hopefully, it will come as a relief that this resource is not primarily about encouraging you to start new initiatives. That might be one outcome – and that would be great, too! But the beauty of these Practices of Justice is that they can be applied to basically anything you might already be doing. They invite us to recognise that justice-seeking isn’t just about what we do, but also about how we do it. So this kit is all about how we can be more justice-y while doing our justice-seeking. It’s about ‘moving the dial’ in the right direction, not starting from scratch.

This resource mostly helps you do that by asking you to talk to each other and listen to some stories. Stories are important, for thousands of years they’ve helped embed learning into our heads. All We Can’s history is crammed full of incredible stories that we hope might help your community embrace the practices for justice.

Our partnership approach to development is firmly rooted in the idea that how we tackle global poverty matters. Justice does not just look like clean water, better crops, or improved education, it looks like local communities being in the driving seat of their own development.

Something we are also passionate about at All We Can is enjoying ourselves as a team while we engage with justice. Justice-seeking can, and often should be, heavy. But there’s no reason that justice-seeking can’t also be fun!

Like all our resources, this guide is designed to explore important topics in a stimulating, engaging, and flexible way. You know your church community best, so use and adapt this resource in a way that is most suitable for your context.

The All We Can Churches Team

Session 1 – Being With Not For
Download the session outline as a Word document below
Practice 1 – Being With Not For

Printable/downloadable document for UK story
Practice 1 – UK-Based Story

Video for All We Can Story

Session 2 – Humility in Community
Download the session outline as a Word document below
Practice 2 – Humility in Community

Video for UK Story
YouTube link coming soon!

Video for All We Can Story

Session 3 – Self-Awareness and the Use of Power
Download the session outline as a Word document below
Practice 3 – Self-Awareness and the Use of Power

Printable/downloadable document for All We Can story
Practice 3 – All We Can Story

Session 4 – Transformation
Download the session outline as a Word document below
Practice 4 – Transformation

Video for UK Story
YouTube link coming soon!

Printable/downloadable document for All We Can story
Practice 4 – All We Can Story

Session 5 – Prayer
Download the session outline as a Word document below
Practice 5 – Prayer

Printable/downloadable document for UK story
Practice 5 – UK-Based Story

Video for All We Can Story

Appendices
Appendix 1 – Moving the Dial exercise Variations
Appendix 1 – Moving the Dial Variations

Appendix 2 – ‘Hang up Your Cape’ Activity
Appendix 2 – Words for Humility in Community Activity

Appendix 3 – ‘Prayer Check-in Activity’
Appendix 3 – Prayer Check-in Activity