Social Justice Committee (Redux)

As we mentioned in the last issue of the Herald, a parishioner recently asked whether the Church ever takes public stands on social justice issues and whether there has ever been a thought to forming a social justice committee. Notice, here, the word “Church” is capitalized, meaning it has to do with the entire Body of Christ, including the church at the parish level. The answer to the first part of the question is a resounding yes. One may recall Archbishop Iakovos marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, or the stand the Archdiocese has taken on Cyprus and other issues, especially the recent plight of refugees and the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. The Church, both on its own and together with bodies as the World Council of Churches and other agencies, has often addressed issues of world hunger and other issues which may be considered to be social justice issues. The Bible regularly addresses social justice issues, as do the Fathers of the Church, especially St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil the Great. The foundational “for so God loved the world” (John 3:16) encompasses what is often called social justice. We must note that the Church [the Orthodox Church] never separates social justice concerns from theology, and takes a dim view of movements that claim to be concerned with social justice without a firm grounding in the Gospel. This said, let’s go to the second part of the question. The part about forming a social justice committee. The Annunciation Cathedral is open to exploring this. In doing so, it extends an invitation to parishioners who might be interested in meeting and doing just this. The committee will do well to look at the Metropolis Strategic Plan, especially its singular outreach ministry program, as well as the work of the San Francisco Interfaith Council. Its 2016 Thanksgiving Prayer Breakfast, in fact, honored San Francisco congregations with Social Justice Committees. It is time for Annunciation Cathedral to take its place among those congregations, addressing Social Justice issues from an Orthodox Christian point of view. If you are interested, please let us hear from you. Communicate with Father Stephen, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., initially, and, then, with the committee chair. We would like to bring together a group of at least ten people.
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Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God.

John 4:7