Images from Ministry as Community-building 2021
Over six weeks in May and June, Centre for Christian Studies students thought about building community while turning the world upside down for social justice. They met online twice a week for the Ministry as Community-building learning circle, exploring the nature of communities, the role of minister and church in creating and maintaining strong community, and the connection between community-building and social justice work. Five diaconal ministries students, two continuing studies students, and one social justice certificate student brought their own experiences, contexts, and questions to the conversation. As we discussed community, we also formed community – sharing vulnerability, collaborating on planning, laughing and having fun, wrestling with challenging topics. We explored issues of inclusion and difference, economic justice within communities, questions of safety and policing, organizational systems, and strategies for bringing people together to work for justice.
Along the way we were joined by various guests and resource people. CCS principal Michelle Owens and recent grad Karlene Kimber led a session on community and organization dynamics. Rob Neufeld shared stories from his experience working in community economic development. Brad Morrison and Rob Dalgliesh inspired us to think of new ways of being and engaging the community in mission. And Montreal-based activist Jaggi Singh spoke to us about the diversity of tactics for social justice and the rejection of charity models and “respectability politics”. And of course we had lots of readings to reflection on, from practical tips to theological reflections on community from Martin Luther King, Cláudio Carvalhaes, and HyeRan Kim-Cragg.