PhillyBloco performed! They are a Brazilian music and dance group with lots of energy and drums. The convention center wasn't a great space for them, but they still got people dancing and enjoying the music. I've seen them live in a smaller venue, and they are great live!
But I didn't go to the Justice Conference for the music. I went to primarily to connect with people and secondly to hear some great speakers. The highlight of the main conference speakers for me was a panel discussion which included Dr. John Perkins and Lisa Sharon Parker who is shown on the screen in the above picture. Personally, I enjoyed the depth and thoughtful reflection of the discussions at the pre-conference breakout sessions more than the dynamism of the main conference speakers, but there was a lot to consider and learn throughout the whole conference.
So here for your consideration are a few thoughts presented by the speakers that I am still pondering. Since I was scribbling notes quickly, I can't guarantee that these are direct quotes, but I'm hoping they are close or at least capture the speaker's point of view.
1. Dr. Nicholas Wolterstorff - None of the current writings on justice start from the wronged. They start from the intellectual puzzles.
2. Dr. Nicholas Wolterstorff - We will get all mucked up if we start with the gray cases, so start with the easy and then get to the gray ones.
3. Dr. Nicholas Wolterstorff - Justice at many points requires freedom, but freedom without justice is only for the powerful.
4. Dr. Soong Chan Rah - (In many cases) Incarnational ministry has become a way for us to become the Messiah. We empty ourselves to go to the poor to bless them.
5. Dr. Soong Chan Rah - Lament relies on God's sovereignty and not our ability.
6. Dr. Soong Chan Rah - It is our responsibility to lament.
I haven't watched this video, but from the description it seems like it may be similar to his breakout session talk.
7. Ken Wytsma - Quoting Eugene Peterson - You can't hurry lament.
8.Gary Haugen - Do-gooders show up late and leave early. Perseverance is necessary.
9. Gary Haugen - ...the hidden glory of a long and faithful love
10. Gary Haugen - Love that overcomes monotony and tedium (and frustration). This is the love our Maker sees and honors. A long obedience in the same direction.
11. Gary Haugen - ...ordinary unglamorous work of justice
12. Gary Haugen ... prayer not as a matter of discipline but desperation
13.Gary Haugen - The book of justice is long and boring...I love it when we read it together
14. Dr. Nicholas Wolterstorff - True love is never unjust.
15. Dr. John Perkins - The church lives out its call most fully when it is a community of faith with arms wrapped around a community of pain.
There were a lot of other great things to ponder, but those were just a few that I thought I would share with you.
The BEST part of the conference was the opportunity to connect with friends. I had many great conversations between sessions and at lunch catching up on life and discussing the thing we heard from speakers.