Monday, 27 October 2008

How to bring together theology and social justice?

At a fascinating and refreshing visit to the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches today, Thomas Wipf, the FEPS president, spoke passionately and honestly about the challenges for church and ecumenical organisations - how can we bring together advocacy and dialogue, theology and justice?
In small groups we discussed issues around communication, theology, ethics and migration.
FEPS is co-sponsoring an important meeting on migration churches as places of integration on Wednesday this week. I also find their idea of having a sort of alternative Davos meeting called the Open Forum Davos quite a creative approach. Given the reputation of Swiss banks worldwide it's good that the churches in the country have been working on issues of economics and justice for a long time.
The one phrase I have taken away from reflections with colleagues in Bern is the idea that good decisions create "open space" within which staff can work in confidence. We reflected alot on the issue of trust at my course in Rome last weekend and it was really interesting to have trust and decision-making linked together in what we heard today.
I came away with the strong sense that listening to others, discussing with them had helped us reflect better on our own work and also find new impetus for it. A good day, now we just need to go on trying to new ways to link advocacy, dialogue, theology and social justice.