My last graduate class offered the surprising opportunity of journeying from my home in a small rural Oklahoma town to Washington, DC with Creation Justice Ministries. I arrived to find a magical place, strategically centered next door to the U.S. Capitol, the U.S. Supreme Court and Senate buildings, where social work and faith principles easily mix.
Closing many doors behind me, I accepted the challenge of learning macro social work advocacy with the understanding my role as a student would come first. Learning as much as I possibly could in a short 4 months about applying macro social work to faith based environmental and social justice was my plan.
What I found here at Creation Justice Ministries was an ecumenical advocacy approach that is parallel to social work’s ethical values and responsibilities of social diversity, cultural diversity and social inclusion. For those who may not have had an experience with ecumenism, let me enlighten you. Ecumenism refers to Christians from all beliefs and doctrines coming together to foster strong relationships to better understand one another. Ecumenism is an effort to promote unity in the Christian faith. It is God’s love in action through us. The ecumenical approach to environmental justice (advocacy) seeks an avenue to create a powerful energy force with one purpose: environmental justice. Environmental justice through an ecumenical approach produces a bridge for all types of people, regardless of race, ethnicity, culture or socio-economic status, from all types of faiths and spiritualities by embracing social inclusion. Through that approach, Philippians 2:2 comes alive: “Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose”.
I brought to the table an Indigenous Native perspective and voice. There is a saying among the Indigenous Natives of the United States that goes like this: Tell me and I will forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I'll understand.
The positive learning space created by Creation Justice Ministries gives students the chance to practice leadership, active team participation, independent learning and build strong relationships to increase networking skills. Their leadership understands that student learning and practical contribution to organizational goals and objectives go hand in hand. At Creation Justice Ministries, I oversee my learning and am treated as an associate and partner, which made my transformation from a macro social work student to a colleague a smooth transition. I am proud to be able to hold the status of colleague and partner with Creation Justice Ministries by telecommuting from my home in Oklahoma.
About this Blog
This blog shares the activities of Creation Justice Ministries. We educate and equip Christians to protect, restore, and rightly share God's creation.