Category: common peace community

Is there a word from the Lord? No, seriously, is there?

GettyImages_157334290 (1)Besieged by his enemies, King Zedekiah sent for the imprisoned prophet Jeremiah and, through trembling lips, posed his question: “Is there a word from the Lord?”

Tradition held that after Jeremiah spoke the words from the Lord, a spirit-drought gripped the land and no word from the Lord would be heard until the Anointed One appeared.

Five hundred years later Jesus announced that the spirit-drought was broken.  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,” he declared in the ancient words of Isaiah: “because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives.”

As an old year dies and a new year struggles to be born, is there a word from the Lord for us?  Is there good news for the poor?  Is there release for those who are bound?

Your generous tax-deductible gift towards our $25,000 December goal will contribute to good news for the poor and release to captives.

Friends of Justice has been preaching good news to the poor since New Year’s Eve, 1999.  When poor people are oppressed by immoral public policies, we say so, repeatedly and with great effect.

Common Peace Community-001God has called us to build a Common Peace Community where the walls that divide God’s people along lines of race, gender, wealth, social class, denomination and political affiliation crumble. “For Christ is our peace, having broken down the dividing wall, the hostility between us.” (Ephesians 2.14).

Friends of Justice is giving voice to congregations that have heard the good news to the poor, but lack a prophetic public voice. Through our Common Peace Community initiative, we are equipping and supporting existing faith leaders to break the silence. Because good news for the poor and release to the captive is as spiritual as it gets.

We challenge you to invest in the Common Peace Community.  We challenge you to contribute generously toward our December goal of $25,000.

Photo: Lightning and dark storm cloudsIf you wish to bring the Common Peace Community to your community of faith, contact us for more information.

The spirit-drought has broken.  We have a word from the Lord that speaks good news to the poor and release to the captive.  People of faith are finding a prophetic public voice.  Will you join us?

You’re invited!

Nancy and Alan Bean will be hosting the third meeting of the Common Peace Community at our new home, 2706 Meadow Hill Lane, Arlington 76006, this Saturday at 4pm.  (Please RSVP by replying to this email).   If you have any questions or need help with directions, call me at 817-688-6765.

As usual, there will be singing, fascinating speakers, and plenty of time for sharing and plotting.

We will hear from Pierre Berastain, a Harvard Divinity School student and native of Peru who recently announced that he is a “dreamer”, an undocumented resident of the United States brought to this country as a child by his parents.

We will also be hearing from our own Julie Griffin, a member of Broadway Baptist Church who has long been active in ministries of compassion.  Julie worked as an attorney for fourteen years before becoming a school teacher, and both careers inform her passionate commitment to ministry.  (more…)

Join us on Saturday!

By Alan Bean

You are invited to Broadway Baptist Church, 4:00 pm on Saturday, April 20th for the second convening of our Common Peace Community.  There you will catch your first glimpse of JustFaith, a we-ain’t-playin’-games study that will help you look at the world through the eyes of the poor and ask why.  Here’s the way the program is described on the JustFaith website.

JustFaith is a 30-week Scripture-based adult formation program that looks at poverty and compassion for the poor through the lens of the Christian call to compassion and justice. JustFaith empowers participants to develop a passion and thirst for justice, and prepares them for the work of social ministry.  Through prayer, experiences, books and videos, participants encounter the face of poverty in such a way that they experience transformation and are drawn to respond to the needs of our broken world.  The JustFaith program is about opening people to the Spirit of God, who is at work transforming people to transform the world. The intent is to provide a tapestry of learning opportunities that emphasize and enliven the healing work of God’s compassion found in scripture, church history and teaching, and faithful witnesses.

JustFaith is a rigorous program that asks people for their time each week.  It is a deep spiritual journey that offers an opportunity to experience conversion of hearts and minds in the context of a small faith community of 10-15 people.  During the 30 weeks, participants learn the value of dialogue, sacred listening, and one-on-one encounters with those living on the margins of our communities. JustFaith grads emerge from the program with a new level of understanding of the systemic issues of poverty, those families living in poverty, and a discerned compassionate response to the world around them. As a result, these graduates are more engaged in their church and in the communities.

Although JustFaith was originally produced by Roman Catholics for Roman Catholics, they have introduced a Protestant-Ecumenical version as well.  We will be watching a 15-minute introductory video and there will be plenty of time for questions.

We will also be singing, reading Scripture and pondering Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail written exactly fifty years ago in response to concerns raised by moderate white clergymen (don’t worry, we won’t be reading the whole thing).  Since many of us are white folks who identify as “moderate” I thought we should listen to Dr. King with fresh ears.

A Common Peace Community starts when you look at the world through the eyes of the poor and ask why.  If you have any questions please call me at 817-688-6765.

Alan Bean


A Common Peace Community takes root

photo (1)By Alan Bean

The Common Peace Community was inaugurated on Saturday, March 23rd at Broadway Baptist Church with thirty-five wonderful people in attendance.  As participants entered the Good Shepherd Room, Al Travis, Broadway’s gifted organist, played softly in the background.  After we all had our food and were gathered around the tables, we talked about why we had come and what we were hoping to see.  The Rev. Sue Turner gave an eloquent invocation and then it was my turn to explain what a Common Peace Community is all about.  Here’s what I said: (more…)