2017 THEME AND VISION
Live Justice Together
Forty years ago, the youth of South Africa rose up in protest against apartheid in a movement that changed the course of South African history and forged a generation of activists that ultimately caused the law of apartheid to crumble. Followers of Jesus were a key catalyst of this movement, giving it energy, ideas and hope.
Over the past 18 months, we have seen the emergence of a new generation of young South African activists rising up with a determination to finish what their elders started, to see the spirit of apartheid fall. Young Christian leaders have participated and engaged enthusiastically, and inspirationally, in this movement, speaking out boldly into the economic, educational, social and political realms. They have garnered national attention, have walked boldly in the public space, and have spoken truth to power at every turn.
These young leaders will frame the struggle for justice in South Africa over the next two decades. Over and again, we have heard South African’s young and old alike, struggle to find coherence between their faith and their pursuit of a just world. This disconnect between the theology we hear preached in church and the theology we’re walking into on the streets, has left some disillusioned and discouraged. Many students have struggled to find the language of justice they hear spoken by their peers echoed back to them by their churches, by their pastoral leadership, or in their scripture. We, like them, are thirsty for a faith that has something significant to say – in thought, in word, and in deed – to the fight for justice we’re finding ourselves engaged in day to day.
We stand at a critical juncture in our history: teetering between hope and desperation, restoration and destruction, faith and fear. It’s time for us to put Jesus and Justice back together – first in our theology and then in our lives.
We hold to four threads which we will be weaving through the 2017 Conference:
1. Contextual: Raise social consciousness about current justice issues in South Africa
2. Theological: Disrupt theological paradigms and give tools/lenses for new ones
3. Imagination/Prophetic: Create spaces to engage with prophetic imagination, nurturing dreamers and rabble-rousers to paint a vision for a new reality.
4. Action/Praxis: Dismantle the paralysis of inaction and move people from a place of talking about justice to doing justice, asking that all-important question, “How then shall we live?”
Our 2017 theme is “Live Justice Together”. During our time together, we will seek to engage in transformative work at the deep underlying beliefs, patterns, attitudes, and assumptions level. This is heart and soul work; not simply quick-fix behavioural change. We are guided by two models of change: the U-Process and the Adaptive Challenge. During our time together, our over-arching questions is, how can we be engaged Jesus-followers and Justice-doers?