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"How can worship orient our hearts towards justice?"

In the newest season of the Do Justice podcast, each of the guests looked at this question through their particular lens, giving us as listeners some broad angles to consider, but also some very narrow, tangible ways we can view the intersection of justice and worship as formative and necessary. Worship Ministries was thrilled to collaborate with the Office of Social Justice to get these episodes into your earbuds and also into your hearts as you plan, lead, and participate in worship. 

The content is rich and deep so you are encouraged to process each podcast with a small group made up of worship leaders, worship committee members, justice advocates, or simply interested individuals from your own congregation or beyond. A more diverse group will ensure you explore a broader range of perspectives. 

To help you go a little deeper, here are some questions for further reflection and discussion. 

Prompts for Beginning the Conversation

  • As you think about worship in your particular context, what are ways you are already engaging the work of justice through liturgy, song, Word, etc.?   How is justice weaving itself naturally (or not!) through your liturgy?
  • "Justice" is a broad concept and encompasses so many different issues. Have you played "favorites" with particular issues and left others unaddressed? Think honestly about why some topics are easier to address than others or why your congregation is drawn to some topics more than others.
  • Worship is formative. Seeking justice is formative. What patterns are you establishing in both and with both that draw your heart closer to the heart of God? 
  • There's much work to be done. Nobody has done this perfectly, but each has taken small, faithful steps along the way. What are small and faithful steps that God might be calling you to through these episodes?

Episode-Specific Prompts

  • Episode 1 - Kenny Wallace: Listen for ways the arts and visuals in your context can better reflect God's desire for justice. Are you open to new and unique ways to engage the work of justice? Click here for further group reflection questions. 
  • Episode 2 - Jonathan Maracle: Listen for ideas about how people's individual faith stories tell us something of God's justice. Click here for further group reflection questions. 
  • Episode 3 - Porter's Gate: Listen for a new entry point into the conversation about justice and climate protection. Think about how to use that entry point to talk about creation in worship.  Click here for further group reflection questions. 
  • Episode 4 - Jacqui Mignault: Listen for ways to tend to your own soul as you engage in the work of heavy justice issues. How is the Holy Spirit calling you to engage or to take a step back and tend to your soul? Click here for further group reflection questions. 
  • Episode 5 - Claudio Carvalhaes: Listen for ways we can foster better dialogue with others (particularly those with whom we disagree) around justice-related issues. The conversation is often polarized, so how can we begin to take faithful steps toward each other for the common good? Click here for further group reflection questions. 

One last thought. As you listen to these episodes there may be times where you might want to shout "Amen!" and other times where you disagree or feel a little uncomfortable with what the speaker said; that's ok. Pay special attention to these moments and allow yourself to wonder why you had that response. 

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