Hey everyone! Between the 18th to the 23rd September we had three fantastic events and our social media feeds were kept busy keeping you excited about what was to come.
To kick off out Fresher’s events we hosted a “Theology of Justice” evening on the 20th September, exploring how justice fits into the Christian faith and therefore hopefully demonstrating, why we at Just Love feel compelled to pursue social justice. We enjoyed an evening of fellowship and worship at St James in the City, and had the opportunity to introduce the team and their personal experiences of joining Just Love.
We were then challenged by Josh Smedley as he spoke about the biblical basis for justice. The enormity of passages in the bible which directly relate to justice was clear as Josh showed us a bible looking rather worse for wear from which he had cut out each of these references. As he then proceeded to give us a whistle stop tour through the books of the bible, and the places we can see God’s heart for justice, it became obvious that if we are going to live as bible-based Christians, it is impossible for us to ignore the injustice which surrounds us, and see pursuing social justice as an optional extra. As brief examples to convey what a key theme justice plays in the bible there are 160 verses directly relatable in just one gospel and 1/5th of the verses in the book James. It is therefore key that we live lives loving those who maybe aren’t like us and giving to those who may not be able to pay us back. Loving is not an easy challenge but it’s the way of life, the way of the resurrection and the way of Jesus.
“For it is BY GRACE you have been saved, THROUGH FAITH… created in Christ Jesus to DO GOOD WORKS” (Ephesians 2:8-10) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXcaHf3I2_Y
The next event was the Ethical Meal on the 22nd. We made goats cheese and mushroom risotto (a recipe by Tess Ward) and Tee and Christie made some chocolate and raspberry brownies earlier on; an incredible BBC Good Food Recipe. At about 6pm Tee, Glen and Christie came bursting through Georgia’s door with bags full of food, a whole bag overflowing with mushrooms. We quickly started to chop the ingredients and turned the hobs on. Ten minutes later Caitlin swooped in and got stirring the risotto. Tee, our Personal Co-ordinator has written about her experience…
The clock struck 8.00pm. We were an hour late. Katya grabbed one of the two hot pans and made a dash for the car. I channelled my inner Usain Bolt and ran after her with the other pan. Sweat began to permeate my brow as I tried to figure out how to get the car door open with my hands full. Thankfully Katya came to my aid. With what only can only be described as Gran Theft Auto driving, we zoomed down the Liverpool highways through the pouring rain, weaving in and out of cars. I could feel my blood pressure rising as I heard the clatter of the pans. After a near accident on Brownlow Hill, we finally arrived at our destination.
Katya and I simultaneously dived out of the car and ran towards Faith Xpress. I glanced behind me, wondering if Glen was following closely behind. ‘Go on without me’ he shouted from the car. I realised that leaving a man behind was justified in this context. With an almighty push, the front door slung open. As we headed towards the kitchen, a rare breed of John Lisle emerged from the meeting room. ‘How many people are here?’ I asked, ‘twenty four’ he quickly replied. I could feel the panic started to rise in me as I remembered that we had only made enough goat’s cheese and mushroom risotto for sixteen. Suddenly a flood of people entered the kitchen. ‘Tee, we have to get on with the mission!’ Christie exclaimed as she began to see the terror in my eyes. I prayed. Christie grabbed a load of recyclable paper plates and handed a few to me. She winked at me. We knew what we had to do.
I held my breath as I started to spoon out healthy portion sizes onto the plates. The smell of mushroom twinned with white wine danced in my nostrils. I handed the plates to Nathan Allen to be distributed out into the meeting room. A nifty system of collecting and serving was soon established but my fears had still taken my mind hostage. Once we’d finished dishing up plate sixteen, I reluctantly stole a glance at one of the pans. ‘What?’ I shrieked. Low and behold, there lay an abundance of risotto. I couldn’t believe it. ‘This was the feeding of the five thousand mark two!’ I thought. Christie and I finally looked at each other. I felt the stress leave my body. We’d done our job successfully.
After a sigh of relief, Christie and I sauntered towards the meeting room. With massive smiles and joyful hearts, we walked through the door. An eruption of cheers and applause filled the room. The words ‘can I have an autograph?’ penetrated my ears as I tried to make my way through the sea of people. As I glanced around the room in the hope of finding a free seat, my eyes were blinded by the bright lights of the paparazzi cameras. ‘Over here!’ exclaimed Nathan Allen from behind me. I quickly turned around and made out the faint shape of an unoccupied chair. I fumbled towards it and sat down. The uproar started to subside as people started to become distracted with the risotto. As I became more settled, I decided to try the food for myself. The pungent taste of goat’s cheese and vibes began to overwhelm me as I took my first bite. ‘I hope that food in the New Creation will be like this’ I thought. I looked up and caught sight of Andrew Bailey who was sitting on the opposite side of the room. His eyes appeared to be glistening as he tucked into his second helping.
Once the munching had subsided, I started to make my way to the front of the meeting room. The room was silenced. With confidence and conviction, I started talking about where the ingredients had been sourced. ‘We went to the local organic market on Bold Street and the co-op’ I said enthusiastically. I received a few nods of approval. I then proceeded with discussing my own personal ethical journey, detailing the trials and tribulations of living sustainably as a student. After I’d completed my epic monologue, John Lisle then took to the stage. Armed with a brown ESV Bible and the potential for banter, he started explaining the biblical basis for living ethical lives. After using words such as ‘hermeneutics’ and ‘kainos’, we knew that we should take him seriously. Shortly after the Just Love Liverpool team, otherwise known as the Justice League, introduced themselves and their roles. Suddenly, a sweet aroma filled the room. The smell of ethical raspberries and Fairtrade chocolate began to penetrate our nostrils. It was time for brownies. Suddenly, I heard a shriek from someone in the group. The piercing words ‘let’s take a selfie’ pierced the air. The room descended into chaos as we all tried to position ourselves in front of Michael Baggot’s iPhone. After a plethora of pictures, our modelling shoot was over and peace was restored. After a bit more banter and brownie eating, it was time to leave. Goodbyes were exchanged and tears were shed. Mission accomplished.
Our final event of Fresher’s week was a film screening of ground breaking documentary “The True Cost”. The film travels the globe, from runways to the high street to slums, exposing the dark truths of the fast fashion industry and who really pays the price for the clothes we wear. The group felt particularly challenged by how wide reaching and detrimental the impact of a simple t shirt could be, as we shared our thoughts and personal convictions in a discussion after the film.
For more information on “The True Cost” film see https://truecostmovie.com/about/
Available now on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon or VHX.
We hope this post has given you some insight into what we do at Just Love (with a bit of entertaining drama by the lovely Tee) and we look forward to seeing you at our future events!