A Great Plains Conference where justice is as normal as mercy
This team has the primary purpose of helping local congregations transform the world through ministries of mercy and ministries of justice that address systemic issues.
Mission, for us, is sharing the love of God in Jesus. This mission, as revealed in the scriptures, always includes God’s mercy (hesed) and justice (mishpat and tsedakah).
In the context of the Mercy and Justice Team’s work to support local churches engaged in transformational ministry, we understand mercy to be helping individuals in need. We define justice as ensuring the human rights and dignity of all, especially the most vulnerable. We affirm that ministries of mercy and justice are at their best when lived out through relationships among equals.
In 2014 when the Mercy and Justice Team formed within the new Great Plains Conference, the team began a discernment process that led to an important insight. We recognized that most of our churches were actively engaged in mercy ministry, but very few were engaged in justice ministry. This realization led us to prioritize our support for justice ministry so that justice might become a defining characteristic of our Great Plains culture. We wrote this commitment into our Vision Plan 2017 to 2021 and highlighted it in bold: “A consistent theme for 2017 and beyond is to bridge the gap between responding to a need and seeking long-term change, in order for justice to become part of the language and DNA of the Great Plains Annual Conference.”
We celebrate how the Holy Spirit has led and blessed this effort over time. We remain committed to building a culture of justice in the Great Plains from 2022 to 2026.
The Mercy and Justice Team helped facilitate the launch of the conference's Doing Justice Initiative in February 2020 to establish new justice organizations across Kansas and Nebraska in partnership with two national experts in community change, the Direct Action Research Training Center (DART) and the Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC). Learn more.
Answering God's call to transform the world in the Great Plains
Explore the steps your congregation can take to Make Waves of Change.
In the Waves of Justice framework developed by the team, we define justice ministry as:
This team fulfills the function of the Conference Board of Global Ministries; the Conference Board of Church and Society; Christian unity and interfaith organizations; Volunteers in Mission; criminal justice and mercy ministries; and relates to our global mission partnerships in Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Haiti.
General Agencies related to mercy and justice: