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The JustUs Partnership
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By Mike Toth

Galatians 3:28: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

“JustUs” is a collaboration between Laura Solberg, director of The Elevation Project at Vancouver Youth Unlimited, and Andy Harrington, CEO of The Wellspring Foundation for Education. The Partnership has spawned a training curriculum and video series on why and how the youth of the church can practice justice in their communities and stems from a deep conviction the two share.

“I have had a heart for the marginalized since I was a child,” says Harrington, “though I have gone through quite an education (about justice) over the last ten years. I can’t help but see the world through that lens.” The roots of the partnership grew from a trip to Rwanda that both were on. They saw the Rwandan and Canadian young people come together and create friendships and working relationships regardless of upbringing or social class. From it sprung the notion that justice was more than just charity, and poverty was more than just a lack of money or resources.

“Poverty goes back to Genesis. When we broke with God all relationships became broken,” says Solberg. “It caused poverty in the four basic relationships: Relationship with God, with ourselves, with other people, and with the world.”

“If I have to pick a favorite video, I would have to say video 2 in which we break down the fact that we are all poor and broken,” adds Harrington. “Justice is about right relationships.”

The videos cover topics such as worldview, the role of media, and the heart of God for justice, and are suitable as well for church small groups and mission teams. The curriculum was initially written for youth leaders, but has been expanded and reaches Christians of all ages.

A sample of God's View on Poverty, Session 2 from the JustUs Video Series

“We have to understand the whole gospel involves righteousness and justice,” says Harrington. “We are called to live rightly with God and each other. It’s not just about getting people across the line (of salvation). Young people innately understand that it’s not about shallow prayers and shallow faith. We are all in this together.”

“My goal for Christians and for this material is for people to go back to what the Bible actually says and to ask God what their place is in it,” says Solberg. “What did God intend with His Word? What is He saying to you?”

“Pursuing justice is the only thing in the world that makes sense for me. I couldn’t live without a framework for hope.”

The JustUs workshop is an excellent resource if you are looking to educate, inspire, or empower the youth and young adults of your church. Click HERE to see some of the options or by clicking HERE you can inquire further.