M2EP Live: Why We're Here, part II

By Elizabeth Palmberg 4-29-2009

Live from the halls of the Mobilization, here are a few more quotes about faith and justice work from some of the fantastic people who are here!

Jonathan Bettle, an intern with the Bon Secours Volunteer Ministry in Baltimore, works in an emergency room in a high-need neighborhood, connecting folks with resources such as primary care doctors they can see before a health problems reach crisis levels. "There are those who are in a fortunate position to know what resources they [themselves] have had, and then there are those who are without those resources," he told me. "Their needs are what this Mobilization is advocating for -- obtaining and protecting resources and policies that can allow someone to fulfill their call since birth."

Kurt Frederickson, director of Fuller Theological Seminary's doctorate of ministry program, says, "From my vantage point, the church needs to learn how to be more engaged in the sort of issues that this conference has been about. Too much of the evangelical church, which is the church I know the best, really has been engaged more in that individual-salvation focus, and we forgotten about our neighborhoods, and how do we engage as followers of Jesus there?"

Fuller student Justin Fung added, "I've always appreciated the focus of Sojourners, the calling back to a faith that is wedded to deeds and unashamedly prophetic. More specifically, I appreciated most the lobbying day, because it allowed everyone here to immediately get involved and to take part in something which is not as difficult as one might think."

Monday night's Emerging Leaders reception brought out a host of new faces, including South Dakota State University student Katelyn Christensen, who "didn't know much about poverty, but after looking at the statistics [felt it was important to come]." Also at the reception was Matt Prichard of Durham, North Carolina, for whom a highlight of the Mobilization was the group worship. "People are screaming for Jesus. When you care for a person's physical needs, I think they are quicker to hold onto that gift of desperation [spiritual opennness]," Matt told me.

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