A justice network equips participants to live simply, give generously

faithandleadership.com | 9/17/2019 | Staff
Caris (Posted by) Level 3
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In the early 2000s, Kristen Filipic had become well-established as an attorney in Boston, earning more money than ever before. But she’d started to notice a disconnect in her life.

Despite being an active churchgoer, she was receiving no moral guidance on what to do with her dollars beyond giving a portion to the church.

Income - Anybody - Culture - Filipic

“I wanted so much to be responsible, … using this [income] well, and I couldn’t talk about it with anybody, because in our culture, we just don’t do that,” Filipic said.

That changed in 2013 when a friend invited her to join an economic discipleship group based on a curriculum called Lazarus at the Gate. The eight-week program challenged participants to examine and discuss their personal budgets, be mindful of abundance and needs, give up something nonessential, and give away the new savings together.

Congregation - Topics - Finances

How could your congregation address “taboo” topics like finances?

For Filipic, cutting cable TV generated a $70-per-month savings. The initial two-month sum went to support a group gift of more than $1,000 for water infrastructure improvements in the developing world. Six years later, still forgoing cable, she puts the savings toward a tithe that includes both church and nonchurch causes.

Lot - Freedom - Avenues - Things - Filipic

“There is a lot of freedom in just having avenues where we can talk about such things,” Filipic said.

Lazarus at the Gate is a signature program of the Boston Faith & Justice Network, a 13-year-old parachurch organization that equips individuals to put biblical values into practice. Launched independently in the mid-2000s, the Lazarus program convenes small groups to explore personal economic discipleship. Soon thereafter, BFJN developed Lazarus to expand the program throughout Greater Boston and make its curriculum available as a free open-source file.

Years - BFJN - Discussion - Events - Awareness

For several years, BFJN also convened public discussion events to raise awareness of economic justice issues such as underpaid workers and unsafe conditions in...
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