From serving up chai to sitting in the board room, faith and justice are tightly woven for long-time Tearfund volunteer Josh. We chatted with Josh about key moments in his journey of justice, what he's learned along the way, and his hopes for a more just and compassionate world.
Name an area of Tearfund's work and I’ve somehow managed to find myself involved. They can't seem to get rid of me! Whether as an Useful Gifts Shop casual, an intern with International Programs, a festival volunteer or an Associate Board Member, I keep getting drawn back to the heart, community and vision of Tearfund. Outside of work, I'm a facilitator with preventative mental health charity, the Man Cave.
More than any other organisation, Tearfund has invited me out of a faith that just lives on my lips or on the pages of a book and encouraged me into a faith that lives in my heart and through my actions. It has also introduced me to role models who have offered me the language to connect my faith to my heart for justice. My faith wouldn’t be as embodied and life wouldn’t be as integrated as it is if it weren’t for the influence of Tearfund.
I keep getting drawn back to the heart, community and vision of Tearfund … It has invited me out of a faith that just lives on my lips or on the pages of a book and encouraged me into a faith that lives in my heart and through my action.
Aside from how exhausting 8-hour zoom meetings can be?! As an ABM I witnessed what it looks like to hold strong opinions lightly. I witnessed Tearfund's board and leadership carry deep conviction about what needed to be done to stay aligned to Tearfund's mission and vision. However, I also saw their humility and agility in responding to unexpected and novel situations. It's a delicate dance and I learnt heaps about what it looks like in practice.
I am excited about the growing strength and influence of the Indigenous church. Non-indigenous young Christians are moving into an exciting personal, political and spiritual opportunity to be co-creators in the move toward justice on these lands called Australia. It will be a journey of learning, humility and growth and it will be transformative.
My ongoing journey is with my diet and travel plans, it is a constant one of self reflection and values-alignment. Why do I get so defensive when people point out inconsistencies between my plate and my values? Why do I fear the idea of going vegan so much? Why do I feel uneasy telling people about unnecessary travel plans, what is that uneasiness telling me? These are the questions I am currently working through.
Here's an eclectic mix for you: The writings of Brooke Prentis, Brene Brown and Jonathan Haigt; the music of Josh Garrels, the Oh Hellos and Kendrick Lamar; and the podcasts of Pádraig Ó Tuama, Krista Tippett and the Liturgists.
“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” -Lilla Watson, Indigenous Activist and Artist