In our interview, Revd Ellen Loudon explains to us why the Urban Lecture series has changed its name to Micah Lectures and why it’s much more than simply a name change.
What’s the thinking about the change in title?
This year’s Micah Lecture, on 5th June at Liverpool Cathedral is the opportunity to hear Bishop Paul talk about how he sees our Diocese deepening its engagement in social justice concerns.
The Urban Lecture had been running for nearly five years - looking at our urban ministry and exploring social justice. After discussions with Bishop Paul, we felt now was the right time to build on these very solid foundations. The change in title reflects the social environment we, as Christians, find ourselves in.
In fact, many recent reports highlight our need, I feel, as a Diocese to change the world for the better and make a bigger difference.
As Bishop Paul said, just a few weeks ago
, following a report commissioned by Liverpool City Council about the findings of a Cumulative Impact Assessment to examine the impact of more than 20 changes on its own residents:
“A measure of a true and just society is our attitude to the poorest and the most vulnerable in our society”
The Resolution Foundation
, say we are set to see the biggest increase in social inequality since the 1980s, while another by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JFR)
states that around 4,000,000 people are just about managing; living below an adequate standard of living.
So the lecture series is based on the verse from Micah 6.8, “God has shown you what is good…and what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God;”
What will the Micah Lecture series help the Diocese do?
Over the next few years, the aim of the lectures will be to create the space to reflect, share social justice experiences, while being inspired by scholars, theologians and practitioners who share a commitment to making a bigger difference.
The series will consider the missional impact of this ‘bigger difference’ social justice work and review the questions below.
How are our practices responding to human need by loving service?
How are our practices transforming unjust structures of society, challenging violence of every kind and pursuing peace and reconciliation?
How are our practices safeguarding the integrity of creation, and sustaining and renewing the life of the earth?
Our aim is for all our parishes and schools to feel part of the social justice agenda. We also feel it’s vital to learn the lessons and tell the stories of those who are already delivering their amazing work in our Diocese. Everyone has a part to play.
So what is the theme of this year’s Micah Lecture?
The first of the Micah Lectures will cover ‘more justice in the world - impact, thrive and buzz’. You’re invited to join us to see how we are being the hands and feet of Christ in the world: building God’s Kingdom, comforting the stranger, being good neighbours, loving the “unlovable”, healing the sick and bringing new life.
This will inspire us to think about the impact of the generosity of our service in Christ, how this creates thriving attractive communities that buzz with life.
Find out more about the Micah Lecture