• Voices for Justice 2014 Final Day

    Posted by Benton

    24 June, 2014

    Day 4 started in complete contrast.  The early morning weather in Canberra was comparable to a Siberia winter….and raining, but the mood inside was vibrant as 220 Christians once again entered Parliament House to speak up for the poor, the vulnerable and the forgotten.

    The day started with two media events where Joel Edwards and Dereje Alemayehu spoke with passion about the global Shine the Light campaign.  What an incredible movement where an open letter asking governments around the world to act on Tax Dodging and Corruption for the sake of the poor has been signed by over 80 global church leaders that represent a rough constituency of 1 billion people!Anti-poverty advocates taking a stance against tax dodging and corruption Anti-poverty advocates taking a stance against tax dodging and corruption

    I was inspired by Joel’s exhortation to us and to the global church to dream of a world put to rights and then get on with the hard yards of participating in God’s mission to finish what was started in and through Jesus.  Joel also shared a quote from Tom Wright’s Simply Christian which I think is particularly pertinent to our time at Voices for Justice and demonstrates what that dream might look like:

    We glimpse, for a moment, a world at one, a world put to rights, a world where things work out, where societies function fairly and efficiently, where we not only know what we ought to do but actually do it. And then we wake up and come back to reality. But what are we hearing when we’re dreaming that dream?  It’s as though we can hear, not perhaps a voice itself, but the echo of a voice: a voice speaking with calm, healing authority, speaking about justice, about things being put to rights, about peace and hope and prosperity for all.

    My lobby group’s last meeting was with my local MP and former Treasurer Wayne Swan, Member for Lilley.  I have to admit that we have had an incredible run at this Voices for Justice as once again, the meeting was extremely positive and engaging.  The former Treasurer was very supportive of the Shine the Light campaign and thanked us for our involvement with Micah Challenge and Voices for Justice.  If I’m honest, it was also amazing to meet a Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer of Australia and we all left much more informed on global politics and economics than before!

    Voices for Justice lobby group meeting with former Treasurer Wayne SwanVoices for Justice lobby group meeting with former Treasurer Wayne SwanIt was genuinely a pleasure meeting with Luke Howarth MP, Shayne Neumann MP, Terri Butler MP and Wayne Swan MP over the past two days and discussing what Australia can do leading up to the G20 to tackle Tax Dodging and Corruption on behalf of the poor.  If you get the chance, and are able, you should come to Voices for Justice!  I think we all leave Canberra and Voices for Justice inspired to dream of a world put to rights, a world where societies function fairly and efficiently and we leave ready to get on with the hard yards of participating in God’s mission.

    Benton Wecker is a committed Micah Challenge Campaigner, Climate Justice Advocate and participant at this year's Voices for Justice and is a part of the Bracken Ridge Baptist Church community in Brisbane.