Rev. James D. Ross II: Living the Love and Justice of Jesus

Rev. James D. Ross II: Living the Love and Justice of Jesus

I am honored to serve as your new Minister for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Southern New England Conference. In this role, I am charged with leading our justice programs and staff as we seek to live into both the commitments of our conference and the commands of God. I have met the dedicated, experienced leaders of the task teams working on specific justice-related issues, and I look forward to meeting others of you as we lean into our work together.

The challenges we face are formidable, yet I am prayerful that the conversations that our country, communities, and churches have engaged during the last year have created new spaces and opportunities for engagement. Whether white privilege and structural racism, sexism and sexual violence, LQBTQIA equality and transgender oppression, or the lasting impacts inequitable access to healthcare and environmental degradation, we are talking. And while we cannot stop at talking, that is an important place to begin.

Our biblical texts tell us again and again that it is duty to work for justice. Prophets, speaking on behalf of God, echo words such as those shouted by Jeremiah, “Thus says the Lord: Act with justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place.”[i]
And as we journey toward Palm/Passion Sunday, Holy Week, and the crucifixion, we recall that Jesus was so vigilant in his work on behalf of and alongside the vulnerable that he was named an enemy of the state and hanged.

So, we are in good company. And because this work has been underway for thousands of years, perhaps we are reminded that we are not to expect easy, or fast solutions. Instead, as people who have committed to follow in the ways of Jesus, we must simply keep going, using our voices, our bodies, our money, and all that we have to move us all closer to God’s Beloved Community.

Thank you for your commitment, for all that you do, and for all that you will yet do. I am grateful to journey with you as we seek to make real the mission of our conference, “to live the love and justice of Jesus.”

Rev. James D. Ross II
[i] Jeremiah 22:3, NRSV


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James D. Ross II

The Rev. Ross leads the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team. He also provides support and leadership within the Conference, our churches, other settings of the United Church of Christ, and the communities where we live, worship and work to ...

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