by Bishop Todd Hunter
Become a truly good person who is capable of consistently doing the true good: that passion has driven my spiritual formation for several decades. The process toward a good me for the good of others, which is at the heart of the Center for Formation, Justice and Peace, is a significant challenge. The Apostle Paul described some elements of this process:
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
Maybe, like me, you’ve found that really putting off your old self, putting your earthly nature to death and putting on a new self, renewed in the image of my Creator—a self that naturally loves all—takes guts, patience, and long-term focus. If you aren’t where you would like to be, you’re not alone. It is common along the way to become disheartened at our slow progress. It is easy to feel as if we have lost our way. Letting go of the old self, when the new self is not fully in place, can cause us to feel disoriented or off-balance.
Community is a crucial means for staying focused and remaining optimistic on this journey. From the outset, the Center for Formation, Justice and Peace hopes to cultivate an interdenominational community of like-minded people. Not like-minded in the sense that we agree on every minor point of doctrine or social justice. But like-minded in the sense that we follow Jesus for the sake of being agents of healing and justice, for the sake of doing our small part to realize the vision of MLK: the beloved community.
We want you to find a community of love and support at the Center for Formation, Justice and Peace. A place where you can be encouraged as you discern, focus on, strategize for, and pursue your dream of justice and peace. This community will be a brave space of mutual learning for everyone, regardless of our different stages of growth in formation, justice and peace. If you’re like me, you have strengths and weaknesses in formation, justice and peace. I look forward to allowing our strengths to complement each other, helping us become strong where we are currently weak.
I’m so excited that today, October 1, is the launch day for the Center for Formation, Justice and Peace! I warmly invite you to join our interdenominational community that seeks to develop the Christlike character necessary to activate justice, leading to a life of deep peace for all people.
To get started, try our 10-Day Deep Peace Challenge. It’s an easy way to dip your toes into the water of formation, justice and peace.