Faith In Action

by Stephanie Fritz '10

Azusa Pacific held its annual Justice Week during the last week of January, hosted by the Office of Ministry and Service. The theme was "Faith In Action" and throughout the week Cougar Walk transformed into "Social City," a place where students could purchase items from fair trade and nonprofit companies. Students also received brochures to learn more about the fair trade aspect of the businesses. The idea of “fair trade” companies was explained by the representatives as a business that sells their products in the U.S. and works with companies overseas which do not have any child labor, unfair wages, or social injustice.

Alexia Salvatierra spoke in chapel on Monday. An ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Salvatierra has more than 20 years of experience and spoke to students about economic justice. After chapel, Mary Rawlings, Ph.D., co-chair of APU's Department of Social Work, held a question and answer session with Salvatierra and APU students to discuss poverty, immigration, and social injustice.

Monday night found students challenged with, “Taking your faith too far or not far enough” as Davis Gist, California regional organizer for Bread of the World, spoke about faith and how it plays a role in public policy and social concerns. Craig Keen, Ph.D., a theology professor at APU, spoke to students in Wednesday's chapel about what justice should look like in the lives of Christians.

Justice Week also included a monthly dinner forum called “Matheteis: Is Peace Possible?” Students and guest panelists discussed issues with goals of education and discipleship. On Wednesday night, students viewed an informational film, Dying to Live, about the struggles facing those who immigrate to the United States. To wrap up Justice Week, students shared personal stories in UTCC that showcased how they have integrated their faith journeys into action.