About BFJN

Mission

The Boston Faith & Justice Network brings Christians together to live simply and give generously in pursuit of a just world. Three foundational action-oriented principles inspire and motivate our work:

Working for Justice

Justice is a key aspect of God’s character. If we as Christians are called to reflect God in the world, engaging justice is central to how we live out our faith in Jesus Christ and our relationship to our neighbor. We envision the scriptural call to live justly as working to make sure that everyone—from friends down the street to families across the globe—has the same opportunity to be free from negative consequences outside of their own actions. Global poverty and associated issues of racism and sexism lead to oppression and suffering. Christians have a Biblical call to be at the front lines of transformative action against injustice.

Practicing Economic Discipleship

Jesus spoke often about money. The Christian church in the United States often avoids the subject. But the staggering effects of poverty and oppression in the world call us to examine our consumption in light of Biblical teachings. Economic Discipleship is what BFJN calls the process of following Jesus with our money. These practices include reducing our spending by living more simply, intentionally choosing the products we do buy, and giving generously of all of our resources to improve the lives of the poor and oppressed. We believe that every Christian can make practical lifestyle changes to move closer to this goal.

Engaging in Community

Following Christ is both an individual and a communal process. Joining together in fellowship and interpersonal connection deepens our commitment to discipleship and generosity. Through our Lazarus at the Gate small group study, BFJN encourages open discussions about wealth, poverty, and Christian responsibility to meet the needs of the suffering and vulnerable. As a network, we also recognize the necessity of bringing individuals, churches, and organizations together for collective action. An ecumenical movement of Christians committed to generosity focused on justice will help participate in the Kingdom of God “on earth as it is in heaven.”

What do we do?

The Boston Faith & Justice Network gathers Christians from many different traditions sharing a common concern to love our neighbor through economic discipleship and just action. We foster a dialogue about money and responsibility while presenting options for practical lifestyle shifts and justice-oriented engagement. BFJN challenges Christians to think about our resources—from the money we earn, to the things we buy, to the places we live—and offers opportunities for connection, action and reflection.

BFJN Team

elizabethElizabeth Grady-Harper, Co-Executive Director

Prior to joining the Boston Faith and Justice Network, Elizabeth worked as an attorney primarily in the field of immigration law, helping immigrant families become citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States. She has also worked with survivors of domestic violence under the Violence Against Women Act helping them obtain the immigration benefits the law affords them, first as an employee of several law firms in the Boston area, and then in her own firm started with two colleagues. Elizabeth is passionate about helping Christians engage in our call to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God and seeks to use her gifts to this end, both at BFJN and as an elder and speaker at her church.

christaChrista Lee-Chuvala, Co-Executive Director

Christa comes to BFJN from a career in urban planning and poverty research, completing her doctorate in Urban Studies at MIT in August of 2015. Before beginning her PhD, Christa was a research associate and planner at the Institute for International Urban Development in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she worked on development plans for townships in South Africa, villages in eastern Turkey, and informal settlements in Damascus, Syria. Prior to receiving her Master’s Degree in Urban Planning, she ran after-school and employment programs for at-risk children and youth on the West Side of Buffalo, New York. Christa participated in a Lazarus at the Gate group in 2007, a process that changed her understanding of economic justice and led her to think deeply about spending justly and giving generously.

BFJN Board

Timothy Colegrove

Tim Colegrove serves as Sexuality and Relationships Educator at Gordon College in Wenham, MA. Tim holds a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theology Seminary and a Master of Sacred Theology in Philosophy, Theology and Ethics from Boston University. His mission as an educator and theologian is to help the church to grow in faithful witness to Jesus Christ as it addresses systemic injustice. This central passion has led him to a variety of missional and academic endeavors including speaking engagements at the Christian Community Development Association, Taylor University, Eastern Nazarene College, and the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions.

Mardi Fuller

Mardi Fuller is the communications manager at BPE (formerly the Boston Plan for Excellence). A sales and marketing professional with nine years of specific experience scaling business lines and telling an organization’s story, Mardi cares about the intersection of a company’s growth and its commitment to socially responsible practices.

Bonnie Gatchell

Bonnie J.Gatchell is the Director and Co-Founder of Route One Ministry. In addition to Route One Bonnie is a candidate for ordination with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Bonnie came to Boston in 2006 to pursue a Master of Divinity degree at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In 2009 Bonnie won the distinguished Donald Wells Award for justice in preaching. While completing her Masters of Theology , she was awakened to the horrors of trafficking both globally and domestically, and in 2010 she cofounded Route One Ministry, a nonprofit organization that works with women exploited by the commercial sex industry in the the Boston-metro area. Since 2010 Bonnie has provided educational training to the Junior League of Women, UNICEF–Link Conference, The Justice Conference Workshops, Grace Chapel’s Women’s Group, the Boston Rescue Mission, Boston University, Boston College, Gordon College, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and churches across New England, exposing the reality of sex trafficking in New England and providing practical solutions to bring about its end. Bonnie is an invited speaker to Tedx Wellesley 2016.

Maura Hodge

Maura is a CPA and works at KPMG LLP with a focus on corporate responsibility and financial statement audits. Her experience with corporate responsibility groups at Fortune 500 companies lends unique insight into economic, environmental and social change at a macro level.

Kisuk Kim

Kisuk Kim first learned about Fair Trade, human trafficking, and the brokenness within our consumer-driven society as an undergraduate attending BFJN events with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. Since then, he’s maintained a deep interest in the intersection of faith, business and public policy, and the role of the church therein. Kisuk is a member of Cambridge Community Fellowship Church, and serves as a house church leader and hospitality coordinator. By day, he is a manager of client solutions at athenahealth, bringing together data, technology, and strategy to help healthcare work as it should.

Sarah Rutherford

Sarah is a stay at home mom to daughter Eloise. Prior to her role as mom, Sarah graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary with an M.A in Intercultural Studies focused on International Development and Urban Studies. Over the past decade, she has had the pleasure of working and learning alongside a number of justice focused organizations, including World Vision and UNICEF. Much of Sarah’s work has been centered on improving child well-being accomplished through empowerment and education. Relocating to the east coast in 2012, Sarah and husband Nathaniel found themselves settling down in the disenfranchised town of Lynn, Mass., and serving in the local congregation East Coast International Church. Invested in learning the blessings and challenges which face Lynn’s people, they decided open High Rock Legal, a law practice with a stated mission to bridge the access to justice gap for urban residents. Sarah’s ministry involvement has recently extended to the local police department in an effort to form relationships and share the unconditional love of the local church. Sarah is passionate about partnering with her community as they pioneer towards growth and reconciliation.

Michael Zahniser

Michael is a software engineer whose outlook on justice and economic discipleship was transformed by being a part of BFJN’s inception in 2006 and a Lazarus group in 2007. Since then he has been involved in everything from a fledgling intentional community to an emerging church plant to the Occupy protests. He currently lives in Egleston Square with his wife, Christina.

 

Media Information

The work of the Boston Faith & Justice Network has been featured in a variety of publications:

For media inquiries, please contact elizabeth@bostonfaithjustice.org