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, 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.

Mara Chamlee, Boston Food Justice Intern

Mara Chamlee is from Greenville, South Carolina where she atended Furman University. She holds a B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Environmental Studies. Mara comes to us through the Presbyterian Church (USA) Young Adult Volunteer Program. Through this program she is dedicating this year to living simply in intentional Christian community and exploring concepts of justice and community. She is looking forward to working with BFJN to live out a strong sense of personal responsibility to seek justice through action and live with deep compassion. Mara is passionate about God’s creation and feels most at home in nature. She feels called to share that passion with others and to live responsibly in order to care for His blessing to us.

BFJN Board

Stacie Mickelson

Stacie Mickelson serves as the Director of Applied Research & Consulting at the Emmanuel Gospel Center. She is passionate about helping churches and leaders learn together for the purpose community transformation. She has a degree in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Massachusetts and a M.A. in International Development and Social Change from Clark University. With her husband, Elijah, Stacie lives in an intentional Christian community in Jamaica Plain where they are teaching their daughter Eden to climb things, love Jesus and roar like a lion

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.

Estela Shingleton

Estela has been in the financial industry for over 25 years and has worked for Middlesex Savings Bank for 19 years as a Community Banking Officer in charge of a branch. She have been a board member of the Metrowest Visitors bureau for 5 years and part of the executive team for three years. She has also been a board member Friends of Southborough Recreation and served as a treasurer for 8 years. Most recently she became a board member of Leadership Metrowest Academy. Through her church,  Faith Community of Hopkinton, she has had the opportunity to serve as a volunteer with many events such as set up of sacred spaces, small group initiative, World Vision initiatives, on-call volunteer & working the student cafe. She has been on three mission trips and had the opportunity to assist with planning on two of the trips. She is passionate about helping the less fortunate.

Andrew Tsou

Andrew has worked as a Systems/Supply Chain Engineer with a local defense contractor for over 15 years, and also works part-time with the Applied Research and Consulting team at the Emmanuel Gospel Center. He enjoys applying systems and organizational principles to help individuals and teams function more effectively, and is interested in the unique intersection of economic discipleship and social justice. He is a member of the Reservoir Church in Cambridge. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking in the mountains, playing guitar, and writing.

Matt Dawson

Matt Dawson was born and raised in the Seattle area and worked with a Church on the Oregon Coast for 7 years. He moved to Cincinnati in 2008 to go to business school and worked with Cincinnati Faith & Justice while there. Now Matt works for Procter & Gamble in Boston and lives with his wife in Arlington.

Dr. Christa Lee-Chuvala

Christa served as a Co-director of BFJN from 2014-2017.  She is currently an assistant professor of social sector leadership at Eastern University. Christa is passionate economic discipleship and living into God’s abundance.

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