Bono: Justice takes your whole life

Bono, at a Georgetown University Global Social Enterprise Event, November 12, 2012:

It’s not charity that fires us at the ONE Campaign or at RED. It’s justice–that’s what enflames us; and justice is a higher, tougher standard. This is hard work; I’m not going to soft-pedal it. … People are looking for clear simple melody lines: ‘Just a dollar and you can save a life, just a minute of your time, just an hour of your week.’ It’s bollocks; it’s not true; it’s crap. In truth, if you want to turn the world right side up, it’s not going to take a minute or an hour or a day; it’s going to take your whole life.

Full video here.

You + The District Church = #Winning

What a year! In the last twelve months at The District Church, I’ve:

  • preached the first seven sermons of my life;
  • continued to lead worship regularly; and
  • led a small group that, over the course of three semesters, involved almost 50 people, and saw three new small groups start out of it this fall.

But perhaps more gratifying is what’s happened in, through, around, and beyond myself, as the church itself has:

  • welcomed over 500 people at our Sunday services;
  • grown from a community of 50 to over 200 (and a second service);
  • multiplied from two small groups to eight, involving the vast majority of our church community;
  • combined with matching donors to raise over $100,000 for famine relief in the Horn of Africa;
  • put on a Kids Festival in the spring and a Fall Festival just last month that each connected us with several hundred people in our community; and
  • most recently, joined with other churches in our area to kick off an urban youth ministry program.

All of this comes down to your generosity–that helped me raise enough support to work part-time at the church–and your prayers–that, among other things, led me to my current part-time contract with ONE. I can’t offer a precise “dollars invested : lives impacted” ratio, but know that you have been and continue to make a difference in Washington, DC.

This next year, I’m sensing that God is calling me to this work full-time. Because our church is still young (at almost 18 months, I’d say we’re toddler-aged) and is reaching mostly young adults and unpaid interns, there’s a need for all of us to continue raising support. This year, I’m trusting God to provide $40,000 and I’m asking you to be a shareholder in this vision.Will you pray about how much of this you can give to help change lives, communities, and neighborhoods here in DC?

My ordination is only a week away. This is such a confirmation and affirmation of the calling God has for me. I know many of you won’t be able to make it to the actual ceremony, but one of the ways you can support me is by pledging your financial support for the next year.I also just want to issue an open invitation to you to come visit: come see the church that you (through me) have had a hand in planting here in the nation’s capital; come see the work that we’re engaging in; come see me in the place that God has called me to be, doing what I feel like I was always created to do. There’s guest space a-plenty!

Thankful for your part in my life and journey,
Justin.

P.S. We were just featured in the latest edition of the Religious Herald! Check it out. (Photo credit to me, my iPhone, and my Hipstamatic app.)


You can give online via Auto-Tithe. Please make sure to select “For the Ministry of Justin Fung” in the drop-down menu. Or you can make checks payable to “The District Church,” with “For the Ministry of Justin Fung” in the memo and send them to: The District Church, PO Box 3116, Washington, DC 20010.

All gifts are fully tax-deductible.

The Difference You Made

My last sermon, preached on July 17, was on Colossians 3:18-4:1–the “Wives, submit to your husbands” passage, and it was entitled, “Can We Make A Difference?” I’ll let you listen to it for yourselves if you haven’t already, but my main point was that oftentimes we wait for this or that situation or circumstance changes before we do what we think God wants us to do–just let me get this job first, or let me be in a relationship first, or let me get to this level of income first. But God calls us to make a difference where we are, in the places he has placed us. Right now.

And you already have, in my life. Because, with nine months of my year-long Leadership Residency over, I’m happy to announce that I’ve achieved the budget that I’d set out at the beginning of the year. To those of you who gave one-time, thank you. To those of you who have given regularly and committed to continue giving, thank you. To those of you who were unable to give but prayed instead, particularly when I asked for the provision of a job, thank you. Because it’s been a combination of your giving, and the prayers you prayed, which I credit for my landing the position at ONE, which has launched me over my target. So, thank you, thank you, thank you.

In my last email, I said that we’re still working out the future, and this remains true. Nothing’s been set in stone and there’s much still to be finalized, but I can say with a tiny amount of certainty and a large amount of faith that I’ll be in DC for a few years to come. I am, as I have felt all year, exactly where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what God has made me to do. An update will be coming soon, I (hope and) promise.

As always, grateful for your friendship and your faithfulness,
Justin.

Easter Sunday, CNN, kids getting shot

Time sure flies, doesn’t it? Next week, I’ll have been serving as the Leadership Resident at The District Church for SIX MONTHS. If you’ve been following/reading along, you’ll know it’s definitely been an adventure—getting to be a part of all the amazing things God has been doing in our neighborhood, in our city, and especially in our church.

April has been a particularly good month. ONE’s Lazarus Sunday campaign worked out extremely well, with churches all over the country, including The District Church, joining in to raise awareness about the issue of AIDS in Africa and the life-saving anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) that are making a phenomenal impact. I even got to be interviewed by CNN! (Full article and video here.)

I got the opportunity to preach on Palm Sunday last week, and then somewhat unexpectedly, this morning. Aaron and Amy had been going through the process of adopting a second kid, and everything came through between Thursday and Saturday morning. So they are now parents of a beautiful baby girl—Natalie Rose; and I was drafted to pinch-preach on Easter Sunday! This morning was a fantastic celebration—we had the most people we’ve ever had at a TDC service, and everything came together nicely!

And here, for your listening pleasure, are my first five messages from the last six months:

Finally, I also spoke at Young Life in the middle of the month, and while it’s hard to know how much ever goes in or sticks with these kids, I was able to say what I wanted to say—what I felt like God wanted me to say—and I guess I’m just leaving the rest to God! Things have been going well with building relationships, but recently, a couple of the boys were involved in a shooting incident and one was hit in the leg. He’s going to be okay, but it was a reminder that there’s still much work to be done. Your prayers would be greatly appreciated!

Wishing you life and peace in the name of the risen Christ,
Jus.