Here we go a caroling . . .
I love Christmas carols. I have often shared about this during the Advent season. In the blog, on social media or if we’ve met IRL you are well aware of my love of all things Christmas and most especially the carols! They draw me into worship, challenge and refine my theology and just transport me to a manger in Bethlehem in ways few things can.
I love them all but I do play favorites . . .
I have been partial to O Come all Ye Faithful since before I could even understand all of the words. Before I could even really get what the chorus was calling me to:
O come let us adore him
O come let us adore him
O come let adore him
Christ the King
To adore Christ is to love, worship, honor and glorify him. Every time I sing this beautiful hymn I am reminded to come to Him from the places I have gone, places where I value something more than I value Jesus. I am reminded to adore Him, above the idols I have come to place before Him.
What Child Is This is a recent favorite. I love the verse:
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
Haste! I wonder, as I sing this, how often is my haste to bring praise to God? I hasten to do lot. To get my kids out the door on time in the morning, to make a meeting, to make a deadline. But how often do I hasten to bring praise to Jesus? This song is a beautiful reminder to do just that.
O Holy Night resonates with me deeply. The third verse especially:
His law is love and His Gospel is Peace
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother
And in His name, all oppression shall cease
This is what I know my faith to be about. Jesus came to bring peace, good news to the poor and set the oppressed free! (Luke 4:18). We are often a broken expression of this fundamental truth of our call, but I love being brought back to it, being reminded that Jesus did not remain a baby in a manger, but became a leader who preached God’s love, power and justice and we are called to be his expression of this in the world.
Joy to the world the Lord has come and we can rejoice because He remains here with us. May you live in this truth as you celebrate the rest of this Christmas season!
Elizabeth 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. Currently she is pursuing a Masters of Theology at the BU School of Theology. 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.
Ivy Sweeting, assistant Executive Director
As a servant leader, with her heart on her sleeve, Ivy has nearly 8 years’ experience working with “systems involved” youth, whether from working in contract with the Department of Children and Families, Department of Mental Health, Department of Youth Services, or the City of Boston.
As the Metro Youth Reentry Coordinator for Straight Ahead Ministries, Ivy ministers and serves those often forgotten about and asking for love in the most unloving ways—youth and young adults in gangs throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Ivy appreciates a holistic approach to eradicating injustice, by further understanding and evaluating the physical, mental, emotional, financial, and spiritual makeup of the community in which she serves. Having recently received a calling over her life to become a Pastor, Ivy is currently pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Ministry while holding a Master of Criminal Justice from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Framingham State University.
Ivy is passionate in encouraging her community, to “Trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding; but in all our ways submit to him, and he will make our paths straight” as her earthly father had always encouraged her (Proverbs 3:5-6).
S. Kyle Johnson
Kyle is a theologian, teacher, and activist. He is currently a PhD Candidate in Systematic Theology at Boston College. His research focuses on demonology, specifically investigating the demonization of Black and indigenous bodies in Christian history, and the use of spiritual warfare language as anti-racist and anti-colonial rhetoric. He has a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Master of Theology from Boston College. Kyle grew up in Tennessee, but has lived in the Northeast for over 13 years. He has been actively involved in Presbyterian, Episcopal, and evangelical non-denominational churches, and currently attends Reservoir Church in Cambridge with his partner, Joelinda. Kyle is passionate about the Christian call justice, particularly as it pertains to anti-racism and economic justice. He is also passionate about teaching undergraduate students, and also loves traveling, gardening, and cooking!
Jessica was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago and has resided in the Boston area since 1996 when she came to the east coast to pursue her undergrad and graduate studies. She currently is a registered nurse at the Family Health Center of Worcester where she enjoys working with a diverse patient population. Jessica is passionate about social justice and the role that Christians have in addressing systemic injustices. Health care equity and criminal justice reform are issues especially close to her heart.
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.
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 about economic discipleship and living into God’s abundance.
Dira is a native of Boston and currently resides in Dorchester. She currently works as an Occupancy Coordinator at the Chelsea Housing Authority where she has spent over 11 years assisting families and elders with secure, safe, and affordable housing. She is passionateabout matters of justice and equity, particularly as it pertains to access to housing. As a result, she is an active member of a housing justice cohort that focuses on home ownership as a means of buildingwealth as a resistance against housing inequity and its connection to the economic and wealth gap amongst people of color. In her free time Ineudira enjoys taking vocal lessons and listening to music.
The work of the Boston Faith & Justice Network has been featured in a variety of publications:
- Religious News Service 2/2021
- Duke Divinity Faith & Leadership 9/2019
- Christian Science Monitor 1/2012 & 2/2009
- Huffington Post 5/2011
- Sojourners God’s Politics Blog 6/2011
- The Living Church 2/2013
For media inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.