Let me begin by saying a big thank you for your continued financial support of Just Love. As you will see below in reference to our Alumni Conference, we are currently doing a lot of thinking as a movement about generosity. This has given us in the funding department pause to reflect on the remarkable generosity of so many people involved in Just Love. From the few individuals and organisations who kept Just Love afloat in the early years, to the more than 400 regular donors who ensure we have financial stability today, we are thankful. Thank you also for all the other ways you have supported Just Love, whether in prayer, connections, or advice.
The major update concerns our students. As term begins, our student groups are running launch events and are beginning to volunteer in-person again. We gathered around 100 of these student leaders in London for JLAT (Just Love Autumn Training) last month, to inspire and equip them to see justice done in their universities this academic year. In our Alumni Network, preparation is firmly underway for our annual conference on November 20th on the theme of Generosity, with a small-group series (called “Sixes”) on the same theme to follow the event. Finally, our staff team has grown! Details on all of these updates are below.
We hosted our autumn training event (JLAT) for three days at the beginning of September, one of our two national training events. Around 100 of our student leaders (those on Just Love committee) attended JLAT in London (at Christ Church W4) and we live-streamed the training to those who were not able to come. Unfortunately, the pandemic prevented all our students from attending, whilst mandatory daily testing ensured we went above and beyond government guidelines. This was an inspiring time for our students, with sessions on topics such as racial justice, climate change, and leadership development. Speakers included, beyond our own staff, the likes of Chine McDonald and Jack Wakefield. The feedback was remarkably positive, with 91% of attendees describing training as “excellent.”
This year’s Just Love Alumni Day is on Saturday November 20th. You can see the event details here. For the first time ever, we are hosting this conference at three different locations: London, Sheffield, and Glasgow (as well as live-streaming online). This is a great opportunity for our graduates to build relationships with those in their region. The conference theme is Generosity: we want to explore what it looks like to live generously with our whole selves and for the rest of our lives. Alongside worship, seminars, and career-specific sessions, our main talks are on “The Gift of Abundance,” “Embracing Freedom and Cost,” and “The Invitation to Generosity.” Also, launching off the conference will be our third series of Sixes, small groups of alumni who dive deep together into topics around theology, leadership, and justice impact. The upcoming series is also on the theme of Generosity, and will feature interviews with Harvey Kwiyani on Ubuntu, Ruth Padilla DeBorst on Hospitality, and Kar Yong Lim on Generosity in Paul’s Letters. Our alumni are currently in the middle of Sixes Series 2 on the theme of Embodied Faith, including expert interviews with Rachel Gardner, Mike Pilavachi, and Nijay Gupta.
In the middle of August we grew our staff team to 13. Whilst saying goodbye to the wonderfully creative Tiria Barnes, who is now working for the Mayor of Liverpool, we hired three new members of staff. Eilidh Harbison is working with students in Edinburgh, St Andrews, and Dundee, thus doubling our staff capacity in Scotland. Hannah Simpson is supporting students in Sheffield, York, and Manchester, and Sienna Sexton is working with our groups in Birmingham, Nottingham, and Oxford. Find out about these new employees, or any of our team, at this webpage. We are very thankful to have this increased staff capacity, so we can pour more time and energy into supporting both our students and alumni in their pursuit of justice. Thank you for the role you’ve played in making this happen.