Emotionally Healthy Activism workshop recording now available
Feb 19, 2020|Written By: Nathan Walton
How do we pursue social justice in ways that are physically and emotionally sustainable? What is the relationship between activism and rest? What does emotionally healthy activism look like after August 12th? To explore these questions, Abundant Life and First United Methodist Church recently hosted InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Area Director Jonathan Walton for an interactive workshop titled “Emotionally Healthy Activism: Turning Moments into Sustainable Movements.” The author of Twelve Lies that Hold America Captive and the Truth that Sets Us Free drew on his experience as an activist and his expertise in Experiential Discipleship and Spiritual Formation to lead the workshop.
Jonathan invited attendees to probe the relationship between our inner lives and our outward social engagement. Too often we can commit ourselves to serving our communities, but then experience burnout or discouragement if we haven’t attended to how we are doing internally. After establishing that we are all called to the work of activism as people who stand against the patterns of the world that oppose God’s kingdom, Jonathan helped us to reflect on how we can engage in that work sustainably.
THE 4 ‘R’S
Next, Jonathan outlined a framework called the “4 Rs”: Rest, Restore, Resist, Repeat. “Rest” refers to the rhythms of our lives when we resist the cultural idol of busyness and instead engage in practices of rest and sabbath. “Restore” refers to taking advantage of opportunities to do things that give us joy and life, and foster intimacy with God. “Resist” denotes the ways that we should actively oppose the social forces and structures that stand against God’s kingdom. Finally, “Repeating” these rhythms can position us to do impactful community work for the long haul.
For the full workshop, check out the video below. In addition to Charlottesville First United Methodist Church, Abundant Life would like to thank Charlottesville Vineyard Church, Faith Christian Center International, Christ Episcopal Church, Olivet Presbyterian Church, and Project on Lived Theology for partnering with us in putting on this event!