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Justice Ministry is a ministry of First Church

Raising awareness, educating, sharing resources and information, and actively addressing core issues of injustice and inequality in our community and beyond.

Learn to do good. Seek justice: help the oppressed;
defend the orphan; plead for the widow.
Isaiah 1:17 CEB

February is Black History Month

February is Black History Month and an opportunity for all of us to celebrate and reflect upon the remarkable contributions African Americans have made to American history. No matter who we are or what our background is, Black history is a part of our history. Through its R2 Hub, The General Commission on Religion and Race has provided 29 unique ways to participate in Black History Month and make a difference in your community. Discover new ways you can participate.

Our Social Principles 2020

Since its founding, the United Methodist Church has spoken to the issues of the day as an expression of the Wesleyan commitment to social holiness. The 2020 revised Social Principles continues this tradition. The Social Principles are not church law. Instead, they represent the prayerful and earnest efforts of the General Conference to speak to issues in the contemporary world from a sound biblical and theological foundation that is in keeping with the best of our United Methodist traditions. Click the image to read the Social Principals 2020 document.


Try The Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge

The Challenge provides an abundance of resources just waiting to empower you to be a more informed player in the quest for equity and justice.

Includes suggestions for readings, podcasts, videos, observations, and ways to form and deepen community connections.

Powerful prayer:   It Is Enough!

The Justice Ministry Team would also like suggest
the following resources to learn more about this

important justice issue and how you can help.

UMC Dismantling Racism

Council of Bishops The Scourge of Racism

Reconciling Hearts

First Church is a member of Reconciling Ministries Network, which works to help UMC members and churches become intentionally inclusive especially for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender people (LGBT). Reconciling Hearts is the local ministry here at First Church for anyone who is interested in developing and nurturing a culture that is welcoming and affirming, and seeks to build a more inclusive church.

Resources, information and updates in the inclusiveness struggles within the United Methodist Church.

Justice Matters

Justice Matters is a collaboration of 21 religious organizations that have joined together in order to research viable solutions to systemic situations that exist in the city. Members of First Church participate as Justice Network Members (JNM), who agree to work alongside clergy in building a powerful justice ministry within the congregation that promotes love, hope, promise, and abundance and extends into the life of the local community.

Interested in being part of the Justice Matters Network? Contact one of our Team Leaders:

Deb Engstrom, Janelle Johnson, John Krehbiel,

Rose Schmidt, Gary Schmidt, and Ann Spangler 

Community Meeting Update.

What can we do? Deb Engstrom, a co-chair of Justice Matters’ jail alternatives committee, said those actions should start with reading and sharing the full Vera Institute Report, which is available on Douglas County’s website.


“Talk to your friends, talk to your neighbors, your faith community, any organizations you belong to, and encourage them to become knowledgeable,” Engstrom said. “Because knowledge is power, and that’s what this is all about.”

Gun Violence Prevention

The Justice Ministry team devoted a series of sessions to exploring reactions and responses to gun violence in our communities. Some of the statistics and data reviewed can be found in the Faith and Facts Card below.

As part of the focus on Gun Violence, the Justice Ministry team produced a survey that was give out to the First Church Family.  259 surveys were completed and returned to the Justice Ministry team.  View the results of the Gun Violence Survey below.