Resources on Justice

Below is a list of books and articles on various topics related to justice. These resources will help you learn more about a variety of issues and help frame our responses as Christians.

On Social Justice Generally:

Good News About Injustice: A Witness of Courage in a Hurting World, by Gary Haugen

  • The founder of International Justice Mission gives the biblical foundation for God's heart for justice and shows how Christians can seek justice in the world.

Social Justice Handbook: Small Steps for a Better World, by Mae Elise Cannon

  • A comprehensive reference that provides research, history, and practical steps on issues from domestic violence and sex trafficking to bioethics and global poverty.

Becoming a Just Church: Cultivating Communities of God's Shalom, by Adam Gustine

  • Encourages local congregations to not outsource justice to outside organizations and to be just in how they interact with their communities.

On Immigration and Refugees:

Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion and Truth in the Immigration Debate, by Matt Soerens and Jenny Yang

  • World Relief specialists explain the complexities of immigration policy, debunk misconceptions, and show how churches can care for immigrants and refugees.

You Welcomed Me: Loving Refugees and Immigrants Because God First Loved Us, by Kent Annan

  • Director of Wheaton College’s Humanitarian and Disaster Institute suggests concrete and practical ways to live out the welcoming embrace of God without fear, to those around us.

Love Undocumented: Risking Trust in a Fearful World, by Sarah Quezada

The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong, by Karen Gonzalez

Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible, by Daniel Carroll

“Christians are on All Sides of the Immigration Debate,” Christianity Today

On Race in America:

Beyond Colorblind: Redeeming Our Ethnic Journey, by Sarah Shin

  • Shows how racial conflict and brokenness requires ethnic identity formation and crosscultural competency.

White Awake: An Honest Look at What It Means to Be White, by Daniel Hill

  • A white pastor unpacks issues of cultural identity and discomfort and how whites can be agents of reconciliation in a diverse world.

Black and White: Disrupting Racism One Friendship at a Time, by Teesha Hadra, John Hambrick

  • C4SO pastor Hadra and her friend Hambrick show how racism can be disrupted by friendships that challenge our ways of viewing and living in the world.

Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism, by Drew Hart

  • Challenging both white and black Christians to reconsider ways we view race and the church, while offering practical suggestions for those committed to racial justice in society and the Church.

Rethinking Incarceration: Advocating for Justice That Restores, by Dominique Gilliard

  • A focus on the ills of mass incarceration and how we can move from punitive models of justice to more restorative, redemptive ones.

“The American Church’s Complicity in Racism: A Conversation with Jemar Tisby,” Religion & Politics

On Disabilities:

Living Gently in a Violent World: The Prophetic Witness of Weakness, by Stanley Hauerwas and Jean Vanier

  • An exploration of how Christian community that includes a recognition of our weakness can provide a counter-cultural witness to a violent world.

Riding on Faith: Keeping Your Balance When the Wheels Fall Off, by Alice Teisan

  • Savior member Alice Teisan’s memoir about her spiritual journey with disability. Contact Alice for a free Kindle download between 8/17 and 8/24.

A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations and A Little Girl Named Penny, by Amy Julia Becker

  • Becker writes about her unexpected journey of hope and grace while walking alongside her daughter, Penny, who has Down’s-Syndrome.

We Need Each Other: Responding to God's Call to Live Together, by Jean Vanier

  • Vanier, founder of the L’Arche communities, provides a vision for life lived together as broken children of a loving God, humbled and inspired to love one another, no matter our weakness.

“The Ministry of the Disabled,” Christianity Today

Staff Update: Sandy Richter

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. 

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

Matthew 18:1-5, 10-14

Over the years, I keep coming back to this passage and it’s synoptic twin in Luke 19, marveling and wondering at the connection between owning our childlikeness and receiving the gift of the kingdom of God. I find this reality both irresistible and unbelievable at the same time. While I feel myself drawn in to the simplicity of entering the kingdom as a child, it also seems audacious, impossible, and goes against every success-driven instinct within me. And then I wonder at myself. Is it hard to believe because it seems too easy, or is it that chlidlike faith actually seems like a bridge too far? Is it possible that rather than esteeming childlikeness I have, as the passage suggests, despised it instead?

Yesterday, Pray As You Go (a lectionary-based lectio divina podcast) reflecting on this passage, posed this question:

Jesus insists that God our loving Father wants no [little] one to be lost. Our world is full of ‘little ones’ – people who count for nothing, who are routinely ignored.  We also carry a child inside ourselves – the vulnerable person within. What is Jesus telling us about the way we treat fragility when we meet it?

When I heard that last question it struck me plainly how easy it is for me to despise childlikeness, fragility, especially in myself, rather than to see it as the gift Jesus claims it to be. Fragility, vulnerability, are scary. If I’m honest, I’m ashamed of those places that feel weak, powerless, unsure. But the passage made me wonder, what is Jesus’ invitation in those vulnerable places?

St. Thérèse of Liseux, who lived her short life in late 1800s northern France, described her own complicated relationship with childlike faith. On the one hand, she desperately desired to please God and to experience communion with him. At the same time, she felt her own weakness keenly, and wondered how she could even aspire to the great spiritual heights she so desired. The revelation she received from the Lord, and from that point sought to pass on to others, she described thusly:

...the elevator that would lift me up to Heaven is your arms, O Jesus! To reach perfection, I do not need to grow up. On the contrary, I need to stay little, to become more and more little. O my God, you have surpassed my expectations and I wish to sing of your mercies.

Rather than despise her weakness and limitations, Thérèse found encouragement to be reconciled to her childlikeness as that which would move her towards God and his gracious love. She found this freeing realization:

What pleases him is to see that I love my littleness and my poverty, it is the blind hope that I have in his mercy...That is my only treasure.

The image of the shepherd searching long and tirelessly for the one lost sheep comes to mind here. The Shepherd, does not despise the sheep’s waywardness, shows no signs of exasperation as he begins his search, but diligently seeks the lost sheep, sights set on the joy and happiness that will result when he finds that lost sheep and brings her home. Indeed, Jesus says, our Father in heaven is not willing that any lost sheep, lost child, would perish, but instead that each one should enter his heavenly kingdom, carried in the strong arms of the Great Shepherd of the sheep (Heb. 13:20).

I wonder if you have ever found yourself despising your own fragility.

I wonder what might happen if we admit that we are lost, and allow ourselves to be found.

Little children, lost sheep… the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. What might it mean for us to receive this great grace today?

Quotes from St. Thérèse taken from Jacques Philippe, The Way of Trust and Love, p. 10 and 64.

Sandy Richter, Savior’s Pastor of Adult Formation, grew up in the Church of God, but gravitated toward 'higher church' settings in college, making her way to the ACNA and Church of the Savior in 2013. Sandy and her husband love the liturgy and tradition they have found in Anglicanism, and the warmth and depth of spirituality at Savior.

Sandy Richter, Savior’s Pastor of Adult Formation, grew up in the Church of God, but gravitated toward 'higher church' settings in college, making her way to the ACNA and Church of the Savior in 2013. Sandy and her husband love the liturgy and tradition they have found in Anglicanism, and the warmth and depth of spirituality at Savior.


Summer Slowing for the Soul

It’s already August, and if you are like me, you may be realizing that your summer has not included as much rest as you hoped it would when it first began. If this describes you, then the booklet Pastor Sandy Richter prepared for Savior’s summer silent retreat may be exactly what you need. Sandy provides us with spiritual exercises that help us move into the rest provided by a savior whose yoke is easy and burden is light.

Click here to access the retreat booklet.

Image credit: Elizabeth Wang, T-01406-OL, “God the Father greets with delight the briefest whisper of prayer and the briefest moment of our time. In the life of union, He can lift us high in contemplation,” copyright © Radiant Light 2006,

Summer Sermon Series: Wisdom Books and the Outergram

Over the past 5 weeks, our sermons have explored the Bible’s Wisdom Literature – Job, Proverbs, Psalms, Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes. In these books, some well-known and some rarely read, we have gained wisdom for our lives today. In case your summer travels caused you to miss a week or two, here is a quick summary with links to the audio:

  • Job: In our suffering we naturally want answers. God doesn’t give those to Job or to us.But the questions of God prove more satisfying than the solutions of humans. Encounter with God is better than explanations.

  • Proverbs: Wisdom is the ability to make good decisions. We develop that ability by fearing the Lord, studying Scripture, and learning from life circumstances.

  • Psalms: How honest are we in prayer, really? The Psalms model for us how to be completely honest with God, even to the point of accusing him and venting our hate for others. Yet Jesus “sings a new psalm” of forgiving those who’ve hurt us.

  • Song of Songs: What is romantic love? Correcting both the culture and the church, Song of Songs teaches us that love is good, love is powerful, and love is non-ultimate.

  • Ecclesiastes: In Ecclesiastes, we see a call to move away from chasing God’s good gifts towards receiving these gifts with gratitude and a sense of mystery.

Now I look forward to a 4-part sermon series I’ve playfully dubbed “The Outergram: how we at Savior can serve our world.” I’m praying that God will give us a bigger picture of the many ways we can love and be present to people around us. The sermons will cover the following topics:

  • Live Our Vocations (July 27): Mother Linda kicks off the series by helping us see our daily work as participating in God’s work in the world.

  • Create Cultures of Compassion (August 3): Our politics and social media and too often, families and workplaces, have shrill arguments, putdowns, abuse. As Christians, we help to create a counterculture of compassion. I will talk about how.

  • Engage Globally (August 10): Longtime Savior missionaries Kim and Collin Sanford will be visiting from France and will answer: “Since most of us live and work near Wheaton, how can we be involved with the work of God around the world?”

  • Pray for and Seek Justice (August 17): What does it take to speak out on behalf of those being treated unfairly—refugees, African-Americans, poor people, and more?

Kevin Miller was editor and vice-president at Christianity Today for 26 years and then associate rector at Church of the Resurrection for 5 years. He has been the rector at Savior since January 2017, and is also the co-founder of and

Kevin Miller was editor and vice-president at Christianity Today for 26 years and then associate rector at Church of the Resurrection for 5 years. He has been the rector at Savior since January 2017, and is also the co-founder of and


Youth Ministry Update

Thrift Shop Prom

Thrift Shop Prom

This summer has been fun and eventful for our youth group. We haven’t been meeting weekly, but we’ve gathered several times to enjoy one another’s company and the freedom of summer. We kicked the summer off—and welcomed our new sixth graders—with a Thrift Shop Prom. For this event, students were asked to find a colorful and creative costume at a thrift shop. We then proceeded to play games and dance the night away! We had a lot of fun, and the students took their outfits seriously. They looked great!

Our second event of the summer was our All Nighter. We began the evening with dinner at Portillo’s and entertainment at the Sycamore Speedway. We watched lots of races, and they concluded the evening’s festivities with a demolition derby. We returned to All Souls for prayer at midnight, 3am, and 6am. Between times of communal prayer, we played games and watched a movie. It was crazy, but once again, we had a lot of fun being together. In July, we gathered to have pizza and play board games, and next week, we’re gathering to play more games (not the board kind) and eat more pizza (we’d love to see our students there! July 24, 6-9pm, at PHCC).

Some students from our youth group are headed for a mission trip in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood in early August. Josiah Hsu is still selling prayer cards! Please pray for all our students that they will have a good and safe experience and that they encounter the presence of God in the people they meet.

In my role as Youth Coordinator this year, it’s been my main goal to identify and begin to develop a unique identity for Savior’s youth ministry. I’ve spent most of my time getting to know our students and their families, adding more organization to our ministry, and developing communication and visibility for the youth ministry. Our youth ministry is growing, and we want our ministry for students and families to connect to and sync with everything we do at Savior. Our students are not the future of the church, they are an important part of the church right now, and we want to encourage them as much as we can as they grow and mature in faith. God began a good work in our youth ministry long before me, and as I prepare to pass this role back to Mary (and whoever comes after me), I am confident that God will continue to be faithful to our students and their leaders.

Andrew and I have spent the summer brainstorming new ideas for youth group in the fall, choosing new curriculum for our Saturday evening Youth Worship meeting, and dreaming about what the future of youth ministry at Savior could be. We’re hoping to spend more time in the coming ministry year helping students practice spiritual disciplines, developing a communal rule of life, and continuing to teach our students how to love Jesus with their heads, hearts, and hands. We’re also hoping to recruit a few new leaders from Savior to lead our students, so if you sense that God is calling you to a new season of serving our students, please, let Mary or me know (I promise that we only stay up all night one night a year).

Finally, as we look toward the new ministry year, I will be sad to be missing it. It’s been an honor and a joy to serve the junior high and high school students, and their families, of Church of the Savior (and All Souls). My husband, Dawson, and I will be moving to Columbus, Ohio, at the beginning of August so that Dawson can begin working on his PhD in Sociology at Ohio State University. We have absolutely loved our time at Savior, and we will miss you all greatly. Thank you so much for welcoming us enthusiastically and trusting me readily to minister to your teenagers. I know that God has a wonderful plan for the youth at Savior, and I anticipate that this ministry will continue to grow and flourish.

Ellen works at Savior as the Youth Coordinator. She is also an Editor of Bibles & Reference at Tyndale House Publishers; she has worked there since 2014. She has worked and volunteered in a variety of youth ministries over the past decade and she began attending Savior in 2017.

Ellen works at Savior as the Youth Coordinator. She is also an Editor of Bibles & Reference at Tyndale House Publishers; she has worked there since 2014. She has worked and volunteered in a variety of youth ministries over the past decade and she began attending Savior in 2017.