Disciples Justice Action Network, known by the acronym DJAN, traces its beginning to the mid 90's when ecumenical Protestant churches suffered declining income for mission, declining membership, and a crisis in courage. In the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), this led to a restructure that eliminated the Department of Church in Society, and made working on justice issues difficult for longtime staff members who specialized in social witness.
To many socially concerned members of the Disciples of Christ, it appeared that the denomination was being seriously tempted to practice corporate irresponsibility and public issue irrelevancy. Seventy five persons at a General Assembly in Pittsburgh in 1995 called for a federation of existing peace and justice groups and political activists to make the case for prophetic witness. The next year, 1996, at Park Manor Christian Church in Chicago, 100 persons formally began the Disciples Justice Action Network.
What began as a protest against an apparent denominational withdrawal from social witness has grown to be a corporate force of its own. Over a period of time, leaders of the denomination have welcomed this new expression and given it a place in church life, even though it is not under denominational control.
DJAN has been very active at General Assemblies by organizing well-attended workshops, after-sessions and public witness events; distributing at its exhibit area materials and information about justice issues, events, and organizations; and helping congregations craft resolutions and get them through the resolution process]. Many resolutions come from DJAN-related congregations, and all of them, so far, have passed.
It is in part because of the DJAN movement that the Disciples of Christ are looking anew at their appropriate extra-congregational role in social witness.
DJAN is guided by a multi-racial, multi-cultural, geographically dispersed Decisions Team of both individuals and representatives from member organizations. We make use of social media, send out updates, and publish a newsletter, Call to Justice!
DJAN's founding co-chairs were James Demus, III, from Chicago (now deceased) and Nancy Hunt Wirth from Tulsa, the current Secretary of DJAN. The original volunteer coordinators were May and Harvey Lord (both now deceased). All staff members were then and are today volunteers.
We invite you and your congregation or group to join in DJAN's ongoing mission by becoming a member online or by sending in a contribution.
For more information on joining us or renewing your membership, please click HERE.