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The Hebrew word for justice appears over 200 times in the Old Testament. Our God is a God of justice and He cares deeply about those who are vulnerable. As people of God, so should we.

In Micah 6:8 we read,

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

This fall, Dr. Michael Wise and Pastor Brian Schulenburg will be hosting a study on Biblical Justice. Each week will include a teaching time with various speakers from around the Twin Cities and our nation. We will study what the Bible teaches us about racial reconciliation, ministry to those who are grieving, God’s heart for refugees, the unborn, orphans and those who are poor. We’ll hear from urban pastors, ministry leaders and everyday people who are living their lives on mission for Jesus.

This study will be offered in a variety of settings: Community Groups, LifeGroups and on demand through RightNow Media for those who prefer to do this study on their own.

Community Groups: Larger groups that typically meet on Sunday mornings at our Eden Prairie campus. Several of these groups will be offering the class via Zoom beginning on Sunday, September 13. Email discipleship@wooddale.org for help in finding a group that fits your needs.

LifeGroups: Smaller groups that typically meet in homes or via Zoom. Several of our LifeGroups will be offering the class, beginning in September. Email discipleship@wooddale.org for help in finding a group that fits your needs.

On demand: Beginning September 13, each week’s video will be posted on this page and also uploaded to RightNow Media. Click on the button below for access to RightNow Media.

You can register for this study by clicking the button below.

Week 1

God of Justice

This lesson will look at what the Bible says about the heart of God as it relates to justice. It will set the stage and a theological framework for the rest of this series. We’ll look at those communities that God speaks of often from the Old Testament to the New Testament: the widow, the orphan, the refugee, the prisoner, the oppressed and the poor.

Teacher: Dr. Michael Wise, scholar-in-residence and professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Languages at the University of Northwestern

Week 2

Building Bridges: The Work and the Joy of Racial Reconciliation

What would it look like for real racial reconciliation to happen in our lifetime? What does racial reconciliation even mean? How does racial reconciliation demonstrate what Christ has done for the Church? Why must society see the Church leading the way as it relates to reconciliation? Pastor Ryan Fair from New Hope Church will lead us in a discussion of the work of building bridges toward racial reconciliation.

Teacher: Ryan Fair, executive director, New Hope Church, New Hope, MN

Week 3

One But Not the Same

America is dreadfully divided over politics, race, gender and class. Unfortunately, the Church has dropped the ball in these areas as well. Galatians 3:28 states, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Paul gives us the Kingdom paradigm for how Christians can be one without being the same.

Teacher: Dr. Chris Williamson, Strong Tower Bible Church, Nashville, TN

Week 4

Colorful: How to Talk With Kids About Race

Children’s author Dorena Williamson wrote the best-selling children’s book Colorful as a creative way to replace colorblindness with a FULL celebration of the colors God made, especially the diverse colors of our skin. It has been her joy to see kids and parents around the world resonate with this book!

We are living in an unprecedented season of racial awakening. Many are asking for more tools to plant seeds in the hearts of children. Dorena recently built on the message of Colorful with an additional resource that will help children find their place in God’s diverse Kingdom and glorify Him by bearing much fruit.

This lesson will focus on how parents and grandparents can talk with their kids and grandkids about race.

Teacher: Dorena Williamson, first lady at Strong Tower Bible Church, Nashville, TN and author of several books for children with B&H Publishing

Week 5

God’s Heart for Those Who Are Grieving

The Bible has much to say about God’s heart for those in grief. A society that neglects to care for those in pain does not reflect the heart of God. This lesson will look at practical ways the Church can be a conduit of Biblical justice and compassion as it relates to those who have suffered loss or are going through periods of pain.  

Teachers: Jim Bast & Pete Ruliffson, lay leaders at Wooddale Church, A Place at the Table (APATT) ministry

Week 6

God’s Heart for the Refugee

For years, Wooddale Church has partnered with Arrive Minnesota to welcome refugee families with open arms. Why is refugee ministry so important? How should we think about refugees in our politically charged climate? What is the heart of God as it relates to refugees? What is the difference between a refugee and an immigrant? This session will answer these questions and more.

Teacher: Bob Oehrig, executive director, Arrive Ministries, Richfield, MN

Week 7

God’s Heart for the Unborn

Psalm 139 says, “You saw me before I was born and scheduled every day of my life before I began to breathe. How precious it is to realize that you are thinking about me constantly. When I awaken in the morning your thoughts turn towards me and when I go sleep at night even then your thoughts are still with me. If I were count them they would outnumber the stars in the sky.” The Bible speaks about the sanctity of human life over and over again. It is vital for the Church to speak up for the most vulnerable among us, the unborn. We also need to respond with grace and forgiveness to those who have experienced an abortion.

Teacher: Tammy Kocher, executive director, New Life Family Services, Richfield, MN

Week 8

God’s Heart for the Poor

The Bible is clear about what God’s heart is as it relates to the poor. In this message we’ll look at ways the Church can come alongside those who are vulnerable due to any number of issues. We’ll look at what we can do about homelessness, food insecurity, pure drinking water and disease control around the world.

Teacher: Grant Snyder, police lieutenant, Minneapolis Police Department; lead for Minneapolis Police Homelessness and Vulnerable Populations Initiative; former lead detective fighting juvenile human trafficking; Wooddale Church Loring Park attendee

Week 9

God’s Heart for the Orphan

In August 2019 there were 905 children in the state of Minnesota waiting to be adopted. Many of those kids move from foster home to foster home. The statistics of what kids who end up in the foster care system go through is so sad. It doesn’t have to be that way. What if the Church of Jesus Christ stepped up and cared for orphans and vulnerable children the way Christ followers are commanded to care? Together for Good, a ministry partner of Wooddale Church, is there when vulnerable parents face crisis. When vulnerable parents face crisis, children are at risk. Let’s work together to ensure vulnerable mothers and children never walk alone. 

Teachers: Alicia Stratman, Wooddale Church member and social worker with Together for Good; Maridel Sandberg, executive director, Together for Good

Week 10

Antisemitism

Antisemitism is once again on the rise. We will take a look at the very real threat Jewish people face around the world and what the Church needs to know about this issue.

Teacher: Thom Berkowitz

Week 11

Where Do We Go From Here?

We’ve spent the past three months looking at different communities that have to one degree or another, experienced injustice. Where do we go from here? If this class were just an intellectual exercise, we’ve wasted our time. We’ll examine Matthew 25:31-46 and the radical implications for everyone who is a follower of Jesus.

Teacher: Pastor Brian Schulenburg, Wooddale Church, Eden Prairie