Janet found the face-to-face meetings with clients during intake to be especially transformative, their needs frequently going beyond the scope of what legal assistance could provide. Although she was able to offer them her legal expertise, their stories were often filled with dark and difficult chapters. “In some cases, we met the face of profound despair,” Janet says. “This is the humanizing encounter and one where Jesus has called us to be present.”
At our 2nd annual Jazz For Justice event, we sit down with Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic ED Chris Purnell to learn more about the Clinic’s passion for Indianapolis and its most vulnerable populations.
When did you first become engaged with the Clinic and why? Tell us your story in the comments below or find us on Instagram & Twitter @NCLegalClinic and be sure to use #MyClinicStory #StoriesOfJustice
Community is true when it is gritty and glorious; sacrificial and satisfying; when it is a fellowship of “differents” gathered around a shared vision of justice, a shared Savior. But we must come expecting to be poured out, to sacrifice. If I seek fulfillment in community, I will leave empty. If I seek to be emptied for the community, I will find fulfillment.
This rainy month of April we spent time ruminating on how our faith compels us to acts of compassion. In lock-step with this theme, the Clinic’s semiannual Refugee Adjustment Day* took place on April 25th. On that day, 24 volunteers from College Park Church (as part of their annual SERVE day), plus 9 additional volunteer attorneys, worked with our staff to help 62 immigrants apply for Legal Permanent Residence. All in one day!
It is easy to understand how and why other people hurt—at least when they’re in your office, crumpled tissues in hand, the empathy flows. But sympathy and empathy alone can leave you in the realm of pitying people. And we have not been called to pity people. Our call is to “(a)dminister true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another” (Zechariah 7:9).
Have you been trying to decide how to get more involved with your community, but don’t know where to start? Want a fun night out with a humanitarian twist? Join us for our 2nd annual Jazz for Justice event, a night full of jazzy tunes and scrumptious food (we’re talking Cajun BBQ meatballs, roasted veggie platter, spinach-artichoke dip, and chocolate-covered strawberries!).
The beauty and effectiveness of this relationship is perhaps most keenly evinced by our collaboration on Refugee Adjustment Day, when the Clinic and College Park come together at the end of April to assist dozens of refugees in obtaining their green cards. These kinds of works are a natural consequence of the Body of Christ partnering with one another. Dale explains, “You do life together under the umbrella of the Gospel and really good things happen.”
“Compassion is loving others … I’ve learned one of the most important things is to just hear someone’s story. To stop, put your pencil down, because life is so busy and hard and complicated that people don’t give each other time.”
On April 30, 2015 at 1:30 PM, bankruptcy attorney Matthew Gaudin will host a training for attorneys with little or no bankruptcy experience in the specifics of helping someone to file. According to Matt, this training offers a unique opportunity for attorneys who want to expand their practice area. But this is not the only perk.