The Justice Calling Book Launch with Audio

We had a wonderful gathering of folks from the community and University gather to listen to authors, Bethany Hanke Hoang and Kristen Deede Johnson share about their new book, The Justice Calling: Where Passion Meets Perseverance. Moderated by UVa Law Professor Barbara Armacost and responded to by a panel of community leaders from The Haven, The Arbor, Abundant Life Ministries, IMPACT Charlottesville and Casa Alma, we enjoyed a thoughtful and honest discussion about the call to justice that rests on the sustaining practices of Sabbath, Eucharist, gratitude, lament and community.

Listen to the talk here.

Photos here

The Justice Calling draws us into the whole story of Scripture, inviting us to know more intimately the God who loves justice and calls us to give our lives to seek the flourishing of others.  (Brazos Press, 2016).

Bethany Hanke Hoang (MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary) engages leaders around the world with the critical connection between justice and spiritual formation; she advises and speaks on behalf of the Institute for Biblical Justice for International Justice Mission.  

Kristen Deede Johnson (PhD, University of St. Andrews) is associate professor of theology and Christian formation at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. She teaches and writes in the areas of theology, culture, formation, and political theory. She is a graduate of UVa.


Barbara Armacost (BS, UVa; MTS, Regent College, University of British Columbia; JD, UVa) is a Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law.  The focus of her academic work is constitutional criminal procedure and regulation of police misconduct.  Professor Armacost teaches in the areas of criminal procedure, religious freedom, torts, legislation, and civil rights. 

Community Panelists

The Arbor // Seth Wispelwey: Seth Wispelwey is Executive Director for The Arbor Charlottesville.  The Arbor provides safe housing, case management services, and restorative programming for adult female survivors of human trafficking here in Central Virginia. He has over a decade of experience mobilizing people of faith and conscience to engage and advocate for various social justice issues, previously working for International Justice Mission, ONE, Bread for the World, Fair Trade Boston, et al.  He holds a Master’s in Pastoral Ministry from Boston College and is an alumnus of Dear Old UVA.

Abundant Life Ministries // Rydell Payne: Rydell Payne has been the Executive Director since September 1999 when he brought new ideas and energy to Abundant Life. Rydell and his wife Hope have three boys and are members of Christ Community Church. Prior to CALM, Rydell served at-risk youth for 12 years with the City of Charlottesville’s Community Attention Therapeutic Foster Care Program. A native of Fluvanna County, he holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from James Madison University.

Casa Alma // Laura Brown (MSW): Laura and her husband, Steve, are co-founders and resident volunteers at Casa Alma, Charlottesville's Catholic Worker community. Casa Alma provides hospitality to low-income families in need, sponsors times of prayer, cultivates simple living on an urban farm, and engages in work for justice. Laura is a member of the Church of the Incarnation and a student in the Living School for Action and Contemplation.

The Haven // Stephen Hitchcock: Stephen Hitchcock is the executive director and chaplain of The Haven, a low-barrier day shelter and housing resource center for those experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty in Central Virginia. He is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

IMPACT Charlottesville // Joshua Scott: Josh Scott is the Lead Organizer for IMPACT which empowers faith communities of greater Charlottesville to systemically address community problems by building justice ministries. Josh is a 2012 Government graduate of UVA and is a Board Member for the Charlottesville Vineyard Christian Church where he also is a co-leader of their worship band.


This event was brought to you by the Virginia Festival of the Book, Theological Horizons, the Project on Lived Theology and New City Commons.