The Micah Center exists to educate people about the biblical call to do justice and how they can respond to that call in their local community. It accomplishes this work by hosting a monthly lecture series on biblical justice and applications to current issues; by facilitating advocacy groups that study issues, educate others, and advocate for policies that advance the cause of justice in areas such as poverty, the environment, health care, worker justice, and criminal justice; and a speakers bureau and library of resources on these issues.
Its name is a reference to Micah 6:8: "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
Its work is a response to the call in Proverbs 31: 8 & 9: "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. 9 Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."
The Micah Center traces its roots back to when Vern Hoffman, a retired pastor in the Reformed Church in America, dove deeply into the Old Testament book of Isaiah. From that intense study, he became convinced that churches need to be doing more to advance justice for the orphan, the immigrant, and the widow. Vern's first step was to start pulling people together for book studies on issues of faith and justice. After bringing a group together and studying several books on topics of faith and justice, the group decided they needed to do more than just study issues of justice; they needed to start educating others about issues of justice and taking action.
Out of these conversations about "doing justice", the idea for a justice-focused program was formed that would bring people together twice a month: once for a lecture about an issue of justice and once for a time period for people break down into advocacy groups that address specific justice issues. Three years ago, from September until May, 2009, this model of a lecture on the first Tuesday of every month and the development of advocacy groups on the third Tuesday of every month began.