Center for Contemplative Justice

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Mission Statement

The mission of the Center for Contemplative Justice, Inc. is to foster acts of corporate justice arising from contemplation. The mission furthermore is to support individuals in their contemplative life to the end that they form visions of personal well-being, which lead to visions for social and structural well-being.


The CCJ is not affiliated with any religious organization or institution, believing that a commitment to transformation through contemplation, leading to acts of justice, binds together many of the world’s religious traditions. We are an independent non-profit corporation with a broad charter to operate for charitable and educational purposes.

What does this mean in practical terms?

Several years ago, Becca Stevens and Dick Lodge wrote a white paper (Waiting at the Gates) describing an organization that could serve as a springboard for people launching their own ministries in Nashville and the greater world.  A central idea was the creation of a board comprised of representatives from many of the world's religions, to enhance interreligious dialogue and to draw upon the wisdom and contacts of leaders in Nashville.  The Center for Contemplative Justice was formed and granted 501(c)3 status in 2004. 

The concept was to create a 501(c)3 entity that may serve as an umbrella organization for people holding a vision so that they may birth their idea, nurture and grow it, eventually seeking independent 501(c)3 status as the situation warrants it.  The CCJ Board does not provide financial backing or staff for people proposing new programs, as this is a group of volunteers.

The first entity created under the CCJ umbrella was CCJ-Ecuador, the organization that manages Escuela Anne Stevens and the yearly pilgrimage to San Eduardo, Ecuador in March.  A second entity, CCJ-Botswana, was formed to manage the relationship with the Holy Cross Hospice in Gaborone, Botswana.  A CCJ Board member, Gordon Peerman, heard about a Texas ministry-Mobile Loaves & Fishes- through an NPR story.  After meeting with the leaders of MLF, Gordon submitted a proposal to launch Mobile Loaves & Fishes in Nashville under the non-profit umbrella of CCJ.  Within a few years, the Nashville organization had grown substantially and was ready to leave CCJ, becoming an independent 501(c)3 organization itself.

Finally, the CCJ sponsors speakers, programs, retreats and other educational forums, including a contemplative Eucharist service held the second and fourth Sundays of each month at the A-frame chapel, led by Rev. Scott Owings and Rev. Gordon Peerman.

For more information about CCJ or to learn more about submitting a proposal to the Board, contact Lissa Smith at


CCJ-Ecuador: Escuela Anne Stevens

CCJ-Ecuador oversees and supports a program in San Eduardo, Ecuador that includes a school and a medical clinic. Each year, approximately 30 people travel to San Eduardo during the first week of March to meet with the community, faculty of Escuela Anne Stevens, and hold a medical clinic.  Escuela Anne Stevens, founded in 1999, is a school for ~80 students ages 5-12 with six faculty members. The medical clinic serves approximately 900 patients each year.  Allen Karns ( ) coordinates the annual trip and ongoing efforts to support the children and faculty at the school.

Visit the Ecuador Pilgrimage page, which contains more information about the school and medical clinic needs, ways to get involved, and movies to see the school and our friends of San Eduardo.


Sibimbe women

Sibimbe is a sewing cooperative named after the Sibimbe River in the Los Rios region of Ecuador, near San Eduardo and Escuela Anne Stevens, where the founding seamstresses learned to swim.  Like a river that connects people and places, Sibimbe connects these women who are learning to make their way in the global economy.  This social enterprise partners with Escuela Anne Stevens and the non-profit Center for Contemplative Justice.  Sibimbe launched its business be creating healing oil pouches for Thistle Farms, its sister in the Shared Trade partnership of global social enterprises.

The Reverend Gina Angulo (far left), priest at the church in San Eduardo, says, "The purpose of this cooperative is to provide decent work and to improve the quality of life for women.  It is our hope that in the future there will be many more women that can be a part of Sibimbe."  Also pictured from left to right are Rosario, Blanca, and Marilu.

For more information, visit their facebook page:  Sibimbe San Eduardo or email Mary Murphy or Kim Bailey.

CCJ-Botswana: Holy Cross Hospice

Vandy students at HCH

The CCJ supports Holy Cross Hospice in Gaborone, Botswana, which cares for patients suffering from AIDS and HIV infection. This program is carried out in conjunction with Vanderbilt University, and includes sending students who spend several months in Gaborone working at the hospice.  Click here to learn more about the Holy Cross Hospice at their website. Click here to see a short video about Holy Cross Hospice. 

For more information, contact Scott Owings at