From around the web – November 21, 2014

Below are some links to articles, videos and stories that JustPeace staff have enjoyed this week. We hope you enjoy them too!

November 21 , 2014

  • Rethink Church – Restorative Justice  – The United Methodist Church’s Rethink Church shares examples of congregations helping individuals affected by the criminal justice system by supporting them while transitioning out while working towards a system that reduces incarceration: 

  • On Being – “Is there a bomb in your suitcase?” – Omid Safi, Director of Duke’s Islamic Studies Center, shares a story of how he recently experienced prejudice while traveling in Amsterdam. In reflecting on how to respond to blatant prejudice, he argues that facts and figures will never eradicate prejudice – only face-to-face interactions:

    “But here is the one thing I do know works: face-to-face, human-to-human interactions — getting to know people on a personal level, getting to know each others’ families and breaking bread together. There is a beautiful transformation that happens when we sit down across a table from one other and share a meal. Lo and behold, we find that we all love our children, that we all want the best for them, that we all share many of the same fears about our kids.”

  • America Magazine – Civility: What’s in a Word? – Mary Ann Walsh writes about Catholic Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago’s recent emphasis on the importance of civility and how both church and political leaders must engage in civil dialogue with those they disagree with.

    “He reflects an awareness of U.S. poet Emily Dickinson, who stated wisely that “A word is dead when it it said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day.” A message is there for a polarized nation, perhaps even a polarized church where in the name of religious dialogue people have been known to demonize each another.”

  • Hartford Courant – East Hartford Church Opens Dialogue on Juvenile Justice – Read about how New Covenant United Methodist Church is creating a space for community dialogue around juvenile justice issues.  The church provided a forum for people to hear a panel consisting of a state representative, the police chief and a school superintendent engage in conversation. Gary Richard, the pastor, said that the event was “propelled by some of his parishioners who have children in the criminal justice system.”

“The discussion begins what Richards said he hopes will become an ongoing conversation with community leaders about how to improve opportunities for youth to keep them out of the juvenile justice system.”

  • Christian Century – Bonds of Affection – Scott Bader-Saye, professor at the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest and author of Following Jesus in a Culture of Fear, uses C.S. Lewis’s study, The Four Loves, to explore how “affection” might be what can hold people together despite disagreements and differences:

    “Cultivating affection requires a deep commitment to presence. It cuts against cultural trends toward mobility and virtual relationships. Physical presence, bodily quirks, and simply brushing up against one another all contribute to affection. Affection grows from the soil of time and space, from commitment to place and community. Gathering be­comes the critical practice through which one learns to love those we thought we couldn’t love, those who are not like us, those who will never be more than acquaintances.”

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