Peace with Justice. Those words could be an empty, everyday slogan. Yet for 27 year-old Meagan Gaddis, Peace with Justice stood for something extraordinary—especially after her release from prison.
Earlier this year, Meagan penned a letter to express her gratitude for Exodus House, a temporary residential project for people who are re-entering society after incarceration. Exodus House is a ministry of the Oklahoma conference of The United Methodist Church and financially supported by the Peace with Justice grant program.
What happens when open hearts celebrate diversity and the value of all people? Rocio Martinez can tell you. Living in Nashville, Tennessee, she had no immigration status and was about to have her first child. She visited a church that offered a summer English as a second-language (ESL) class. These classes could help her take a step forward as she continued her efforts to become a legal citizen.
She could not believe that a group of people who did not even know her would invest their time to help her. “Why are these people teaching English?” she wondered. “Who pays them?”
As with the close of many things, the end of a year is a time of introspection for many. Some have already started their list of resolutions for the new year. Others may find a watch night vigil or a covenant service to attend. And some may not bother with either and ring in the new year at a local party. Or, maybe you'll do all these things.