Working toward a system that reduces incarceration
Helping inmates transition
Currently, there are more than 2,300,000 people incarcerated in the United States prison system. The epidemic of incarceration has reached an all time high, especially for people of color. Frameworks like Healing Communities challenge congregations through mobilization of its existing resources to become “Stations of Hope” for persons affected by the criminal-justice system.
Because That's Church.
We believe that Justice is the basic principle upon which God's creation has been established. It is an integral and uncompromising part in God's redemptive process, which assures wholeness. Compassion is characterized by sensitivity to God's justice and, therefore, sensitivity to God's people.
Restorative justice opens the opportunities for personal and community transformation. This transformation cannot be mapped, planned, or put into a program or structure. Nevertheless, it can be encouraged and nurtured.
The gospel, through the example of Jesus Christ, conveys the message for Christians to be healers, peacemakers, and reconcilers when faced with brokenness, violence, and vengeance. The concept of restorative justice shows us specific ways by which to transform lives and effect healing.
Helping inmates transition to freedom
We are called to work toward a system that reduces incarceration. That's putting beliefs into action. That's church.
The words of Micah ring out clearly, setting the tone for justice ministries in the church: "He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
We're embracing strangers. Like at Foundry UMC where they gather weekly to answer requests for reading material from prisoners and mail books free of charge to those who would otherwise have little opportunity to improve their education.
We're healing communities by helping victims and members of the community identify the opportunities for personal and community transformation, by asking the questions: Who has been hurt? What are their needs? Whose obligations are they?
We're making space in our churches and communities like at Parker Lane UMC, through Redemptive Work, a transitional employment program that offers clients a vehicle by which they can learn sustainable functioning within workplace culture and marketable job skills.
Join us in rethinking prison ministry.
To learn about how your church or community organization can rethink how to be in relationship with prisoners and returned citizens, visit the website for the National Prison Summit on Incarceration. To read up on ways The United Methodist Church is called to restorative justice, go here >>
BECAUSE THAT'S CHURCH.
There are many ways to participate or
learn more about how you can support
the millions of people who don't have
access to basic needs.