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Restorative Justice

Learn more on the Office of Social Justice website.

Creative Restorative Justice

What is “restorative justice”? Those words are becoming more common in our conversations about criminal justice and even everyday interpersonal conflicts. Perhaps you’ve even heard of restorative justice as an approach to use when dealing with church conflict. The Office of Social Justice now even has a monthly newsletter called “Catching Stones” that points people towards resources to learn more about and practice restorative justice. 

Pro-Life series: Shalom-seeking

What this pro-life series has taught me is that the CRCNA is deeply, unapologetically pro-life. 

Pro-Life series: Death Penalty

“I am pro-life.” I hear those words frequently, but have come to realize that people who say them often mean different things.

What Being Pro-Life Means to Me- Andy Hanson

We can’t be pro-life if we don’t know what being pro-life means. God, as the creator of all life, is decidedly pro-life. The LORD was deliberate in how he created life and gave special status to humanity.

Jesus Work

When explaining the ministry of Humanity for Prisoners in many of my public presentations, I refer to our daily advocacy as “Jesus Work.” 

I know that, in the minds of many people, the thought response is something like this: “Just another soft-hearted, liberal, ‘do-gooder’ who wants to empty all the prisons and put all the hardened criminals on the street.”

I contend that the phrase “Jesus work” is accurate, based on his own words and his own life.

Remember Those in Prison

Why treat prisoners humanely? What’s the point? This is prison we're talking about, not a country club. What can they expect? 

And that leads to the next question, as a voter and taxpayer in the State of Michigan, what do I expect of our prison system? What should I expect?

Ask these questions of a dozen people in one room, and you’ll get a dozen different answers.

Serial Podcast and Just Mercy

I got sucked into the Serial podcast, just like the rest of North America. I loved it. I loved the real-life drama, the true-crime evidence, the ability to judge people's intentions and the validity of their testimonies. I loved playing detective, weighing the evidence, surmising guilt and innocence. I loved how it distracted me from the drudgery of painting my basement staircase. I was an enthusiastic consumer of the story of Adnan and Hae, and will vehemently defend my conclusion that Adnan didn't do it. (Argue with me. I dare you.)

Does Justice Require Punishment?

Imagine for a moment that someone has caused you harm—stolen from you, vandalized your property, assaulted you, lied to you, killed a loved one. Make a list--what would you need from others so you could process the harm you have experienced?

Now imagine that you have caused someone harm—you’ve lied to them, ignored them, maligned them, stolen, vandalized, assaulted, perhaps even murdered them. List what you would need from others so you could address the harm you had caused.

Look at each list. What do you notice?

Four Men from Berwyn

Timothy, to me, proved beyond a doubt that my people were racists. Just a few weeks ago, at a restaurant in Berwyn, Illinois, I listened to four retired white men remember that era in their lives, four men who were part of the community that rejected those black children

Is Justice Lean and Mean?

Where was society when they were young and vulnerable? Many stories indicated racism, abuse, abandonment, adoption, addiction, dysfunctional families and communities, of lives spiraling out of control on urban streets.

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