Incarceration, Race, and Restoration
“If you, even you, had only recognized the things that make for peace!
But now they are hidden from your eyes.”
Luke 19:42 (NRSV)
Sundays, 9:30 a.m., in the Assembly Room
unless otherwise noted
As Christians, we are called to be a part of God’s transformative work of peace, justice, and reconciliation in the world, yet we live in a country with the highest incarceration rate in the world: despite making up close to 5% of the global population, the U.S. has nearly 25% of the world’s prison population. Join us to learn more about crime and punishment in our time, as we consider how we might be part of God’s transformative work.
Download the February 2020 Brochure (pdf)
for more details and speaker bios
February 2 | Nathan Jérémie-Brink
Expanding the Map and Reconsidering the History of Christianity and Slavery
Christianity and slavery are interrelated world movements, a paradox of our understanding of the history of human bondage and racism. In this class, we will look at how Christian theologies and practices both reinforced and challenged the institution of slavery.
Weekly | In-Depth Bible Study with George Hunsinger
Sundays, 9:15 a.m.
Maclean House (Garden Entrance)
George Hunsinger continues with a verse-by verse examination of the Letter to the Colossians.
February 2, 9, 16 | Membership Committee & Rev. Lauren J. McFeaters
Sundays, 9:30 a.m.
The Inquirers’ Class, led by our Membership Committee, gives you time to explore the meaning of the Christian faith and church membership, and to learn more about the history and foundations of the Presbyterian Church, PC(USA). Discover opportunities for spiritual growth, service, outreach, and fellowship; learn about the worship, theology, and programs of Nassau Church. What might it mean for your life if you joined in the ministry and mission of this congregation?
February 9 | Rachel Barkow
Prisoners of Politics: Breaking the Cycle of Mass Incarceration
Are we destined to maintain a massive state of criminal punishment in America? While it may seem like this is an active time for criminal justice reform, most of the reforms have been relatively minor. And we have been achieving the reforms we have with low crime rates. If crime goes up, all bets are off. What can we do? In this talk, Prof. Barkow will explain why we need far more fundamental changes than the “low-hanging fruit.”
Why do so many of our criminal justice policies fail to make us safer? What are the political dynamics that produce such ill-advised policies? Our speaker will suggest three targets of institutional change.
February 16 | Retha Onitiri
150 Years is Enough
New Jersey’s current youth incarceration system is a failed experiment—morally, financially, socially, and from a rehabilitation and public safety perspective. Statistically, black and white children commit offenses at similar rates but two-thirds of New Jersey’s youth prisoners are black and one-third are white. New Jersey spends over $200,000 to incarcerate each child for one year.
Come hear about the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice’s 150 Years is Enough campaign which seeks to close two youth prisons—the New Jersey Training School for Boys (Jamesburg) and the Female Secure Care and Intake Facility (Hayes)—and invest in community-based systems of care as alternatives to incarceration.
February 23 | Cuqui Rivera, Jondhi Harrell, and Mia Hart, with Jonathan Shenk, moderator
Strategies for Engagement
Join us to hear from these community leaders whose programs offer hope and support for those caught up in the criminal justice system or seeking a path out of poverty. Consider how you might offer your time and talents to this transformative work.