Justice and Witness

Faith Floods the Courtroom

Liza Neal

6/13/2019

Jesus said, “I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink.”  Matthew 25:35a   Dr. Warren receives a blessing from clergy. Photo by Liza Neal. “If you live in a place where people are dying, how can you not respond?” This is the answer Dr. Scott Warren gave when asked under oath to the District Court of Arizona why he volunteers his time leaving food and water in the Sonoran Desert, a place where more than 3,000 people have died in the last 10 years, 88 in the last four months.  He...


Casino Forum in CT: A Report

Grace O'Connor

6/7/2019

 Grace O'Connor Intern, CT Conference, UCC In the first event of its kind, a Forum on the Economic and Social Impact of Expanded Gambling was held at the Connecticut State Capitol. The Forum, co-hosted by Representative Anne Hughes and Representative Jill Barry with the Coalition Against Casino Expansion in Connecticut (CACE) addressed a range of economic and social costs that the state may expect to face if casino gambling, sports betting, and internet wagering are allowed to expand.  Former ...


Creating a House of Refuge for Trans Asylum Seekers

Liza Neal

5/8/2019

“The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” (Lev 19:34) Scripture is very clear on our responsibility to the immigrant and the refugee. God’s command is straightforward: treat the alien as a citizen. “You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Deut 10:19) Not only to those without documentation or legal status, but to each ...


Actual Justice: The Justice of our Faith

Jon Tetherly

4/29/2019

We call ourselves the Actual Justice Task Team. We began as the Innocence Commission Task Team. Having been scandalized by first degree murder convictions of two African American men who appeared to us to be clearly innocent, the late Rev. Fred Anderson and I, with permission from the Massachusetts Conference UCC Board of Directors, put together a task team committed to form an advisory commission to the legislature. The Innocence Commission would recommend the passage of legislation that would...


Many Voices One Mission: Redefining Social Matter in America

TJ Harper

4/17/2019

"So often, people fail to realize the interconnectedness of our struggle, because individual liberties are mistaken as the liberation of all people." — TJ Harper


Seven Best Practices for Supporting Interfaith and Ecumenical Partners in Challenging Times

Gail Wright

4/4/2019

by The Rev. Gail Wright Even before I became a member of the Interfaith and Ecumenical Task Force Team, I noticed that some of the most difficult times for Christian witness are when we see our interfaith and ecumenical neighbors attacked or hurt. Sometimes the incidents occur right in our own town: church fires, LGBTQ hate crimes, or painted swastikas. Sometimes the incidents occur far away but still directly or indirectly painfully impact communities of faith in our backyard. In either case ...


We Are Not Facing the Big Issues Alone

Grace O'Connor

3/28/2019

Hearing from so many others who view climate change as a worrisome issue was helpful for me personally in recognizing that nobody must face it alone.


Many Voices One Mission: Justice Is Local

Wendy Vander Hart

3/13/2019

"Our most vital churches have a pulse on their neighborhood and are actively serving God’s people..." —Rev. Wendy Vander Hart


Restorative Justice: Building and Repairing Human Connections

Louellyn Lambros

Brenda Nolan

3/5/2019

The MACUCC Restorative Justice Task Team advocates for restorative practices in all areas of our community life, whether within the criminal legal system, in communities of faith, in schools or beyond.  We take the approach that the essence of restorative practice is to build human connections between people and to seek to repair those connections when they have been damaged.  Listening and seeing the humanity of one another is at the core of restorative practices.  We want to be mindful that ...


How are we Doing with Social and Racial Justice?

Brenda Nolan

2/22/2019

Dear Friends, How are we doing with social and racial justice? …as communities? …as churches? The UCC Restorative Justice Task Team is grappling with this question; we’re thinking about how restorative justice can help.   Restorative justice practices bring together people affected by conflict and harm to build community and address needs, in order to make healing possible. In the US, restorative justice has been associated with the criminal justice system— in churches, it can open up ...


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