Catching Stones | January 18, 2017
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Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart [and especially the hearts of the people of this land], that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

—Book of Common Prayer, p. 823


Must Read

U.S. - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is hoping to revive the bipartisan federal sentencing reform bill in 2017. The bill would loosen mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent crimes and make changes to the prison system that would reduce recidivism rates.

Read the full article here.

Must Act

Prolonged solitary confinement, defined as solitary confinement in excess of 15 days, can cause serious harm to individuals and has long been considered a form of torture. Individuals placed in solitary confinement are often detained in a cell by themselves for 23 hours a day. Urge your state legislators to ban prolonged solitary confinement in your state. Take action here if you’re in the United States, and here if you’re in Canada!

Must Watch

Netflix’s 13th is a thought-provoking documentary in which scholars, activists, and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom.

Must Listen

Life Lines is an audio journal kickstarter project featuring poetry, the spoken word, and other creative writing from North Carolina’s Death Row. Three pieces are published each week. Listen, learn more, or even support the project here.

Must Learn

  • Learn about the Canadian senator who is giving a voice to women in prison. Read the article here.
  • Learn about the restorative practice of eating in community with others from our Do Justice blogger, Jonathan Nicolai-deKoning.

Must Attend

  • On the 23rd of every month, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture invites you to join people throughout the U.S. who are holding monthly actions to call for an end to the torture of solitary confinement. To learn more about the Together Campaign or to see how you can participate this month, click here.
  • Restorative Circle Facilitator Training: February 2-3, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. This two-day training is for anyone who is eager to support the creation of strong communities, families, work environments, and congregations.You will learn how to communicate and collaborate during times of conflict or even just around different points of view. You will develop skills that can be put to practice immediately in informal ways and will also learn how to facilitate a formal restorative circle as well. For more information and to register, click here or call Hope Church at 616-392-7947.