Board of Church & Society

    Next meeting of the

Conference Board of Church and Society is

Saturday, July 29th   10:00 AM       

 at the home of Pastor Melissa Hinnen: 71 Grand Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY

(take the train from Grand Central to Croton-Harmon)

                         Join us for our summer picnic and planning meeting - help CBCS set its priorities!

  All are welcome!


Peace with Justice Sunday is June 11th!  (or anytime you want!)

Download a bulletin insert about this important Special Sunday here.


Christmas Cards for Prisoners!

Join in our simple social justice project that your whole Church,

from Sunday School to Quilt Group, can do!

  1. Download Christmas cards in various designs. (Here's a tip:  print the cards on cardstock or 28lb. paper if your printer/copier doesn't take get two to a page!)
  2. Not sure what to write?  Here are some Suggested greetings for the cards.
  3. Plan when you will do this:  coffee hour?  Council meetings?  Sunday School?  Prayer groups, book clubs, committee meetings?  We have lots of time to collect cards! Have people in your church or small group fill out the cards with their personal greetings and first name only. Also, no need for envelopes!
  4. Collect all completed cards from your church and mail the cards together (no separate envelopes) to: CBCS, c/o Sheila Peiffer, Coordinator, 40 Lincoln Ave, Wallingford, CT 06492  (CBCS will take care of distributing them to appropriate prison chaplains)
  5. Mail all cards by December 4, 2017. (this gives you time to write the cards on the first Sunday in December, but they must then be mailed the next day at the latest - earlier is better!)

Be sure to only use a first name when signing your card and don’t use a specific greeting since we don’t know who the card will go to.  Cards with last names must be eliminated, so please make sure people know this!

 Thank you in advance for bringing a small measure of joy to these “least of my people”! (Mt 25:40)


CBCS was in Albany on Tuesday, May 2 to lobby for the HALT Solitary legislation which will reduce solitary confinement in New York.

Read about our undertaking here.



Take Action against  Violence!

Churches, Activists and Police in Solidarity for Loving, Outspoken Communities or CAPSLOC is designed to get to the root causes of police violence in a way that highlights the humanity and needs of each individual involved. CAPSLOC brings together members of minoritized communities with the police who serve there. At the heart of the program is an interactive experience in three parts facilitated by clergy, activists and police community relations officers. First the group will name and explore implicit bias together (we are all subject to media and culture images which lead to our prejudging others, especially young Black men). With that in the forefront of the mind, participants will move on to an interactive roleplaying. The goal is twofold: help participants get through a police interaction safely. But more fundamentally the goal is to help community members and police be clear about what these stops mean to them, how they feel during them and why, and become empathetic to the person on the other side of the stop. Finally the group will explore what new understandings they have reached and begin the real work: deciding what the new community created in the room wants to do in response to their newfound understandings. Workshops, and especially the follow up decisions will be tailored to each community they happen in.

For more information or to get involved contact Jennifer Berry at

Take Action for the Environment!

For a great adult Sunday School bible study any time of year, we recommend To Serve and Guard the Earth.

To go directly to the downloadable study, To Serve and Guard the Earthclick here.

CBCS joins with many others in rejoicing in the decision of the Army Corps of Engineers to block drilling in the disputed section of the Missouri River and seek alternative routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline.  We will remain vigilant on this issue and will be ready to renew our efforts for environmental justice if this decision is challenged. 

Read Standing Rock Tribal statement here.


Take Action against Solitary Confinement!

For the most recent summary of how to take action for reform of Solitary, click here.

The United Methodist Church, through its Board of Church and Society, is working for humane alternatives to solitary confinement.  If you are interested in an "Action Kit" about how to abolish the torture of "solitary", please email us.  We are providing a "ready to roll" packet which will include a 40 minute DVD Breaking Down the Box, discussion questions about the film to ensure a lively conversation, postcards to be written and mailed to government officials, a reproducible bulletin insert, FAQ sheet about the complex issues that surround the topic and links to more resources and ideas.  We hope that this fall will see every church talking about how Solitary Confinement is torture!  Email us if you want an Action Kit:

Read the article from The Vision about the cell replica and the CBCS dinner speakers here.

Some of the ongoing CBCS projects:

In the area of mass incarceration and prison ministry:

  • Campaign to support the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (S. 2123) This  is still a very active campaign.  Read about the General Board of Church and Society's interfaith meeting on June 15th, here.  If you haven't yet, please do call your senators at 800-826-3688 to urge their support for the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (S. 2123). Feel free to use the sample scripts below:

  • "Hi, my name is                     . As a person of faith I believe in the power of redemption and support a criminal justice system that offers second chances. I urge Senator                 to not only support the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (S. 2123), but to urge Senator McConnell and Senator Reid to make passing it a priority!"

  • Distributing Action Kits about Solitary Confinement (see above)

  • Sponsoring a conference-wide all-day Symposium on matters related to prison ministry and mass incarceration:  "I was in prison and you...." on October 1, 2016.  Our day was a great success!  If you were with us and have not yet done so, please click here to fill out our evaluation form.

  • "Prison Ministry" series of articles in The Vision

  • The Study Guide for Cross and the Lynching Tree is still available hereClick here to download a copy of this Study Guide.  To watch the video of Dr. Cone talking about this subject, click here: (this replaces the link inside the Study Guide which no longer works)

In the area of Immigration:

  • Bishop Bickerton presided at an Immigration Vigil and Forum sponsored by the Immigration Task Force and CBCS at Hicksville UMC on Friday, January 20, 2017. 

  • Bishop Jane Middleton presided at the  interfaith Immigration Prayer Vigil on Monday, April 25th at St. Paul and St. Andrew church in Manhattan.  

  • Immigrant Welcoming Community Training held in February started  fifty-four people on the process of building teams for a justice journey in ministering with recent immigrants.  Contact us if you are interested!

  • Become a Sanctuary Church!  Read more about Sanctuary here.

  • Help everyone understand immigration policies and immigrants' rights!  Click here to download "know your rights" booklets in English and Spanish.

  • For the latest Immigration updates, please visit the Immigration Task Force page! 



      Join us at future CBCS meetings:   July 29 in Croton-on-Hudson

                                                               All are welcome!

Contact Sheila Peiffer at for more information!


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