Board of Church & Society

    Next meeting of the

Conference Board of Church and Society is

Saturday, April 1, 2017   10:00 AM       

   Conference Center, 20 Soundview Avenue, White Plains

  All are welcome!

This meeting will be followed by a special lobbying/advocacy training from 1:00-3:00 PM.  Plan to stay!

Join CBCS in a Lobbying Day in Albany to stop torture!

We will spend the day in Albany on Tuesday, May 2nd, for a rally and visits to legislators in support of the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act.  We need to show massive momentum so that this bill passes this year!!  Since this legislation is considered a model for the entire country, even people from outside the state are welcome to help with this effort!  All are welcome!

The Board of Church and Society is sponsoring a bus from White Plains, NY (Memorial UMC) which will make one other pickup at NYS Thruway Exit 18 “park and ride” in New Paltz, NY.  Bus leaves White Plains at 6:45 AM sharp, pickup in New Paltz at 8:15 AM. Return bus will leave Albany at 4:00 PM.  The cost is $30/person, but please request a subsidy if you need one. (or maybe you can make a donation to support someone else?)

Register now for bus transportation to Albany on Tuesday, May 2nd.

Download a copy of the flyer here and publicize this important event.

Questions?  Call Sheila Peiffer at 518-334-6076


New!  CBCS recommends a Lenten Bible Study!

Ash Wednesday is March 1st.  Be ready to offer a dynamic study that examines the intersection of theology and ecology through scripture, discussion, activities and prayer. 

Last year, we had a very positive response to recommending a "social justice" Lenten study (we read The Cross and the Lynching Tree by Dr. James Cone.)  This year, in support of our Creation Justice initiative, we are recommending a Lenten study that combines reflection on scripture with analysis of the moral and religious nature of the ecological crisis.  To Serve and Guard the Earth by Beth Bojarski will help all church groups contemplate the true nature of God's intended salvation of "the world" (John 3:16) and how we can participate in supporting creation's sacredness.

For a flyer/description of this Lenten Bible Study please click here.

For additional resources, beyond the recommended study, please click here.

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

 Please do not hesitate to email or call if you have any questions!  


call:  203-269-5317.

Thank you for your participation!

The Conference Board of Church and Society sincerely thanks all those who participated in our Christmas Cards for Prisoners project.  Over 1500 cards were sent to people in the Connecticut prison system who self-identified as Christians.  We are blessed that with your help we have been able to send these greetings in the name of the Christ who comes to us anew in this season!

Take Action against Gun Violence!

This year, the CBCS will be highlighting the issues of gun violence and human rights in our society.  We will look for ways to increase awareness and involve congregations in working toward a safer, more just world. Check out this website on gun violence for a start.

Take Action for the Environment!

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.


Peace with Justice Sunday can be celebrated anytime!

    Click here to access a double-sided bulletin insert to be duplicated for church use.


      Join us at future CBCS meetings:   April 1 and May 6 at Conference Center

                                                               All are welcome!

Contact Sheila Peiffer at for more information!


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