Prison Ministry Symposium (Manhattan: Grace)

Prison Ministry Symposium (Manhattan: Grace)

WhenSaturday, October 1, 2016 at 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM
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WhereGrace UMC
125 West 104th Street
New York, NY 10025

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The Board of Church and Society will be sponsoring an all-day conference symposium about all aspects of Prison Ministry. 
 

Schedule for the Day

9:30  — Arrival, registration, coffee etc.
10:00   — Worship
11:00  — Panel:  How do we minister with the incarcerated and families? Moderated by George Chochos
11:45  — Break
12:00   — Workshops (see below)
12:45  — Lunch and exploring information tables
2:00  — Panel:  How can we advocate for change in the criminal justice system? Moderated by Kara Gotsch
3:00  — Workshops (see below)
3:45  — Break
4:00  — Final wrap-up and communion

Morning Workshop Selections (Ministry with those incarcerated and their families)

Changin’ Your Game Plan – This workshop will describe a new readiness approach to successful prison reentry.  Randy Kearse has developed a workbook that provides a step-by-step system that begins while still in prison, aided by a mentor or partner on the outside.  Learn how you can participate in empowering people while still incarcerated to be ready for the future of life after prison and parole. (Leader:  Randy Kearse)

Kairos Outside – Kairos Outside is a 2½ day Christian Weekend designed to demonstrate God’s grace and love through Christian support for women who have been impacted by incarceration.  Learn more about how you and your church could support or implement this program that fosters community and support for those affected by having loved ones in prison. (Leader:  Coralie Joseph)

Fortune Society – In existence since 1967, The Fortune Society is a leading provider of alternatives to incarceration and reentry services in the New York area, providing a holistic, one-stop model of service provision.  Learn how your church can get involved! (Leader: Ronald Day)

Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc. – This is the first ministry in the U.S. created to provide confidential support and counseling to individuals, families and organizations with white-collar and other nonviolent incarceration issues.  Learn how your church can support this much-needed ministry! (Leaders:  Rev. Jeff Grant and Lynn Springer)

Never Forsaken Re-entry Ministries, Inc. – A ministry working to create collaborative partnerships with churches to enhance ex-offender (returning citizens) self-sufficiency, especially through providing housing for the first ninety days of re-entry.  Learn how your church can take part! (Leader: Pastor Benny Custodio)

Tools to Stop Solitary: Building Lifelines through Letters & Solidarity through Virtual Reality
Letters are a crucial way to transcend the living tombs of solitary confinement. Learn about Lifelines to Solitary, an on-going prison correspondence program specifically designed to reach out to people in solitary confinement. This project offers religious communities an important opportunity to bring a spark of human contact into the living tombs of solitary confinement through committing to on-going correspondence. In addition, The Guardian's 6x9: A virtual experience of solitary confinement is a powerful new VR experience that places viewers inside a U.S. solitary confinement prison cell. Learn about how you can share this experience with your congregation from one of the visionaries who helped to create this tool from first-hand experience inside. (Leader: NRCAT)

Afternoon Workshop Selections (advocacy for criminal justice reform)

Raising the Age of Criminal Responsibility in New York – New York is one of two states to automatically treat youth age 16 and up as adults in the criminal justice system, regardless of the severity of the offense.   Members of the Raise the Age – New York Campaign will explain the details of the effort to “raise the age” and how your church can be involved in advocating for sensible solutions to promote children’s well-being and safety. (Leader:  Elizabeth Powers, CDF)
 
Think Outside the Cell – THINK OUTSIDE THE CELL is working to end systemic discrimination against formerly incarcerated people who struggle to reintegrate into communities across this nation. Find out how your congregation can be involved in helping to end the stigma that denies willing and capable men and women the essential building blocks of stable lives.  Learn more about their unique combination of research, advocacy, storytelling and coalition-building that can bring about lasting changes in attitudes, laws, policies and practices. (Leader:  Sheila Rule)
 
How Faith Communities Can Support Humane Alternatives to Long Term Solitary Confinement
The United Nations has defined more than 15 days in solitary confinement as torture.  This workshop will explore how the HALT bill in New York state models legislation that is needed everywhere to eliminate torture from our criminal justice system.  Members of the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement (CAIC) and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture will lay out the process for the passage of HALT and provide information for how members of your congregation can become legislative advocates.
 
Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act – Where do things stand with this federal legislation that is designed to make important changes in our criminal justice system?  Learn what strategies are needed next in the campaign to get S. 2123 voted on and turned into law.  The workshop will emphasize basic lobbying techniques and ways to get congregations involved. (Leader: Kara Gotsch)

Lobbying 101 – Looking for the basics on how to motivate a church to be more involved in social justice issues?  Wondering where to start and how to introduce some realistic goals for our congregations?  Some professional strategists will provide a step-by-step approach that will inspire us to begin! (Leader: Janis Rosheuvel)