Mercy & Justice Round-Up: June Edition
What is it like to be an inmate and a high school student at the same time? What’s going on with affordable housing in NYC? How can Christians work toward criminal justice reform? You’ll find articles that speak to these questions and more in this month’s Mercy & Justice Round-Up.
As always, this is a collection of content that got us thinking lately and includes a range of perspectives— some we agree with, others we might not. We hope you’ll read, listen, learn and love better with us.
- Since May, more than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents after crossing the border. Here are two recent, heartbreaking, but important, stories about family separation: The New Yorker on a Honduran woman fearing deportation without her son and The New York Times on a Guatemalan mother deported without her son. And a quick read on children from the border being placed in New York shelters.
- “Could a violent adult jail contain an aspirational school? Every day, its students, all of whom are black, would ask themselves whether they were defined by their classroom or their cell.” "The Hardest Lesson on Tier 2C," a collaboration between The Marshall Project and This American Life, takes you into the world of kids who are at once inmates and high school students.
- "Our church would suffer a great loss if the men, women, boys and girls with Down Syndrome were not part of us," writes pastor Scott Sauls in a recent blog post. He recalls the biblical story of Mephibosheth, an orphaned boy who was crippled, yet taken in by King David. He writes movingly about how those with special needs often pastor him and have shown him glimpses of the Kingdom in ways no one else can.
- In “The Least of These: Ministry with and to the Incarcerated,” pastor Jerry Blassingame, who himself was formerly incarcerated, calls for the church to engage more in criminal justice reform. The pastor writes about five practical things he has found to be essential in helping someone transition back into society.
- Politico summarizes a recent NYU Furman Center report on the city’s affordable housing crisis. The essence? “Population growth has outpaced the increase in housing supply,” “a rising rate of financially strapped residents pay a growing share of their incomes in rent,” and “the stock of housing available to low-income renters has been falling.”
- Recently, Redeemer’s Grace and Race ministry brought Pass the Mic to NYC to record their podcast live. Listen to the AMA episode here, where co-hosts Jemar Tisby and Tyler Burns answered audience questions on topics like how to cultivate a more diverse church and if we “cancel” theologians (like Jonathan Edwards) who owned slaves.