New Haven Reads – August 2015

New Haven Reads is a non-forprofit organization that teaches on literacy skills for children from first to twelfth grade, who are behind on their skills, as well as a pre-K program. New Haven reads also has SAT prep courses, and in the summer, sponsors camps for kids who also participate in reading programs.

They are in constant need of volunteers, for they have over a hundred kids on their waiting list. Volunteers usually spend at least an hour a week teaching reading skills to a young person using a carefully guided system set up by the staff, including a computer program, a workbook, and most importantly a real book, which the child will read or have read to him or her.… Continue

July 19, 2015 – Working-For-Justice@FirstPres

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

Presbyterians embody the Lord’s command. Our Office of the General Assembly has asked us to be advocates for families seeking asylum in the United States. The Mission Committee will show their 30 minute video – “Families Held Captive” next Sunday immediately following coffee hour. I have brought a few copies of the Attendee Guide for the Video and a letter from The Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk to share today.… Continue

June 28, 2015 – On the Run

The Mission Committee has purchased 20 copies of On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City  by Alice Goffman for church members to read this summer.  We will host a book discussion of Goffman’s compassionate chronicle of families caught inside a justice systemin the fall as part of our series of events on the topic of  mass incarceration.

Alice Goffman is a sociologist who had an ethnography assignment for an undergraduate class a UPenn.  She did not take it lightly.  She started hanging out with an older African-American food service worker at the university and soon moved into an apartment in a poor, largely black neighborhood in Philadelphia. … Continue

December 14, 2014 – Emerge

Minute for Emerge – 14 December 2014 – Ralph Jones

What’s ¾ ÷ ¾ ? Who remembers how? Let’s see some hands…

OK — for me, that was a long time ago and far, far away! So fractions were one of the first things I learned — relearned, actually — at the Emerge program. Not the most important, though.

First, a word about the guys. (And while we’ve been there, all but one have been guys.) Most are in their twenties, though recently I’ve been working with a man in his fifties and at least a couple are still in their teens.… Continue

November 2 , 2014 – Sustainable Development and the Precautionary Principle.

Business profits are often the results of taking risks. When the risk results in people getting sick or the environment being damaged, often taxpayers are asked to pay the costs. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has a long history of proactively seeking environmental justice. The 202nd General Assembly (1990) passed the policy statement on “Restoring Creation for Ecology and Justice” and the 208th General Assembly (1996) passed the “Hope for a Global Future: Toward Just and Sustainable Development”.

Care for our earth and of its people and animals – environmental justice – is part of our Affirmation of Faith. Our faith calls us to be stewards of God’s creation, and confesses we have not always lived up to our obligation:

In sovereign love God created the world good and makes everyone equal in God’s image, male and female, of every race and people to live as one community.… Continue