This Sunday’s Service: “With Liberty and Justice for All”

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The Rally and Concert to End the War on Drugs, held in MacArthur Park, Los Angeles, on November 3, 2011.

This Sunday, November 16, we will consider the issue of mass incarceration of people of color in our criminal-justice system. Many in our denomination advocate for a justice system that includes fair trial proceedings, fair sentencing, the merciful restoration of those who have broken the law, and humane treatment of those in our prisons.

Our guest will be the Reverend Dr. William Gardiner, who will speak on the topic of “Liberty and Justice for All.” Bill Gardiner is an anti-racism organizer and trainer with many years working as a consultant for the Unitarian Universalist Association. He develops resources for white UUs to address issues of racism and white power and privilege. He also works with anti-racism transformation teams in UU congregations and districts.

The collection will be donated to Ex-Prisoners Organized for Community Advancement (EPOCA). The organization’s mission statement reads: “We are ex-prisoners and current prisoners, along with allies, friends and family, working together to create resources and opportunities for those who have paid their debt to society.” EPOCA was suggested for Share-the-Plate by Reverend Gardiner

Prior to the 10:30 a.m. service, there will be a 9:30 showing of a TED talk by Michelle Alexander titled “The Future of Race in America.” In this presentation Dr. Alexander will describe our current system of mass incarceration, which is rife with inequitable sentencing, racial and ethnic disparities, and deplorable prison conditions. She is the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

Following the service, from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., Reverend Gardiner and Susan Tordella will lead a discussion group on how to be more engaged on issues of incarceration. A light lunch will be served.

The service leader is Helen Brandt.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by coffee and fellowship at about 11:30. Religious education classes are offered, and visitors are always welcome.

Photo (cc) by Neon Tommy and published under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

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