restorative justice forum

The slides from my presentation at the mission development forum on Tuesday are available for download here: rj-forum_handout. They won’t make a lot of sense if you weren’t at the forum [and perhaps not even then!]. Thanks so much to Jonny Baker for his images that are the background to many of the slides – i was saying to jonny this week that his photos make really good illustrations of grace, humanity, redemption and reconciliation [I couldn’t actually work out what i was going to say until i had a stack of images in front of me, then it all became clear…].

The forum was a really interesting morning. Again it showed that the most confronting thing about restorative justice [we’ve adopted the term ‘communal justice’ for our project to separate it from the specific program of restorative justice] is that it humanises people. I think that one of our most natural instincts is to de-humanise each other, to turn people into a single dimension. We make a judgement – good or bad – and we don’t let people prove that judgement incomplete. Restorative justice re-stories our world. It lets people be fully human, sinners but not only sinners; those who have failed, but do not always fail.

i’d belong to a church that did that – though i’d be the weak link within it…

The Commission for Mission is hosting three more mission development forums this year, all based around the practical ‘living out’ of restorative justice. The next is focussed on mental health, then indigenous ministry, and the last is on evangelism. They should be good…