Kinship and Restorative Action
Grateful thanks to Donelda Seymour, for Sunday’s meditation.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
Carefully consider what is right in the eyes of everybody.
If it is possible on your part, live at peace with everyone.
—Romans 12: 17, 18
How do we live out the scripture that calls us to be peacemakers? What does kinship look like in a climate of conflict?
Restorative practices acknowledge that we are all a part of the community of human beings on this earth. We are all vulnerable. We all do harm in some ways at different times and in different ways. We all need help to know how address the harm we do and to deal with conflict in a way that is restorative and not punitive.
It is uncomfortable to sit with pain. When harm has been done to us or to someone we care about, we find ourselves looking for truth and accountability.
Donelda described being with students involved in a bullying episode who participated in a restorative conversation: “They took time to listen to their story, to hear how the harm had affected them. The pain sat in the middle of the room.”
She noted the model takes time and that we know God is one who takes time. Restorative action means taking time to listen, to humble ourselves, to invite God into the process. It means asking, “What led to that situation happening? What’s going on with that person that they responded to that situation so harmfully?”
How can we allow God’s love to work in us, not living out of fear or reaction, not becoming the very thing that we want to stand against, but joining God in restoration and redemption, bringing healing?
This link develops Donelda’s theme with restorative justice advocate’s Katy Hutchinson’s powerful TEDex talk from May 2013, in which she shares her journey after the murder of her first husband.
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At Southpoint, it all begins with God’s love. Just as a plant grows, it receives sunshine, so we grow as we receive God’s love. At Southpoint, we are growing in our capacity to love God, ourselves, one another, and creation.
We seek to be a community of grace that is intentional yet organic, spacious yet authentic, grace-filled yet accountable. * We are fully welcoming. *
We encourage relationships rather than run programs, yet we recognize the importance of intentionality and structure as we nurture life together.
As a community, we seek to put our love in action. We value helping out on Sunday mornings, sharing food, and showing up in hard times. We keep our church life simple so folk have time to build relationships with family, friends, and neighbours. We encourage folk to serve in tangible ways within the wider community. We rent space rather than own a building, allowing us to do more with less, supporting missions at home and abroad.
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