“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26
Justice is never achieved in a single verdict or judgment. Biblical justice – such as the prophet’s proclaimed – is an ongoing matter of difficult inner work and the searching of our souls and hearts.
Ezekial, speaking on behalf of God, offers us words of hope that we can be changed and our inward being can be transformed. God knows we can become callous and indifferent, fearful and withdrawn. In the words of the Hebrew Bible, we become “hard hearted.” God says indeed He will remove from us our callous indifference and our heart of stone – and transplant a tender heart within us.
While the verdicts for George Floyd’s life were rendered yesterday, the work of achieving true community continues. Methodist Home for Children is committed to doing the difficult inner work – questioning assumptions and prejudices, facile judgments and quick condemnations. We continue to pray that God will guide us until all of God’s children are living and thriving equally under God’s love and grace.
Please God, move within us, transform us, cure all of us of our heart problem. Amen.
– Rev. Bruce Stanley, President / CEO
It happened in North Carolina recently – a 6-year-old boy appeared in front of a juvenile court judge on a complaint that he picked a flower near his bus stop. He was too young to understand where he was or what he was doing in court, so he colored with crayons at the defense table while a lawyer handled his case.
News of the case stirred outcry – Should we try a child who is young enough to believe in Santa Claus?
In this instance, the judge said no and the case was dismissed. But it’s not at all unprecedented in North Carolina. Our state has the lowest stated age of juvenile jurisdiction in the country – and the world.
It’s 6 years old. We want to see that change.
Two bills with bipartisan sponsorship – Senate Bill 207 and House Bill 261 – were filed this month to keep children younger than 10 out of the juvenile justice system; the House bill also requires evaluation for children ages 10 and 11 before a juvenile case is opened for them.
In supporting this legislation we stand with the Juvenile Justice section of North Carolina’s Department of Public Safety. We agree there are far better ways of intervening in a problem than exposing a young child to juvenile courts. Education, mental health, or human services are more likely to work – and to spare a child the lifelong social and health effects of a juvenile delinquency label.
Please contact your state lawmakers in support of legislation to keep children under 10 out of juvenile courts.
Triangle and Pitt County Areas | Are you interested in fostering or adopting?
We have information sessions to answer your questions about fostering and adopting through Methodist Home for Children.
RSVP is required: Call 888.305.4321, ext.6, or email FosterandAdopt@mhfc.org.
On the agenda:
• What it means to be a foster parent.
• What the training & licensing process is all about.
• What types of children are referred to our foster care / adoption program.
• Dates for our next MAPP training class.
• Jan. 14, online; 6:30 to 8 p.m.
• March 16, online; 6:30 to 8 p.m.
• May 20, online; 6:30 to 8 p.m.
• July 13, Greenville; 6:30 to 8 p.m.
• July 15, Raleigh; 6:30 to 8 p.m.
• Sept. 2, Greenville; 6:30 to 8 p.m.
• Sept. 9, Raleigh; 6:30 to 8 p.m.
• Nov. 9, Greenville; 6:30 to 8 p.m.
• Nov. 16, Raleigh; 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Remember to RSVP at FosterandAdopt.mhfc.org!