Wednesday, October 21, 2015

General Board of Church and Society seminar will focus on mass incarceration

Join colleagues and friends for a fun, educational trip to Washington, D.C., and the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society in February 2016. This particular seminar will focus on the work of the GBCS around mass incarceration.

Our bus will depart from two locations in the Susquehanna Conference. We will promptly depart from First UMC, 604 Market St., Williamsport, at 3 p.m., and Paxton UMC, 3350 N. Progress Ave., Harrisburg, around 5 p.m. on Sunday, February 21. We will return to Paxton UMC around 5 p.m. Wednesday, February 24, with the bus continuing to Williamsport.

We will spend time at the United Methodist Building in the heart of Washington, D.C., learning about the UMC General Board of Church and Society. We will have an opportunity to meet with our U.S. Senators and/or members of their staff. We will specifically be learning about mass incarceration. There will also be free time to explore D.C. More details upon registration.

Mass Incarceration
Currently there are more than 2,300,000 people incarcerated in the United States prison system. The tough-on-crime policies of the 1980s and 90s that included trying juveniles as adults, eliminating parole, truth in sentencing, the privatization of building prisons, the expansion of mandatory minimum sentencing, three strikes laws, and incarcerating low-level drug offenders rather than providing drug abuse treatment, have all led to an ever-increasing prison population. We will explore this issue in depth with members of the GBCS whose work focuses on this important area of justice, and we will consider how we as United Methodists might respond.

Cost will be $375. This includes bus transportation, lodging at the Hotel Harrington in Washington, D.C., (single rooms available at an additional cost), and meals and materials at the GBCS. Participants should bring money for metro transportation, meals not eaten at the GBCS, a tip for the bus driver, and any other personal expenses.

Register early, limited spaces available. Reservations and full payment are due by January 15, 2016. Full participation in all seminar activities is required. CEU’s will be available. Please contact Rev. Andrew Burd-Harris with questions: 304-554-9131 or

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