In 2016, Chris Marshall and Ted Lewis led a webinar that integrated restorative justice, restorative theology, and restorative practices for church communities, hosted by the Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice at Eastern Mennonite University. Through publishing connections at Wipf & Stock Publishers, Lewis and Marshall had previously corresponded for several years over a mutual interest in strengthening conversations between restorative justice theorists and practitioners, theologians showing interest in restorative justice, and church leaders incorporating restorative practices in their church communities.
Watch the Restorative Justice, Restorative Theology, Restorative Church webinar on the Zehr Institute site or watch a Youtube version of the webinar.
One month later, viewers of the webinar were invited to an online follow-up session to have further discussion about the topic and to consider new opportunities to advance the intersection of Restorative Justice, Restorative Theology, Restorative Church Practices. With the help of Jeff Newcomer-Miller, Ted continued to facilitate additional zoom meetings to invite new inputs and widen the network of supporters.
In 2017 Ted and Chris, along with Tom Noakes-Duncan from New Zealand, led a workshop on the same topic in Oakland at the NACRJ (National Association for Community and Restorative Justice) conference. (View Workshop PowerPoint).
In 2018, Chris Marshall published a book that represents the core mission the Restorative Church project. All Things Reconciled: Essays on Restorative Justice, Religious Violence, and the Interpretation of Scripture. Read more about Chris Marshall’s writings.
At the following NACRJ conference in Denver, 2019, Ted coordinated the first Restorative Church Gathering as a post-conference workshop, during which he announced the start of the Restorative Church website. View workshop outline: Restorative Church June 17, 2019. The next projected post-NACRJ conference is projected to take place in June 2022 in Chicago.
An early version of the integration of RJ, RTh and RCh was led by Ted Lewis in a workshop at the Ekklesia Project conference in Chicago, 2013. View PDF workshop outline: RJ and Church Workshop Outline EP
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