Calvary UMC is passionate about participating in acts of justice and seeking God's desire for our world here and now.
Together, we are committed to:
making ourselves aware of our own bias, privilege and experiences while learning about justice issues around us and people who's experiences differ from our own...
building relationships with community partners, leaders and churches who we can support, learn from and center on...
following through on our commitment to justice through our giving, our action, our words, and our resolve to see all people have equal rights and access to a healthy, whole life...
To learn more about our justice ministries, please contact Rev. Ashley PBT at email@example.com
What is Restorative Justice? - Kelsey Rose - Calvary UMC Wichita
On May 7, 2023 Restorative Justice Coordinator for the State of Kansas, Kelsey Rose, gave a presentation at Calvary United Methodist in Wichita, KS on "What is Restorative Justice" and talked about some of the ways restorative justice methods and processes can bring healing among victims and their offenders and provide a bridge to wholeness for both victims and their offenders as well as society in general. (*disclaimer: the views and opinions shared are Kelsey's alone, and do not reflect the views or opinions of the Kansas Department of Corrections).
There were two videos she referenced in her presentation that are not shown in the video, but can be found at the links below:
The Oprah ‘Belief’ series came to Kansas to film a 2014 Victim Offender Dialogue that happened at Lansing Correctional Facility. The episode has multiple subjects and is 40 minutes long. But the portion regarding the KDOC VOD starts at 3:02 and ends at 14:30. oprah.com/own-belief/acts-of-faith_1
Restorative Justice: Why do we need it? youtube.com/watch?v=8N3LihLvfa0
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month
This May, as we’ve celebrated Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month, Calvary’s Racial Justice team wanted to check in with one of our Calvary families about their connection to this important celebration!
Anne and Eric Kuwahara were married for fifty years before he passed in 2022. Throughout their marriage, raising kids, and movingn across the country for work, the Kuwaharas made many meaningful memories and relationships and continued to face racism because of Eric’s Japanese heritage.
As Rev. Ashley interviewed Anne about Eric’s family and history, Anne recalled stories of Eric’s father and uncle enlisting in WWII with the 442nd, company D and being sent to Arkansas to be trained for war. The government gave their family a choice: enlist or be put in an internment camp.
While in the war, Eric’s uncle was lost in combat and his dad came home with multiple honors including a purple heart, congressional medal and two bronze stars. He battled issues with his hands the rest of his life because of the shrapnel still in his body after the war.
The 442nd is one of WWII’s most decorated group of soldiers, because they were “sent on suicide missions, on rescue missions to get other troops,” Anne explained, “Because they were all Japanese, they were thought of as expendable.”
Anne has many stories to tell and reminds all of us Kansans that this time in our history is still a part of us—even we had internment camps for college students here in our state.
When Eric was a child, his family moved all four of their children from Hawaii to the mainland for job and educational opportunities. His parents wanted their children to learn proper English. It’s when the came to the “48 states” that Eric experienced racism for the first time. He and his siblings were taught when they heard hateful comments about themselves to: “Keep your mouth shut, your hands in your pockets, and look out for your siblings”
After school and being in the service, Eric landed in Wichita, interviewing to be a CPA in 1975. When he walked in for his first interview, he was told before he could even sit down, “Your people killed my son. I won’t hire any Japanese.”
When Rev. Ashley asked Anne about how times have changed since 1975, Anne recalled stories of Asian Men and Women being victims of violence following the Vietnam War. She shared about the COVID-19 pandemic and the incredible hate they heard that reminded Eric of what his family experienced after WWII. Anne shared that while living in Texas, less than a decade ago, there were communities that she and Eric knew they were unsafe in because they were a mixed race couple.
Anne has some wisdom for us as we continue to address racism in ourselves, our community, our systems and the world:
“We have lots of Asian Americans living here in Wichita and they are still running into the same hate and it’s too bad. If you don’t like someone because their eyes are slanted, who else do you hate because of their skin, or their traditions? If you do it to one, you do it to all.”
Thank you, Anne, for sharing your family's story and reminding us why celebrations like AAPI heritage month matter!
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