Boomer Generation | Community Educator | Criminal Justice Reform
In preparation for the retreat, we are asking all participants to commit to approximately 1-hour of pre-retreat learning. The goal of this “assignment” is to establish a foundation of knowledge about our central biblical figure (Amos) and your pre-selected modern Holy Troublemaker. You can download and print this PDF or use a journal for note-taking as you read/watch the materials.
Part 1 – Amos
Read Amos 2:4-3:10, 5:7-15, 9:9-15
- How would you summarize Amos’ message (based just on these passages) in 10 words or less?
- Why is God going to punish Judah & Israel? What are their wrongdoings?
- How do you think ancient Israelites felt hearing this message? How does the reading make you feel?
- The book of Amos focuses largely on God’s anger with Israel’s corruption, but that’s not the whole story. What hope for an alternative future does Amos end with?
Part 2 – Anthony
- Watch this 13 mins interview: Wrongfully convicted man opens up on life on death row for 30 years
- Listen to a portion of this podcast interview with Kate Bowler. (minute 14:20-24:00) Or scroll down to read the transcript starting at “RH: Absolutely. And so for three years I sit there with this anger for God…” to the line “I love them because I know how to love them.”
- Anthony is a community educator for Equal Justice Initiative and advocates for abolition of the death penalty. Read the overview of EJI’s work on this issue
- What surprises or intrigues you about Anthony’s story?
- What impediments or challenges has he faced? How did he respond to those challenges?
- What motivates his work? What is at stake, and why does it matter
- How Anthony’s message and work on criminal justice reform reflect the Gospel?
- What social justice issues do YOU feel strongly about?
Here are some additional resources to consult if you wish to learn more about Anthony either before or after the retreat.
- Watch or listen this 28 mins. interview/story with Anthony and Bryan Stevenson: They couldn’t take my soul (start at min 12)
- Learn more about Equal Justice Initiative, the organization where Anthony now works as a Community Educator and the same organization that worked to exonerate Anthony
- Listen to Anthony’s story: The Death Row Book Club
- Watch ABC News’ story after Anthony was exonerated
- Read/Watch the story Adjusting to life after three decades on death row
Jennifer Edwell MTS, PhD
Jen has a B.A. in English from The Ohio State University, a Master in Theological Studies from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, and a Doctorate in English and Comparative Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Last fall, she taught reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley. She currently lives in Oakland, CA with her partner (Dr. April Edwell) and their toddler (Bex). Social justice and ethical reflection are central to her work as an educator, researcher, and member of the beloved community.
Kate Smith MA, MDiv
Asking questions, taking risks, embracing humor, and creating opportunities to put faith into action are all hallmarks of Kate’s calling as a follower of Jesus, the ultimate Holy troublemaker. Kate has a B.S. in Organizational Leadership from Wright State University as well as a Master of Arts in Practical Theology and Master of Divinity from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio. Kate has been serving in the local church since 2007. She was appointed to Hyde Park Community UMC in 2017 and ordained as a deacon in 2018.