Cathedral Events

Friday, April 19, 2013 9:30 AM
Saturday, April 20, 2013 9 AM

Re-Entry: Beyond the Bars and Barriers

Event image

Note: This takes place at Wesley Theological Seminary at Mt. Vernon Square; see below for details.

Join faith leaders, returning citizens, service providers, secular activists, and concerned political leaders for a 2-day program on supporting successful re-entry for returning citizens. Together, create an action agenda to improve the criminal justice system and help people reintegrate from prison to society. Participants will be mobilized to welcome those returning from incarceration and to advocate for improved rehabilitation, re-entry, restorative justice, and—where possible—reconciliation.

The conference aims to involve those who have experienced the criminal justice system from the inside with those who want to help when prisoners are released to the outside. One of the best ways to engage congregations is through relationships, so that the issue becomes personal and meaningful in their lives. Learn how to engage with pastors at congregations already doing restorative justice work and with families of incarcerated persons.

This program is offered by the Washington National Cathedral in partnership with Wesley Theological Seminary, Howard University School of Divinity, the Disciples Center for Public Witness, and the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Church and Society.


Friday, April 19

  • 9:30 am – Welcome & Opening Address
  • Creative Work Session #1: Challenges
  • 12 noon – Lunch (included)
  • Afternoon Panel Discussion by Returning Citizens
  • Creative Work Session #2: Rehabilitation
  • 6:30 pm – Dinner (included)

Saturday, April 20

  • 9 am – Convening
  • Creative Work Session #3: Initiatives
  • 12 noon – Lunch (included)
  • Strategy Sessions with Leaders
  • 5:30 pm – Dismissal and Prayer

Tentative panels and group discussion topics

Challenges: How can we improve the criminal justice system and create ways to help victims, society in general, and those released from prison to become productive citizens?

Rehabilitation: Re-entry starts before release. How can we enhance programs in prison, promote spiritual growth for inmates, and prepare them for reentry? What can faith communities do to prepare to welcome returning citizens?

Initiatives: What can government agencies, churches, charitable organizations and businesses do to provide more opportunities for returning citizens?

Action: What can faith leaders, secular activists, and government officials do to work cooperatively for improvements in re-entry programs, mobilize citizens to advocate for improvements, and provide welcoming places for returning citizens?

Additional Information

Location: Wesley Theological Seminary at Mt. Vernon Square
Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church
900 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20001

Parking: There is limited street parking and local garages

Metro: Gallery Place (Yellow, Green, Red lines) is 4-5 blocks, Convention Center (Yellow, Green) is 4 blocks, and Metro Center (Red, Orange, Blue) is 6 blocks.

Hotels: Henley Park, Embassy Suites, and Renaissance are all within a block. The Grand Hyatt, a Hampton Inn, and a few others are a just few blocks away.

Entrance: The entrance is on Massachusetts Ave between the historic, marble church and the 12-story glass office building. The door is marked Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church. The facility is handicapped accessible.

Parking at the Cathedral

Parking in the Cathedral’s underground garage is free on Sundays for services and organ recitals; parking for concerts and programs is available for an event-parking fee. Learn more about parking options for individuals and groups.