When I think of all the guides I have had in my life they have been, Sunday school teachers, colleagues, and mostly and an awful lot of talented fellow pilgrims along the way. As our faith matures, we are also called to become guides for others. Being a follower of Jesus means that we thrive on passing on the good news and living the good news. It’s about paying it forward to the next generation and those who have not had the same nurturing we’ve had.
The model most often followed in Canada today is patterned after the healing circles of the North American indigenous people & as well as the Maori of New Zealand. Their system served to protect individuals, ensure social stability and the integrity of the community. Much credit is given to the Mennonite Central Committee & to Howard Zehr in particular, for popularizing the theory & practices of restorative justice & pushing it forward. The Mennonites, as well as the Amish & Quakers are well-known for advocating & supporting restorative justice. They believe that a restorative approach is much more humane than the current punitive criminal justice systems. Howard Zehr’s book “Changing Lenses – A New Focus for Crime and Justice” is credited with presenting this “ground-breaking” theory of looking at & thinking about, a new way of viewing the criminal justice system. Well, it’s a new way to non-indigenous people at least.