Prision Ministry Committee

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Prisons Committee NEW Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can. John Wesley This year we wanted you to hear the voices of those involved in prison ministry. The voices of those living in prisons who are members of our prison worship groups and voices of those living outside the prison who go behind the walls to worship. Voices across the Walls “Prison worship groups continue to wrestle with racial strife and gang violence in a Quaker way.” “What will this place look like and be like in 30 years? If there are to be changes, who will make them, who will be the first? It seems certain that this prison worship group and others like it have the information and the energy to begin this work.” “Attica was a little over 30 years ago. For all we complain about now, the fact is that prison conditions are much better now than 30 years ago. Change is possible. Don’t give up. The changes we want are logical, humane and right. This is an unbeatable combination.” “Those of us in this Quaker meeting usually have interesting discussions when we ponder the queries for the State of the Meeting Report. This year we found that although some of the queries were less applicable to a prison meeting, we had informative discussion on the topics of overcoming racism... and our vision for the future. The query about racism elicited various responses. Several noted that we are more Caucasian than the general prison population. In the past, we have had more Latino and African American brothers among us. Some wondered if we are as welcoming as we could be. One person said Quaker worship was “not for e... ... middle of paper ... ...ncarceration if needed. • Acknowledge the God-given capacity for redemption which lives in all human beings. • Focus on rehabilitation, not punishment or revenge. • Help offenders work toward repentance and taking responsibility for their crime. • Act with compassion, forgiving and fostering healing, without confusing forgiveness with acceptance of the crime. • Fairness. The rule of law must be applied equally to all regardless of race, class, gender, or income level. “The Quaker presence is much appreciated by the men” Those that worship with us behind the walls tell us that Quaker prison meetings provide a safe haven and a foundation for positive life changes. If you would like to visit a Quaker prison meeting to share how the Spirit is moving in your life, or to participate regularly at a worship group, please contact us. The Prisons Committee needs you!

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