With the passing of Nelson Mandela, we are once again reminded of the tremendous courage, resilience, and witness he displayed in his life. His was a life that included 27 years in prison simply because he believed in fairness and justice for all. We know that Mandela learned in prison, and taught even those whose job it was to keep him behind bars.
I have told the story a few times, of my work in prisons, and county jails. When offering a service and especially at the Prayers of the People, when we would get to the thanksgivings, I was always so moved that, in the jail, the thanksgivings would almost never end. Prisoners could find so much in which to be thankful. I would then go into our churches, with those who are free, and we would get to the thanksgivings, and there would be utter silence. I had to wonder who was really in prison.
We have a ministry, and a call, to serve those in prison, no matter why they are there. We are so blessed that many in our diocese do this, in all corners of it. I am delighted to share one, in King County, and to invite you to help them, in whatever way you feel called.
EPISCOPAL MINISTRY AT THE KING COUNTY JAIL
Many of us are familiar with the passage in Matthew (25:31-45) where Christ encourages us to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked and visit those in prison, shelter the homeless, and visit the sick. He says that if we do these things to the least of these people we will have done them to Him.
Many of us have the opportunity to help the hungry, visit the sick and clothe the naked. But not many of us have the opportunity to visit those in prison.
The Diocese of Olympia supports an Episcopal Ministry where several of our parishioners visit, lead worships services, and pray for inmates in the King County Correctional Facility. Do you think this might be your calling to fulfill Christ’s encouraging words?
If you would like to explore this opportunity, or assist us in prayer, please contact one of us or leave us your contact information. Volunteers are female and male, who visit and lead worship in pairs for 1 hour per month. Training and mentoring are provided by the existing volunteers and jail staff.
Allan Affleck firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev Mark Blindheim email@example.com
Fred Milkie firstname.lastname@example.org
__Please contact me about becoming a jail volunteer
__I would like to provide prayer support for this ministry and the inmates they serve
__My parish would be interested in providing prayer support for these inmates