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Training For Pen Pals
June 25, 2023 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Lord, when did we see you sick or in prison and visit thee?
And the King will answer them, “Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren you did it to me.”
The practice of visiting with men and women while in prison is perhaps one of the least practiced traits of discipleship on the list. Members and congregations often make charitable gifts for the sake of the poor, the homeless, those suffering from personal or environmental accidents. Members in congregations routinely remember, pray for, and visit those whom we know are sick. But to visit the imprisoned? For the most part that does not happen. This is for a variety of very legitimate reasons: ignorance of the mostly hidden population, institutional restrictions, and fear and prejudice. Yet the call of the Christ still exists.
The PSEC Addiction Task Force is now working with Rev. Russ Gates, former Chaplain at Phoenix Maximum Security State Prison (in Graterford) to raise awareness of the people held in our criminal justice system and to remember that they too are children of God and worthy of our compassion. We hope to offer our conference an email “Pen Pal” program (pun intended). This program would give some especially caring individuals a safe and effective way to communicate with some inmate electronically. The purpose is to simply relate person to person and give that stranger some hope of knowing that others care about their wellbeing.
The communication would be through a secure App, sanctioned by the Department of Corrections. No personal phone or address information would be exchanged.
If you are interested in learning more about this act of discipleship, we welcome you to attend an informational/training event led by Russ Gates.
To register for this hybrid event, click here.