For the past fourteen years, members of St Thomas have been part of a community outreach known as the Jail Ministry. Our work is inspired by our calling as Christians to serve the poor, the hungry, and those in prison. Once a month, our lay ministers share a church service with Calhoun County Jail inmates based on the liturgy of that Sunday. Far from the images of inmates that we associate with prisons, we find the majority of these men and women thoughtful, intelligent.
The incarcerated lose everything: freedom, possessions, and perhaps children. Some inmates are frightened, and some mourn. Some are devastated. Many use the time in jail, and with us, to reflect on changing their lives. They come voluntarily, and we are deeply moved by the
stories and spiritual searching of these, mostly, young men and women. Our hope is to share with them a loving Christian community that transcends the walls that surround them and the life hardships they have faced.
We leave jail on Sunday with a sense of having participated in the sacred, drawn close to those who, in confinement, seek freedom in spiritual grace and the love and forgiveness of God. By God’s grace, we are just a breath away from their lives. In spirit, we are not separate. This sense of humanity and loving community is the gift that we hope to give and do receive.
For more information, please talk with Ginny Baldwin or call at
269-282-0199 or write: firstname.lastname@example.org. We are presently looking for another woman to train and work with Ginny and Dale.