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Old 11-18-2018, 01:44 PM
 
20,422 posts, read 9,843,300 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
Well, my hubby and I went to the jail for the first time today. This is where I need to be! Talk about an emotional and spiritual experience. Wow. It's going to be the best three years of church involvement I've had in many, many years. Now, instead of dreading Sundays, I'm going to be looking forward to them.
I am glad to hear that you had an up-lifting experience.
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Old 11-18-2018, 02:43 PM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
11,198 posts, read 11,010,703 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
Well, my hubby and I went to the jail for the first time today. This is where I need to be! Talk about an emotional and spiritual experience. Wow. It's going to be the best three years of church involvement I've had in many, many years. Now, instead of dreading Sundays, I'm going to be looking forward to them.
I'm glad they let you back out.
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Old 11-18-2018, 04:26 PM
Status: "Unfailing Love" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: the Kingdom of His dear Son
3,302 posts, read 900,721 times
Reputation: 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by mensaguy View Post
I'm glad they let you back out.
It is almost worth the experience of prison life to have Katz come for a visit. We are rooting for you Katz and more importantly the God you express in life.
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Old 11-18-2018, 05:10 PM
 
1,280 posts, read 436,236 times
Reputation: 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
As some of you may know, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ( score one point for me for using the "approved" nomenclature) issues "callings" to its members on a ward (i.e. congregational), a stake (i.e. several groups of congregations) and general church levels. When you are "extended a calling" to serve in a specific position, you may, of course, decline. Most Church members that I know accept every calling that comes their way, believing that the person who issued the calling was inspired to do so. As a kind of an atypical member of the Church, I accept only callings that I think I could enjoy and do a good job at. I haven't had a calling at all for the last couple of years. My husband is currently heading up our ward's Family History (i.e. genealogy) program.

Well, about a hour-and-a-half ago, my husband and I were asked to meet with our Stake President. That would imply that a calling is imminent. Neither of us could imagine what on earth it might be. As it turns out, we were called to serve for the next three years as Sunday School teachers to the inmates at the Salt Lake County Jail. It sounded intriguing, so we accepted.

So, for the next three years, we'll be driving about a half an hour every Sunday to the jail, where we'll be teaching inmates in the minimum, medium and maximum security areas of the jail. These are men who are awaiting trial or sentencing for various crimes. It's a LDS program, but apparently there are even more men who are not LDS than who are who attend. It's a "no touch" facility -- no handshakes, pats on the back or anything. So, within a couple of weeks, we'll be starting. This is my "I was in prison and ye visited me" contribution to the church, and to be perfectly honest, I'd rather be serving in the jail than in the temple. (I hope I don't get struck down for saying that!)
This is really wonderful of you, in part because the Bible clearly says that ministering to prisoners is a core calling for Christians. If only I had the willingness and dedication that you have!
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Old 11-18-2018, 05:50 PM
Status: "6' - 220" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
25,869 posts, read 13,440,954 times
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As a non-Christian, but a Katz fan, I'm looking forward to hearing about how much she is learning and growing from hearing the experiences of those who have lived a life quite foreign to her own.
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Old 11-18-2018, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,970 posts, read 22,141,102 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mensaguy View Post
I'm glad they let you back out.
Me, too! Especially because I would never have been able to find my way back out on my own.

It was really kind of a surreal experience for me. Every time we went through a door and it locked behind us with that clang you associate with prison doors, it was a reminder to me of where I actually was. I was at first uncertain about how we should even interact with the prisoners. (We were shadowing another teacher, though, so I picked up my cues from him.)

It was interesting how they approached us. We were all in a small room which was visible to the guards in the next room via cameras. But all of the prisoners were really friendly. Of course, we had been instructed in how not to be "sucked in" and taken advantage of, so that was always in my mind. But I liked how it seemed as if they genuinely wanted to be there. They were mostly pretty upbeat and receptive to what as being said and almost all of them actively participated in the discussion, mostly with some really well-thought-out comments.

Even though I have a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, during the past few years, it's been harder and harder for me to go to church on Sunday, being a bit left of center in my approach to religion and therefore not very typical of a member of my Church. In the classroom setting, I've always felt I had to be careful to only make comments that wouldn't be seen as shocking to the members of my congregation. Here, I think I'm going to be able to be myself a little bit more, and while this whole thing is not intended to "bring souls to Christ," in the evangelical sense of the phrase, it's to help the prisoners understand that God loves them, that Jesus Christ took upon himself their sins, and that just because they committed a crime and are not in jail, that crime doesn't need to define them or determine the course for the rest of their lives. I gather that there's going to be a real focus on how to sincerely repent and move forward with life.

One thing I really liked was that when the teacher asked a question, no matter how "out there" some of their answers seemed to be, he never corrected anyone and said, "No. That's wrong." He just worked with the answers he got.

There was both an opening and a closing prayer, both offered by inmates. In both of their prayers, they thanked God for sending us to them and for our willingness to spend part of our day there. I found myself getting kind of emotional by their words, simply because they were clearly from the heart, which is something that doesn't often happen to me at church any more.
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Old 11-18-2018, 10:13 PM
 
954 posts, read 146,058 times
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Jesus was not speaking of a literal prison. After all He didn't even visit his own cousin in prison.
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Old 11-18-2018, 10:55 PM
 
Location: Panama City, FL
3,139 posts, read 941,239 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wardendresden View Post
Gratz, Katz!
My wife's best friend's brother, Doug, served eleven years in a Florida penitentiary for writing bad checks. He said within two years he lost his wife and that his daughter, even after his release, wouldn't speak to him. So these men can be very depressed.

Doug also told me it is very easy to convert those in prison--very easy. They live in a controlled environment where everything is regulated. But once out, with the controls gone, it is very easy for converted prison inmates to backslide and fall away. So in all your ministry find ways to instill trust that will last beyond the prison walls.

Last, for another bit of interesting commentary, Doug said the mildest, kindest, and least troublesome inmates were pedophiles. Doug preferred working in prison areas like the laundry where prison authorities (at least in Florida) tended to put them so they would be less likely to be attacked by more violent inmates.

Sending you off with a silent prayer and a song to make you think about the folks to whom you will be ministering:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=aa0BUxOdLLQ
Well said, Warden <--- hahaha speaking of prison & all

Katz - It takes a person who is not jaded to be interested in, even happy! to reach out to those who have fallen through the cracks of society. May you bless and be blessed in your assignment. You are clearly a person who is willing to give her life for the building up of the body of Christ. That is such a beautiful thing to behold.
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Old 11-18-2018, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Panama City, FL
3,139 posts, read 941,239 times
Reputation: 1024
Quote:
Originally Posted by Free4you View Post
Jesus was not speaking of a literal prison. After all He didn't even visit his own cousin in prison.
I disagree. We are all "in prison" in this world, but even more so when the State captures you and locks you behind bars and many in our self-loving, self-serving society say "throw away the key" or "may he rot in there" and all manner of horrible things like that.

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Old 11-20-2018, 11:21 PM
 
3,037 posts, read 1,059,211 times
Reputation: 2674
Katz ...you're doing a very 'Christ-like' service by ministering to those who are incarcerated. But, you already know this. Back in 1990 I volunteered to be a part of the Prison Fellowship Program here in Townsville, QLD, Australia. This program was initiated by Charles (Chuck) Colson of 'Watergate' fame. Unfortunately - and I really can't remember why - the PF Program fizzled out over a period of time and I never had the opportunity to participate other than in a few weekly meetings at the home of the prison chaplain. I wish you the very best in your endeavors, Katz. And, judging from all of your previous posts on this forum, you're the ideal candidate for such a mission . . .
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