Mail can be a life-line for those who are incarcerated. Contemplative Outreach regularly receives letters from prisoners looking for more information about Centering Prayer, asking to be added to the newsletter mailing list, wondering whether there might be a volunteer who could visit a particular facility, sharing fears about what awaits upon release . . . or simply seeking a listening ear. These individuals may or may not have a Centering Prayer group available to them at the facility where they reside.
The Prison Outreach Service Team is prayerfully discerning how best to respond to this wide variety of letters. We have a small group of volunteers who are developing protocols and sending tailored responses to each letter we receive. We are keenly aware that there are potential pitfalls associated with these efforts, so we are committed to due diligence in our efforts to follow the different rules for mail at each institution and are intentionally proceeding at a contemplative pace.
We greatly appreciate your prayers and invite you to join us as we live into the dream of having ample materials and mentors in place to facilitate correspondence courses and spiritual friendships with the incarcerated. Our hope is for continuous expansion of our capacity:
- to build bridges that transcend the separation and isolation so integral to the experience of incarceration,
- to transmit the method of Centering Prayer in as personal a manner as possible, and
- to find creative ways of fostering across-the-walls companionship on the spiritual journey.
There are many small tasks needing attention, and it isn’t going to happen overnight; we strongly believe, though, that connecting across the walls uplifts the Body as a whole and contributes to the transformation of the world.
In Matthew 25, Jesus says that “Just as you did to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me,” going on to explain that “the least of these” includes those who are hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and those in prison.”
For more information or to inquire about getting involved, please email us at email@example.com