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Prison Ministry Team Report for March

The Prison Ministry Team “endeavors to become informed advocates for justice and build relationships to decrease isolation of those confined in the Iowa Justice System.”  Here are some of our latest endeavors:

  • In March we planned a screening and fundraiser at FilmScene in June as part of their Community Collaborations series.  Beyond Walls is a program of five short documentaries about prison life, its effects on families of the incarcerated, and life after incarceration.
  • We also made arrangements to transport people to see The Inside Singers, a new 30-minute documentary about the Oakdale Choir which will be shown at the Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival on April 5 and 6.  The choir, under the direction of UI’s Dr. Mary L. Cohen, included several members of our congregation.

  • Finally, we arranged to transport participants to a Reentry Simulation at Coe College on April 10.  The simulation attempts to educate outsiders on the challenges facing those returning after incarceration.  If you would like to participate in either of these activities, email prisonministry@uusic.org.

UUS and the PenPal Program
The Prison Ministry Team continues to be active through the Pen Pal program. Members regularly correspond with incarcerated individuals either by “snail mail” or through the Iowa Department of Corrections’ o-mail system, CorrLinks. We are always looking for volunteers to write to inmates. Incarcerated persons tell us over and over how important it is for them to hear from those of us outside. Just knowing that there are caring people who haven’t forgotten them and are willing to spend time writing to them is a deeply meaningful, positive experience for them. And it is very rewarding for volunteers, too. We can set you up with contacts, instructions for using CorrLinks and postal mail, and a sample introductory letter to use or modify as you see fit. If you think you might be interested, please email prisonministry@uusic.org and one of us will get back to you.  You can also check out our page on this website at https://www.uusic.org/connect/#justice.

The UUA has a prison ministry through the Church of the Larger Fellowship, the Worthy Now Prison Ministry Network. They’re also looking for people to become pen pals to incarcerated individuals nationwide. For more information, go to worthynow.org.

Join the Prison Ministry Team
The UUS Prison Ministry Team meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm in the UUS Conference Room. You are welcome to join us at our next meeting on April 2, 2024, either in person or via Zoom (Meeting ID: 848 0842 4430; Passcode: 193553).

Post Content URL: https://www.uusic.org/connect/#justice  (under Social Justice Groups & Community Service Teams)

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