Thursday, April 21, 2016

Spring!


            Since the beginning of this year our jail ministry has been incredibly full of life. Every week we have visitors from the community joining groups, such as Women's/Men's Beginnings. These groups are available to individuals  who have  Huber work release privileges or have been released and want to continue their support.  New volunteer opportunities have flourished from those who visit from the community. For example, we have a woman who leads   writing groups  now bringing  writing prompts to our Women's Beginnings  group. When we share what we have written in response we see how these prompts deepen and expand our conversations. We have also  begun fruitful conversations around the 6 core values of the Dane County Sheriff's Office. These  intriguing conversations also occur at our Women's Beginnings Group with a staff member from the jail. The 6 core values are:
 
Integrity
                                                                                                  Respect                    
                                                                                               Knowledge
                                                                                               Leadership
                                                                                                 Courage
                                                                                    Professional Excellence
We approach each value by defining what it means to us individually, within the jail setting and then hear from the attending staff what it means to and how it is practiced  by  the  Dane County Sheriff's Office.
            I recently came across a term used by Irene Sullivan, retrieving souls. I believe our conversations  are part of that work. As a chaplain the  responsibility  is to create a place of safety for individuals to participate in the retrieving of their  souls. They have been lost to their own sense of spirituality and they need a companion/s on their journey.  A young  women who has been a regular participant describes it like this:
I enjoy going to Beginnings because…[I] get to know…a bit more about  another woman who [I] may not have known otherwise. Also I feel like it helps me open up about myself and share my story a bit too.
 
Conversations, retrieving our souls, sharing our stories.
Gratitude to all who support this ministry.
 
 

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