Northern Virginia Brethren played a key role in making the bus for Queensland Girls’ School roll! The Ken & Ted event put the project of acquiring the bus put the New Community Project’s She has a Dream campaign over the top. Now disabled children needing transport, teachers living at distance, and sporting teams looking for a match – they’ve all got a way to get there!
How to become a pen pal to an inmate
A person on DR (Death Row) often spends up to 23 hours each day in a small cell for years and sometimes decades. Letters can bring a ray of hope to the darkness of DR. For those on the outside, learning to know just one prisoner can dispel some of the misconceptions and fears about prisons and the people locked away inside.
My pen pal is a black male, 48 years old who has been in prison for 27 years serving 2 life sentences. He was raised by an abusive, bipolar, addicted mother. When he was first arrested, his own son was one year old. They have been trying to build a relationship by phone and he has never met his three grandchildren. He is a spiritual man and says, “I am not a victim, and I stand in my own responsibility.”
Some positive changes went into effect at his prison in the past year. As part of that, he has worked outside; he shovelled two city blocks of snow and was paid $ 1.26 for 3 hours work. He earns 24 cents an hour for 5 days a week and $6 a month for school. He says, “A good month, I earn $33.”
We have been writing back and forth since October 2019. Since the pandemic reached peak, I have been seeing reports on the COVID-19 situations in prisons. I am concerned for my penpal as I have not heard from him since February 10th. I became interested in the Death Row Support Project since reading an article in the Brethren Messenger. I then read the book Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson which convinced me to become part of the project. The application is very simple and done on-line. The commitment is one letter a month for a year. I’m feeling a relationship developing already that I’m sure will last longer than one year – God willing.
For more information, contact Lyn Ficili at email@example.com.
On Saturday, December 2, following the Nokesville Christmas Parade (which begins at 4 pm), gather on the church lawn at 5 pm for the telling of the Christmas story, complete with choir singing Christmas carols, children re-enacting the story, and live animals. We’ll finish with a candlelighting.
Then, gather inside for the Community Chili Dinner. $5.00/person donation (children 12 & under are free). All proceeds benefit the Nokesville School lunch program and the Community Blessings Box.
Free horse-drawn carriage rides leave from the church all evening.
For those wishing to participate as volunteers:
All are welcome to sing in the choir during the Live Nativity. Come to the choir room at 4:45 to get your caroling booklet. We also need desserts (which you can drop by any time after 9 am on Saturday) and help setting up tables and chairs at 9am Sat. morning.
For those wishing to help decorate tables and prepare to serve food, please arrive at 3 pm. Contact Jeannette with questions. Many hands make light work, and this is a fun event with the community.