It has been encouraging to see many individuals and families encouraged and even transformed through the state-wide ministry of Prison Fellowship.
The gospel is for all people, not forgetting those who are the least of these including those in prison, the survivors of crime, the families affected, and all those impacted by crime.
Matthew 25 describes that in this, we are unknowingly ministering to Christ himself and receiving His mercy. Amazing Grace!
We invite you and your church to continue, or even increase, your involvement in this amazing ministry.
Below are some quick updates of what is happening so far this year and upcoming events and needs.
- Angel Tree 2009 & 2010
The distribution of 1300 presents to the children of incarcerated parents through the 2009 Angel Tree program was again well received. The 2010 program starts in late August and is a great opportunity for local churches to bring God’s love to the little ones often forgotten by society. Queensland Corrective Services continues to support the Angel Tree Program on the proviso that the program coordinators and volunteers are suitable persons for contacting children. Could you recommend to your Minister or Pastor or Church Administrator that they consider formally adopting this program as a significant part of a Christmas outreach?
Please pray and get involved: SUITABLE (with Blue Card) VOLUNTEERS AND CHURCH COORDINATORS NEEDED FOR CHRISTMAS 2010
- Circles of Support & Accountability (COSA)
In 2009 a small group of mature Christians committed to support and mentor an ex-inmate from a high-risk category to ensure a smoother re-integration into the community and their local church. The COSA is also supported by appropriately trained and experienced professionals. The results of this type of program is to significantly reduce the risk of re-offending. We are moving to make this program available to more individuals where there are churches willing to welcome and closely mentor them. The Government is acknowledging the need for this program. PF can respond with more COSA’s only if church-based supporters and financial supporters commit to this. Could your church or home group consider this?
Please pray and get involved: CHURCH-BASED VOLUNTEERS AND FINANCIAL SPONSORS (FOR PROGRAM COORDINATION) NEEDED
- Sycamore Tree Program (STP)
Prison Fellowship continues to make representation to the Government to approve the pilot commencement of STP in Queensland. In Western Australia and overseas prison official endorse this pre-release program as the single best way of ensuring ex-inmates do not re-offend and return to jail. Where other programs fall short, STP is able to develop empathy and deep remorse (and even repentance) by bringing together the offender and an unrelated survivor/victim in a controlled, supervised setting. Usually for the first time in their lives, the offenders gain a deep understanding of the impact of their crime on others. The evidence elsewhere is that STP combined with COSA following release will reduce re-offending in Queensland from over 50% to under 15%. Please pray that this program is given approval as it is in the final stages of consideration by the relevant authorities. If approved, we will then be carefully and prayerfully seeking the participation of appropriate individuals who have been survivors/victims.
Please pray and get involved: CHURCH-BASED AND COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS TO PARTICIPATE AND FINANCIAL SPONSORS (FOR PROGRAM COORDINATION) NEEDED
- Prison Chaplaincy
PF continues to be a part of the approved core delivery of chaplaincy-based ministry inside Queensland prisons. This is a direct ministry opportunity unique in the world. Currently 22 PF Chaplains serve in 28 positions across 16 prisons and watch-houses from Atherton and “T.I.” in the north to Palen Creek near the NSW border. PF Chaplains are officially approved and trained volunteer members of a prison Chaplaincy team. They are rostered for one/week to visit inmates and conduct Chapel services about every 6 weeks. Chaplains receive a small payment towards their out of pocket/petrol expenses only. If you are a mature Christian and interested in Chaplaincy ministry or in encouraging another please contact the PF office. Currently, we have 9 vacancies in Brisbane, Woodford, Maryborough, Townsville, and Atherton. Or perhaps you and your church might consider “adopting a chaplain” with prayerful and financial support to help the Chaplains cover all their ministry expenses (from $100 to $400/mth).
Please pray and get involved: NINE VOLUNTEER CHAPLAINS NEEDED, AND MORE CHURCHES TO “ADOPT-A CHAPLAIN”.
- Prison Fellowship International President Ron Nikkel visiting Brisbane 23-24 May
Ron Nikkel has been the President of PFI for almost 20 years and has the distinction of spending time (visiting) in more prisons around the world than any other person!
Ron is regarded as an international expert in restorative justice and chaired the UN NGO Alliance on Crime Prevention & Criminal Justice for 8 years.
He will be in Brisbane city on 23 and 24 May and we are lining up as many contacts and meetings as possible, including PF supporters, government officials, church leaders, and media.
Please pray and get involved: More details about the meetings will be sent as soon as possible.
- “Art From Inside” 19-23 June
The 2010 PF Art Exhibition will be held in the Foyer in the Queensland Parliamentary Annexe.
Donated works from inmates will be exploring the theme “Lord Remember Me”.
The Patrons Morning Tea is on Monday 19 July and the official opening is 7pm for 7.30pm Tuesday 20 July. There will be speakers, a fund-raising auction, and an opportunity to mingle with supporters from throughout the community.
Please pray and get involved: Please reserve these dates in your diary and tell your friends to do the same.
- Resource Needs
We hope and pray for more funding to be made available to cover all of the expenses involved with the above ministries. Most of the programs are and will continue to be undertaken by church-based volunteers.
Without the Lords resources being made available through supportive individuals and churches, the ministry cannot grow.
We are very conscious that these resources are threefold and in this order: Prayer, People and Finance.
If you are already involved, we hope you are encouraged to continue supporting this ministry.
If you or your church are not deeply committed to a “Matthew 25” ministry, and would like to be, here are some options:
Contact the office and register your interest:
- as a prayer supporter
- as a volunteer in one of the existing or proposed ministry programs and events
- to become a Prison Chaplain
- to find out more about you or your church “adopting a Chaplain”
- to find out more about “Project 200”. Project 200 is a program designed for individuals and churches who haven’t financially supported PF before or for those who want to substantially increase their ongoing support level to $1000/yr or more.
- to make a bequest or living will.
Please pray and get involved: Please select one of the options and respond to the office contact details below.
If you are coming to the Gospel Music Festival in Toowoomba this Easter, call in to our stall and say hello. We are operating a stall there for the first time.
We will have PF T-shirts, books, and DVDs to give away to those who make donations to support the PF ministry at Easterfest.
$25 Donation – Pin
$50 Donation – DVD of inspiring stories
$100 Donation – Broken Chains book
$200+ Donation – T Shirt
Please pray and get involved: And come prepared. Cheques and credit cards also accepted.
- Make a Donation
If you feel led or inclined to make a new or ongoing donation to support these ministries, there are some online options below, or send a cheque (with your name and address) to the address below.
The Lord is with you as you love and serve Him.
David Way & Daryl Myatt
State Executive Director Chairman
Prison Fellowship Queensland