Supporting those in Prison

This month we’d like to share with you about several updates related to our commitment to support those in prison. For the first time since Covid, our volunteers and several long-term members were able to spend a day helping out at New Hope House, where our friend and current board member Mary Catherine Johnson works to support and provide hospitality for Georgia’s death row prisoners and their families. We were able to help set up a carport that had been donated to the house and clear some trails, but perhaps the most meaningful part of the trip is the opportunity to connect in-person with Mary Catherine. We ask you to join with us in praying for her in this important and often lonely calling.

Two pieces of positive news regarding GA prisons: although it remains much restricted, visitation has resumed after a total closure for fifteen months. After an especially violent 2020 in GA state prisons, the federal Justice Department has ordered an investigation of all facilities. A few weeks ago, our volunteers also had the opportunity to spend a morning “court watching” in Athens with another Jubilee friend, John Cole Vodicka. John is a regular court watcher who writes a weekly report that is read by anyone interested in being aware of what goes on in the Athens-Clarke County criminal courtrooms.

In other news, we were encouraged this month by the opportunity to receive a virtual pastoral visit from Sally Youngquist of Reba Place Fellowship (Evanston, IL) and Fernando Arroyo of Hope Fellowship (Waco, TX). This yearly practice is an opportunity provided through our membership with the Shalom Mission Communities.