A Blog of Geek Eccentricities
First of all, visit, love, and pray. Minister to the family. At some point in time, if the church member acknowledges guilt, offer reproof and correction, as well as opportunities for confession and pardon, and appropriate penance. Much follow-up and pastoral counseling may be needed. If appropriate, minister to victims of crime. Listen to other members of the church if they feel a sense of betrayal. At some point in time, offer opportunities for healing and reconciliation with the rest of the community. This is a hard to answer in the abstract, but a good question to ponder.
Dead man walking, follow the example of Sister Helen Prejean.
Just 3 things: visit, visit, and visit.
Most of the people that I have visited who were incarcerated were in for fairly minor offenses and some for just being stupid. One was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.Visitation is important, but also, it is important to be sure that their needs are being met. Often people in prison or jail are mentally ill. It can be very difficult to insure that they are getting their proper medications on the proper dosage schedule!Mail is good. We had a church member who was incarcerated for an extended time for a probation violation for something that happened when he was a minor. He didn't realize that when he turned 18 he was still on probation. We sent him the church newsletter and lots of cards... especially for all the holidays.He said that all the cards and letters were what kept him sane while he was locked up.
"When I was in prision you visited me" I think some wiseguy once said that
a good pastor will commit a petty crime that will land him in jail with her parishioner for a short season.
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