In "Families," a Tapestry of Faith program
There are few difficulties families can experience that are as devastating as having a member imprisoned. It is especially hard when the imprisoned member is a mother, father, or primary caregiver. Providing opportunities to build connections for families that are hurting in such a way could be a rewarding long-term project that would involve both Families participants and others in the congregation and community.
The exact nature of such a project could take many shapes. For instance, families whose mothers are imprisoned could be the focus. In this scenario, the project might be to host holiday celebrations (perhaps ones that are already part of your congregational calendar) and invite families. For example, you might invite families with absent mothers to a small party the week before Mothers Day, at which they can make cards and small gifts for their mothers. At such a party families could make picture frames, without glass, from foam or wooden sticks. The Families participants could then use an instant processing camera to take photos of the children and put the photos in the frames for children to present to their mothers.
Work with others in your congregation or community to design a project that actively engages the program participants and gives them an opportunity to interact with the prisoners' families in a safe way.
If you lack support for such a project, instead consider inviting a guest speaker who could talk to participants about the experiences of families having a head of household in prison. Ask the guest speaker if there is a way the youth could help and, if so, to offer a suggestion during the talk.
After the discussion or event, consider using the following questions to help process the experience:
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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