Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Church of the Spiral Tree Pagan Prisoner Ministry (copy of orginal posting by Lady Charissa of North Georgia Solitaries)

Many of you may know that the Pagan Assistance Fund was asked late last year to help the CST Pagan Prisoner Ministry. 

The call came from the late Prison Chaplain Jonathan Medley.  His request was to help him find a way to get their newsletter into the prisons.  The cost was just too much to do for free with all the requests they have.  We came up with a plan and have been asking the community to donate stamps, paper, envelopes, gift cards for office supplies, etc.  Money is never turned down either. 

His other request was in trying to find a way to get books into the prison libraries for pagan inmates.  Again, funding is an issue.  We came up with a way to list regular books on swap sites and then order pagan books with the credits.  So we've asked the community to donate all those books that you keep meaning to get rid off - textbooks, novels, whatever.

Now, pagan prisoners have never been a part of the ministry that I've done.   It wasn't that I didn't believe in doing that, it was just that I had never really had that cross my path in my ministries.  So I worked with CST to help them in the capacity that Reverend Medley had requested.  I was impressed with the commitment of the people at CST and decided to join their church as a member to show my support that way.  I joined the yahoo group they have for the Pagan Prisoner Ministry to take a look around.  I was amazed.  They service prisoners from all over the country.  There are currently over 100 prisoners in their database looking for pen pals and there seem to be more requests coming in each week. 

So here's what I'm looking to do.  I'm going to spotlight one prisoner that is looking for a pen pal and bring him out into the rest of the pagan community and see if we can find someone to write to him.   If you haven't written to a prisoner before, you can find information on what to write and how to maintain your privacy at http://spiraltree.org . 

Here's the info on our prisoner in the spotlight: 

The spotlight is on Adam Joseph Anderson today.  He is residing at Oshkosh Correctional Institute in Wisconsin.

He writes:  I am what would best be called a universalist, tribalist Heathen following the path that both Odin and Tyr lay before me. I am universalist in that I do not think anyone whom the gods and goddesses call should be denied. I am tribalist in that family, friends and community matter very deeply to me. My interests include fishing, outdoor activities, rock and classic music, reading and trades work. I am a 27-year-old Caucasian male of Scando-Germanic descent. I have made mistakes and accept them, looking toward the future, using each day to weave a better strand of Wyrd into my orlog, these being the Nordic equivalent to karma. I practice meditation and am open-minded to learning of other paths and of shaping my own. Upon release I will be returning to Milwaukee, WI and plan to become involved in the larger Pagan community there. I look forward to learning from those who would teach"

If you aren't currently writing to a prisoner, think about writing to Adam.  If you do decide to write to Adam, you can get the details on where to write to him by joining the CST Pagan Prisoner Ministry Yahoo Group.   If you are interested in becoming a pen pal but want to look through the database and choose someone else, just join the Yahoo Group and take a look around.  Just be sure and post when you choose someone so that we can mark him/her as having a pen pal.


In service,
Lady Charissa 

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