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Prison Ministry Awareness Week

      While Isaiah 61:1 may just be another Bible verse for some people, it serves as the foundation for Eastern University’s Prison Ministry. Isaiah 61:1 proclaims, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”

      Prison Ministry has weekly meetings to educate themselves on contemporary Criminal Justice issues, reframe modern day stigmas of incarcerated individuals and to pray for individuals who are impacted by our Criminal Justice System. They also frequent a juvenile detention center on select Friday nights to spend time with the juveniles living there.

      Prison Ministry is one of the six on-campus ministries and celebrated their Awareness Week with events every night this past week. These events were centered around justice issues of mass incarceration, juvenile justice and racial profiling within our Criminal Justice System, amongst many others.

      On Monday, October 15th, the three Prison Ministry leaders, Paige, Juliet, and Alicia, congregated in the Breezeway lounge and spent their night making goodie bags with a myriad of students who stopped by. Students decorated brown paper lunch bags and filled them with candy and encouraging notes. These goodie bags were then dropped off to juveniles in the Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center during Prison Ministry’s outing on Friday.

      These brown paper lunch bags may not have seemed like much, but they symbolized so much more to the leaders of Prison Ministry.

      “I love making goodie bags every semester. It’s something for the youth to hang onto as a reminder that we care about them. It’s more than just handing out candy because the notes inside are handwritten and intentional. We don’t know how much those notes can impact the youth” Paige Adamczak, President of Prison Ministry, said.

      Other students that attended the event expressed similar opinions. They also expressed that the event was fun to attend and meant a great deal to them, even if it was just decorating a lunch bag. Prison Ministry leaders felt as though the event was a success and walked away with twenty-three goodie bags at the end of the night.

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