Our online-only service on December 26 is called “Worthy Now.” In it, leaders of the Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF), an online Unitarian Universalist congregation of 3000 members and incarcerated Unitarian Universalists will offer music and reflections exploring what it means to live out our commitment to ‘the inherent worth and dignity of every person in the context of mass incarceration.
This service comes to us via the Worthy Now Prison Ministry Network of the Church of the Larger Fellowship. Worthy Now includes individuals, groups, and communities of faith called to prison ministry and justice for those who are incarcerated. Worthy Now’s dream is for all people who are imprisoned to know they are inherently worthy of love and justice. And for them to have access to religious freedom.
One of Worthy Now’s primary programs is a Letter Writing Ministry – which provides a one-on-one letter-writing connection between a UU living in prison and a UU who is not. For some of our imprisoned UUs, their “pen pal” may be their only contact with the outside world. The Worthy Now Prison Network staff matches CLF members who are incarcerated with UUs who live in the free world. For a minimum of six months, you exchange friendly letters on topics of mutual interest. Letters are relayed via the CLF office, so there is no need to reveal your address or other personal information.
For those of us outside the prison walls, the letter-writing relationship has the power to help us understand better the issues of the people who find themselves incarcerated. We can bring a message of hope and healing, too. And we may find our hearts renewed by witnessing the power of Unitarian Universalism present even in the most difficult of places. Visit https://worthynow.org/pen-pals to review the guidelines. We encourage you to sign up and be part of this powerful ministry.
The Worthy Now Network developed, in part, to help reach the 1000 UUs who are living in prisons across the United States. Some were UUs before incarceration, but the majority learned about Unitarian Universalism’s saving message by being connected with the CLF after incarceration. Worthy Now helps extend CLF’s reach to meet the demand for our faith among this population.
You can find out more about Worthy Now’s other programs and priorities, like Prison Ministry Partnerships for congregations, Circles of Support, and educational resources and training here: https://worthynow.org/