Christmas in Prison 1: “Bears for Christmas!”

by Keith Wiglusz

Christmas in Prison: Bears For Christmas !

I think of this more than anything during the Christmas season while incarcerated.

My first Christmas in prison my two daughters were ages 8 and 9. I was very active in their lives before I fell and we were very close especially at Christmas time. This very first year of incarceration they came to see me. “Seeing me behind razor wire for them would be harsh and sad,” is all I had going through my head. My wife and I had made the decision to stay together when I fell and see if we could actually stay together. I had my doubts but she insisted that I at least should see my girls no matter what. Now the big test was upon me on this very first Christmas day with them walking into a prison with all the razor wire only to see their dad in tan scrubs.

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Poem: “Institutional Shakedown”

by AMN

Psalm 139:14

I

“Orange Crush is in the building!”
Is the call I hear at dawn’s break.orange_crush
“Awake, awake, tactical is here to take!”
A thousand boots stomping, hundreds of
sticks clanging,
As they invade the cell house and raid.

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Essay: A Fear in the Dark

by Dean Faiello

attica-1As I lined up with other prisoners in a brick passageway, six Attica guards huddled in a group, wearing blue latex gloves and gripping wooden clubs. They stared at us as we waIked in pairs through the sepulchral corridor without speaking, like Franciscan monks on their way to vespers. Heading to a Quaker meeting in the school building, I looked forward to talking with the Quaker volunteers, witnessing their compassion, learning more about Quaker tenets.

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Essay: Insights, 17 Years in Prison

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INSIGHTS, 17 YEARS IN PRISON
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by Matthew B. Harper Different Shoes

A month ago I met with two wonderful clergy, and our conversation meandered into fruitful territory. An important conversation, it was also the kind you can’t prepare for. So when our wandering words brought us to an important precipice, and I was invited to jump off, I quailed. Seventeen years of incarceration and over thinking about my crimes has led me to an untold number of insights and revelations so imagine my regret when, after being invited to share some, I failed at the task.

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An Epistle of the Incarcerated to the 21st Century Church

St SilasApostolic Letters from Prison

In the book Ministry with Prisoners & Families: The Way Forward, Madeline McClenny-Sadler offers a “Letter to African American Churches Concerning the Saints Coming Home from Prison.” It uses “the hybrid style of a Pauline epistle and a scholarly article” as a call to action (140).

Inspired by her letter, several PrisonLectionary.net contributors took up the same task. The second comes to us from “AMN .”

In case you missed the first, you can find it here.

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