Monday, January 23, 2012

Voting Rights for Ex-Offenders

In My Humble Opinion: 

  A Voice for the Voiceless

by Chaplain John H. Lamsma 
    and Rev. H. David Schuringa

Article about Voting Rights


In a recent debate in South Carolina, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney sparred over the issue of whether returning citizens (ex-offenders) should have the right to vote in Federal Elections.

Read more here: Voting Rights & GOP Debate

Also take a few seconds to vote in the poll at your right.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hear the Call of the Kingdom!

I love this song!  Dr. Galyn reminded me that this song was sung at my ordination on Feb. 6, 2011 and also yesterday at Randy's baptism.  Praise God for strong songs like this one.  They remind us who we are and whose we are.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Peacemakers for God

Here's a short video clip dealing with our topic for the Thursday night Bible study at the prison - Resolving Everyday Conflict.

Resolving Everyday Conflict - Invitation from Peacemaker Ministries on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

PCA Welcomes New Life Prison Community!!

By Mary Mortenson, PCA Director

The board and staff of Prison Congregations of America, Inc. join me in extending a warm welcome to New Life Prison Community, as the 20th worshipping community developed through the PCA model!  Like the other nineteen before them, the inmates are the members, led by a trained pastor from the outside and supported by churches and individuals on the outside.  Like the other members of the PCA family, New Life Prison Community has denominational support and oversight, guaranteeing accountability and succession.  The Christian Reformed Church, of which New Life is a part, also claims Cornerstone Prison Church in Sioux Falls, SD and Celebration Fellowship in Ionia, MI.  While each prison worshipping community, including New Life, has its own personality, all share some powerful characteristics.  All seek to establish a safe environment in which inmates can mature and practice their faith.  All seek to treat everyone with dignity and acceptance.  All are changing lives on both sides of the razor wire.  It is beautiful ministry, and we thank God for Pr. Rick and Rose Admiraal and all who choose to give their time and energy to New Life Prison Community.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Look Back at 2011 by Rose Admiraal

• We had just moved from Zeeland, MI to Pella, IA and were getting settled in our new community when ...
• Rick had emergency appendectomy.

• Rick was ordained as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church.
• We began New Life Prison Community with twice weekly group meetings.

• New Life begins to buy and distribute Christian-based greeting cards to the inmates on a monthly basis.
• Rick was busy preaching at area churches and sharing about New Life.

• New Life held a volunteer rally at Calvary’s Youth House.
• We held our first worship service in the prison on Maundy Thursday!

• Our first Tulip Time living in Pella!

• We took a break and visited family and friends in Michigan.
• We had our 2nd Worship Service at the prison focusing on Pentecost.

• God provided a buyer for our Michigan home!
• Along with 6 other riders, Rick rode his bike across Iowa in RAGRAI and raised money for New Life.

• As a family we were able to go back to Michigan to witness our nephew’s baptism.

• Third worship service at the prison with guest Rev. Mark Stephenson of CRC Disability Concerns.

• Rose began working for New Life as the office manager.

• Sold our house in Michigan.
• Held a prisoner re-entry workshop led by Rev. Carroll & Judy Lang of Ft. Dodge.
• Thanksgiving service at Newton prison with FIVE different churches represented on the praise team.

• Closed on our new home in Pella!
• Christmas worship service at the prison with a new record number of inmates and volunteers!
• God protected our son, Johnathan, from harm during a serious car accident.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Celebrating the Gift of Jesus (by Rose Admiraal)

On Thursday, December 22, we had the privilege of worshiping with the inmates of New Life Prison Community to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. What an awesome time of celebration! We had a full band from Faith Christian Reformed Church of Pella lead us in praise and worship songs. Pastor Rick gave us a message on the Light shining in the darkness and served communion. Several inmates shared poems and testimonies of God working in their lives.  They also read Scripture and prayed. We had a record number of inmates and volunteers there that evening.  There were 125 inmates and 21 volunteers!  There were so many that we even had to get out more chairs! God is so GOOD!