Newsletter – September, 2013

ImageDonationOur Ministry’s most important tool is the Bible. Thanks to your generous donations, PIM has distributed hundreds of bibles to the inmates, both in Portuguese and Spanish. Many of the inmates are taking the Bible they received in prison with them when released. They keep their Bible as a symbol of how God helped them endure their time in prison. Last month PIM received two boxes with 48 Spanish Bibles donated by Hispanic/Latino/na Congregational Support Office. Almost all of these bibles were already distributed to the inmates and, very soon, we will need more. I thank the Rev. Hector Rodrigues, the Associate for that Office who has been very supportive to PIM’s ministry.

Video – As I informed before, I did a video with the testimony of 4 former inmates. This video was the first presented at the Presbytery of Southern New England on September 14th. I visited those former inmates and recorded about 1 ½ hour of testimonies, editing it to a powerful 9 minutes. My intention is to share this video at congregations and to continue doing a file with other former inmates’ testimonies. I thank Mr. Jeff Bastos, a Brazilian member of Bethel Presbyterian Church, who donated his time and used his equipment to do the editing. The Bethel Presbyterian Church is a Portuguese speaking Congregation in Marlboro, MA that has contributed monthly to the PIM ministry.

 IF YOU WANT TO HAVE THIS VIDEO PRESENTED AT YOUR CONGREGATION, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME ATrev.gerson@verizon.net

Donations received:

– Henry Ruppenthal

– Richard Price

– Igreja Presbiteriana – Boston, MA                

– First Presbyterian Church – Stamford, CT 

– IPI do Brasil

 

Please send your donations by check or money order made out to: Presbytery of Southern New England 123 Elm Street #200 – Old Saybrook, CT 06475 – Important: write a note designating your offer to the Presbyterian Immigrant Ministry.

Day

Prison (all units)

Attendance

03

Plymouth

14

04

Boston

40

06

Dartmouth

19

10

Plymouth

22

11

Boston

43

13

Dartmouth

20

17

Plymouth

17

18

Boston

41

20

Dartmouth

17

24

Plymouth

21

25

Boston

51

27

Dartmouth

32

 

Kátia’s Repost – We completed the bible study on the book of James. Each of them received a certificate in recognition of her participation in the Bible study. The day that I gave them their certificates was a day of joy. Praise the Lord because He is good! We are now starting Luke. Because of the size of the book, and also because of the inconsistent timeframe in jail, I am planning to give them a certificate after every tenth lesson.The ladies are meeting every day on their own for a bible study. At the beginning they met once a week, but for the last three weeks they have been doing it every day. They also started a reading group. It is being held in one of the corners of their floor, in the free time they have. They are reading Corinthians, and everyone is welcome. It has been an invitation for those who don’t know about the bible study.

For the last couple of weeks I have noticed a decrease in the number of immigrants in the group. Most of the group that is attending the bible study now are sentenced inmates.

Some of them are just now coming to the Christian faith, and have many theological questions. Because of the limited time we have together, it is harder to delve deeper. So, I am thinking that theological books, with easy reading, would be a good thing to give them. 

Baptism at the Prison – At our previous newsletter you could read some of the letter that PIM received from an inmate. He became a Christian at the prison where he had his first experience of preaching to other inmates. He wrote that he was looking ahead, when he will leave the prison to find a church to be baptized. Now, as he is not sure how long he will be detained, he asked me to be baptized at the prison. He already took the initiative to ask the prison’s staff to allow me to perform his baptism. Please, keep this subject on your prayers.

 

1001 New Worshiping Communities (1001 NWC) is a new initiative in the PC(USA) to inspire and equip the wider church to participate in the creation of 1,001 new worshiping communities in the next 10 years. God is raising up leaders in churches and presbyteries who are creating or partnering with new worshiping communities in their communities.  Primarily they are seeking to make and form new disciples of Jesus Christ, to change and transform the world. They are taking on new and varied forms of church for our changing culture.  New worshiping communities self-identify and can register on the 1001 NWC web site. You can see where and who they are and learn more about the 1001 New Worshiping Communities at: http://www.onethousandone.org/

 

PIM’s Bible study groups form new worshiping communities where the Word of God is being proclaimed, where discipleship happens, where people are getting together for mutual comfort and spiritual care. Although PIM initially self-identified as Mission, through learning about the 1001 New Worshiping Community definition PIM recognized that the Bible study groups are becoming new worshiping communities. PIM applied to 1001 NWC and received first a seed grant and just recently an Investment grant. These partnership grants include funds from General Assembly, the Synod of the Northeast, and the Presbytery of Southern New England, which provide partial funding for this year’s and next year’s budget. PIM is thankful for the 1001 NWC initiative, which encourages and inspires PIM’s further work with immigrants in detention who make up these new worshiping communities.

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