Several years ago, Kaona Hazlett created a pattern for a kite quilt. The inmate members of prison congregations may buy a quilt for a nominal sum of money and designate it for a family member. PCA ships the quilt to a clergyperson in the family member’s community who agrees to deliver the quilt. This is a tangible way to show the family member that they are not alone – that their loved one cares for them, as does a local church community. Volunteers from all over the country now make kite quilts. If you would like to make a quilt for PCA, download the pattern, and ship the finished product to the PCA office.
We wear kite pins as a means of remembering our brothers and sisters who are incarcerated. If you would like pins, they are available for a suggested donation of $1/each.
Annual Art Contest
Every year, members of PCA initated congregations are invited to send entries to our annual art contest, using Matt. 25:36 as a theme. Every fall the Board of Directors chooses the piece that will be used as gifts for our major donors.
2012 Art Contest Winner
“I Was in Prison and You Came to Visit Me” is a pencil drawing created by Steve A., a member of St. Dysmas in the Mike Durfee State Prison in Springfield, SD.
Not only is Pr. Ed Nesselhuf the founding director of Prison Congregations of America, he is also a cowboy poet. Copies of his 3-poem CD entitled “Promise Fulfilled” are available for a suggested $5 donation.
Here is one of Ed's Poems that is on the CD.
What Was It Like For You, Dysmas?
By Pr. Ed Nesselhuf
What was it like for you, Dysmas?
When you heard the knock on the door
And you heard the jangle of armor and swords
And you knew who the soldiers came for
Did your heart turn as dry as a desert
Did you hands get clammy with sweat
When you knew in your heart your luck had run out
It was time to pay up your debt
What was it like for you, Dysmas
When they led you away in chains
You knew that a pardon was just not an option
Did fear run deep in your veins
Your days on the run had now ended
When they slammed the door of your cell
And any hope vanished like mist in the wind
And you knew that you'd just entered hell
What was that like for you, Dysmas
When the gavel fell with a thud
And death was the sentence for all of your crimes
When the judge said, “You'll pay with your blood!”
Did you do some soul-searching, Dysmas
As you counted your remaining days
Did life get more precious with time running out
Did you regret not changing your ways
What was it like for you, Dysmas
When they stretched you out on the cross
And the hammers drove spikes that tore through your flesh
Did you think your whole life was a loss
And what made you defend this Jesus
Nailed and hanging alongside of you
When a third one had mocked this supposed Son of God
You replied, “We just got what we're due.”
But it struck you as wrong to see innocence die
What about him touched your heart
You asked him to remember you when he rose
Apparently faith made a start
Now, what was that like for you, Dysmas
When Jesus answered he wouldn't forget
And promised you Paradise that very day
He would take on himself all your debt
Could you believe the promise he gave you
Or was it just too good to be true
You had nothing to offer except your own need
Why would God want a person like you
Yet the answer is written in Scripture
The heart of our God is revealed
A life that's all twisted and broken and bent
Is mended and pardoned and healed
Do you realize what you've done, Dysmas?
What you've allowed the whole world to see?
That if there's room in the kingdom for someone like you
There's got to be room there for me!