Jan 01, 2018

By Mary Mortenson, Executive Director, Prison Congregations of America

I am old enough to remember when television shows were advertised as being “in living color!”  Just a few weeks ago I was reminded of how impressed I was when a city cousin got a color TV, something we country cousins wouldn’t have for a few years.  We are so blessed to have the gift of a Living Color World!

Today, even though the temperature won’t get above zero where I live, the sky is a beautiful brilliant blue, and we are thus reminded that warm days will come again – both literally and figuratively.  Jack and I just finished painting our living room.  Finally, after five years here, the deep brown and rust more accurately reflect our personalities, and we are “at home.”

I am blessed to be engaged in work in which color can be seen and celebrated in unlikely places. Prisons usually aren’t full of beautiful color.  Usually they are gray or white or some other nondescript color. Clothing usually matches the monochromatic color scheme, with the only variation designating security status.  Yet there is color.  In the sacred spaces, there are liturgical colors, most recently blue.  There is the deep purple of the grape juice offered at communion.  There are eyes of blue, green, brown, and gray – softened by hospitality and sometimes washed with tears.  There is artwork – paintings and drawings, knitting and beading.

I think that we are called to color our world. Whether it be in prison, in school, in the office or in the church, we are called to bring our crayons of acceptance, forgiveness, patience, respect, and love and leave the place a bit more beautiful than we found it.  We at PCA have much coloring to do as we continue to work on new congregations on several fronts.  The Board of Directors will search for a new Director to take over when I retire next December.  I can’t wait to see what designs will come of these efforts!

Happy New Year – and Happy Coloring.

Category: beauty

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