Best-Laid Plans

Oct 14, 2016

by Rev. Chris Flohr, Pastor, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Missoula, Montana 

On Sunday October 9th one of the Prison Congregations of America (PCA) congregations in Montana – Freedom in Christ,  at the MT State Men’s Prison – had a Quilt & Art Auction as a fundraiser.  It was organized as a statewide on-line interactive auction.  Five sites across the vast state of Montana were all ready to go with tech people in place, volunteers and willing supporters. 

Unfortunately the on-line auction site did not function as planned.  It worked perfectly two days prior when practice sessions were conducted.  By it did not work the scheduled day.  It reminded me that the best-laid plans do not always go as we hope.

What did work was the creative “can do” attitude of the volunteers and supporters who improvised and did a modified auction with bidding through text messages and phone calls.  Over $2,000 dollars was raised and the message of the prison congregation’s ministry came through.

Two days prior I was at the Fall Board meeting of Prison Congregations of America in Sioux Falls SD.  There I witnessed the same kind of dedication, creativity and “can do” attitude of the board members to support prison congregation ministry across the United States because  there are people who lay out good plans for their lives and then things happen, sometimes terrible things that cause unexpected and unwanted negative consequences.  They end up in prison.  They wonder what happened to their best laid plans.  How could things go wrong so fast? 

My hope is they will be in a prison that has one of our 20 prison congregations and there they will hear a word of hope, a message of grace, and experience a community grounded in the love of Jesus.   That is why Prison Congregations of America (PCA) exists and dedicated people commit to supporting this fine ministry.

Category: mission

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