St. Luke’s Stewardship Moment of Light
For it is in the giving that we receive.
– St. Francis of Assisi, circa 1200
St. Luke’s currently has two Faith Teams. A Faith Team, comprising 4-5 St. Lukers, is a partnership with individuals recently released from prison who are reconnecting to the Durham community. We help our Partners by “traveling” with them for a year or so—listening, establishing friendships, and providing assistance (non-monetary) as feasible.
We normally meet twice per month for discussion and food. Regrettably, COVID prevented us from gathering last year, and no food yet, as we have just recently started in-person meetings. Having been on several STL Faith Teams, I’ve found that our Partner-Team relationships are very much a two way street. That is, we receive much from our Partners, who have all been Black males. After trust is established, we’re able to hear firsthand about “the street” and about the (not so just) justice system from their vantage point. This is instructive learning that broadens and deepens our understanding of individuals disadvantaged by race and opportunities.
Our very first Partner (10 years ago) was Chris. He was a 26 year old Black male who’d spent his last 7 years in jail. He had gone to jail as a Baptist and came out as a Muslim. He was having difficulty getting settled, especially holding down a job. We had our ups and downs, but without doubt we formed a solid friendship bond and enjoyed a couple of Bulls games together, among other things. Unfortunately he ended up back in jail. For the next two years we stayed in touch and visited him (that was an eye opener). He got out, got married, now has two kids, a good job, and is closing on a house pretty soon. Our first ever Faith Team had a fun lunch with him, his wife, and baby a while back. I talked with him a couple of weeks ago. He wants us to come to his housewarming and meet his second daughter.
We will. Chris is our friend.
St. Luke’s Faith Team Coordinator
(Note: Faith Teams is a program of the Reconciliation and Reentry Ministry of the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham.)