“RoLL AWAY THE STONE” FUND & WELCOME HOME BASKET
“ROLL AWAY THE STONE” FUND (START NOW)
Many of the “stones”—system barriers to entering the land of the living—can simply be rolled away with a debit card. The wealthy don’t stay stuck in the underground. (Mass Incarceration 101.)
Good news: that’s why we’re here. Jesus calls a community to get behind moving that barrier.
A whole church can (yes) easily round up $2,000 (a modest target we suggest) over the course of a whole year, to have ready for your returning friend’s first month out of prison.
A great way to raise this money and raise awarness and enthusiasm in the congregation outside your OPOP team is to host a “Roll Away the Stone” evening event a few months into this relationship. This is a chance to
show a clip of a film about mass incarceration we have in our modules online
offer spot testimonies of team members’ experience getting to know our friend and what they’re learning
read a portion of his/her letter from prison
show his/her face on a projector, or bulletin . . .
with a list of these financial obstacles below
and preach the story of Lazarus—how resurrection today involves Jesus communities called to help roll these obstacles away
invite congregants to give generously to the Roll Away the Stone Fund and share in this work as a body, to roll away the hefty barriers blocking full resurrection
show the list for a Welcome Home Basket (below), with a signup sheet for congregants to contribute these small-to-medium-to-larger necessities in the weeks ahead
share other ideas, needs, or opportunities for connection that have come up
pray for our friend
Here’s our list of the most common the financial barriers to reentry we at Underground Ministries roll away every week in WA State:
Knowledge Test ~$40
Driving Test ~$40
DOL (Re)Issuing Fee ~$180
Opening Payments in Court Debt Plans
Average two different courts, ~$25 each court, for 2-3 months to get them started (to take holds off their licenses)= ~$150
Often folks with bad driving records are required by law to get the more-expensive SR-22 high-rish insurance. This can be ~$300 per quarter, to start off their legal driving until their eventual employment and income (and budgeting, with your help!) kicks in. Be patient.
First Month’s Rent
Hopefully your returning friend and you have found some kind of low-rent program, transitional house, recovery home, or situation. Rent can be $5-600/mo. Save up for two months’ help as they work their early reentry. This is decisive. But only two months, we suggest. $1,000-1,200.
Remember, we always suggest accompanying our friends through this gauntlet of offices and instead of handing hot cash to our friend. Better to bring a church debit card to swipe at those intimidating desks, as a talisman of forgiveness—erasing the barriers and burdens of sin and death.
ITEMS TO GATHER W/ THE CONGREGATION FOR A WELCOME HOME BASKET (OR BIN)
Feel free to copy and paste into a church bulletin, projection slide, or email:
Toothbrush and paste
Small notebook, pen and planning calendar
Bag of new white socks
Clothing gift cards to Ross, TJ Max ($300 total)
Simple cell phone with prepaid minutes/plan
Gift card for something fun to do locally with kids (if he/she has kids)
Used car (Don’t try to fit this in the basket! Do not mention this to him/her ahead of time. But it can be a game-changer to have waiting in the wings for once your friend gets their driver’s license and insurance. Pray and ask around the congregation for a member with a used car they could tithe to this person. This is also an opportunity for someone with auto repair/maintenance skills in the congregation to come alongside our friend in tuning up the car together, spending time together.)