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Christmas Sing-Along tonight at Prison

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Unread 12-10-2012, 06:16 PM   #1
Twinkletoes
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Looking forward to singing Christmas songs with the inmates tonight!

My husband and I live in fairly close proximity to the Central Utah Correctional Facility and have been volunteers there for less than a year.

We began about 9 months ago to meet once a month with "our" assigned prisoner for Family Home Evening; however, in December there are no meetings. That has to be disappointing to the inmates; I was disappointed as well because I really enjoy Christmas music -- it is the key "ingredient" that makes the season joyful for me.

So, I got approval to host a Christmas Sing-Along and invite the inmates who are already involved in the FHE program to attend. (They have been carefully screened and have to meet certain requirements for this privilege.) I've chosen 18 songs. Some are happy, some are reverent. DH wasn't so sure I should include "I'll Be Home for Christmas", but I did anyway.

I arranged for one of the inmates (with computer skills and privileges) to scan the lyrics and show them on a screen, so we don't have to pass out a stack of papers. There will also be pictures shown of Christmas-y scenes. I am hoping there will be maybe 50-60 men there in the chapel.

Normally, I would assign myself to play the piano, even though my ability has dwindled; thankfully, there is an inmate (John B) with such awesome musical talent that I am counting on to accompany. I've only heard him play one time for one of the choirs, but have already decided that when he dies I WANT HIS FINGERS TRANSPLANTED ONTO MY HANDS, LOL!!! Heard he was a musician with a band in his former life.

I've been meaning to share this with my NT friends. I've gotten varied reactions when I've invited others to volunteer there. It has been a very special and life-changing experience for DH and me. Our married life has improved dramatically because we have learned to communicate better (other reasons, too).

Recently DH was made coordinator of the Monday night Volunteer program, so we're getting to know lots of good folks -- some have been volunteering for 20+ years!!! Now we attend every Monday night -- they've put me in charge of the music (just for that night), which I love. The inmates are usually seated before their assigned "family" shows up and sits beside them on the pew, so we take up the time by singing from the hymnbook. After everyone has arrived, there is an opening song, a prayer and an inspirational thought, all offered by the inmates (I'm in charge of these "assignments").

Then we separate for Family Home Evening and each inmate gets to meet one-on-one with with his assigned married couple for 30-40 minutes until the bell for "movement" rings.

I don't know if its nerves or what, but I'm not feeling as good as I'd like to. Been sewing today and have developed a dull ache in my head and neck. Hope it goes away soon.
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Unread 12-10-2012, 07:32 PM   #2
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What a wonderful ministry twink! Hope you're having a great evening...
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Unread 12-10-2012, 09:11 PM   #3
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Wonderful undertaking, Twink. Bless you and DH.
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Unread 12-10-2012, 09:36 PM   #4
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I had a friend, now passed, that taught meditation at a state women's prison so this sounds great to me, Rochelle!

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Unread 12-10-2012, 10:24 PM   #5
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Thank you for your kind comments, friends!

I had a close call! Before we even got started I came SO close to biffing it: I was standing up by the piano and took a couple of steps without realizing that there were stairs! Fortunately, I caught on to the handrail and only knocked off a Christmas decoration, breaking a bulb. Someone got a vac and cleaned it up before everyone arrived.

John B played the piano and David D led the singing. Gary D was in the back making sure the lyrics showed up on the screen. All in all, it turned out just fine.

My own kids are so sick of singing The Twelve Days of Christmas, (a family tradition only because I insist), but we really had fun with it tonight. I assigned each of the "Days" to pairs of inmates and had them stand up to sing every time it was their turn. Some really sang with gusto!

I could tell the two guys who had the 2nd day were singing a variation of "Two turtle doves," but couldn't decide what. Finally they got a little braver and louder, and I could hear them sing, "Two turtle NECKS..." After we finished the 12th day, everyone clapped.

An hour later we finished with Silent Night and came home.

I imagine I'll sleep better tonight now that I've got that behind me. Now I've got to SEW SEW SEW -- I didn't get my "baby's" b-day Minky blanket finished (she's 32). Minky fabric is similar to fur and I keep grabbing the darned pins (they kind of get lost)! My hands feel like I dipped them in the Shark Tank!
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Unread 12-10-2012, 11:15 PM   #6
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God bless you Twinks.
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Unread 12-11-2012, 12:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewizabeth View Post
God bless you Twinks.
Thank you, Wiz. He does. He does!
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Unread 12-11-2012, 01:30 AM   #8
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That seems to be wonderful of what you all are doing for their. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
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Unread 12-11-2012, 08:46 AM   #9
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Twink, they'll remember this, too. Years from now they'll talk about it and remember that "sweet lady" that made their holiday special. Just goes to prove that Christmas can be celebrated anytime anywhere.
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Unread 12-11-2012, 01:22 PM   #10
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Yes and I'll bet that if any of them take up breaking and entering again, they will skip your house with a tip of the hat.
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