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.