by Ben Sworh
email us at: sttimothy.indy
Deacon Donna Olsen
Donna has been a loyal member of St. Timothy's for over 30 years, and was ordained as a deacon in 1995. The primary focus of her ministry is outside the parish; she is currently providing educational programs and spiritual guidance at a nearby men's correctional facility.
The focus of Donna's ministry has shifted even more strongly towards prison work in recent years. For eleven years she has been involved with the Plainfield Correctional Facility, where she now volunteers two days a week, leading Bible studies, discussions, and worship. Clergy from around the diocese join her occasionally for Eucharist. On Sunday evenings, she leads services at the Reception and Diagnostic Center, also in Plainfield. In addition, she visits a prison hospice each week and shares in some of the best conversations she's ever had. A grant from the diocese provides some expense money for these endeavors.
Frequently, our organist, Jim Herre, joins them to play piano for special services. The men are especially grateful to Jim for providing music for these services.
She continues to use the “Liturgy of Leaving” to celebrate when an inmate is ending his sentence and returning to the outside world. Steve Polston, who visits the prison sometimes, wrote this beautiful and highly cherished liturgy.
Donna would like to think that she is working herself out of a job, but, sadly, that will never be the case. Jesus said the poor are always with us and one might also add that we always seem to have plenty of prisoners, too. Some of them do leave prison and begin productive lives in the larger world, however. Pray that more and more of them will be enabled, with the grace of God, to do just that.
The little white box at the front of the Sanctuary collects your gifts to the Deacon's Discretionary fund, which is used by the Rev. Donna Olsen in her prison ministry. The senior warden and Vicar use money not needed by the Deacon to help people in this neighborhood. The box is opened annually in recognition of the First Deacon and Martyr, St. Stephen, on December 26.
The undesignated offering in the plate on the first Sunday of each month is by right and tradition for the use at the Vicar's discretion. The Rev. Kirsteen Wilkinson uses your gift of currency for the relief of poor people in this community.
"Lord God, Ruler of the Universe, please accept these gifts of our treasure and direct their use for our brothers and sisters in need. We honor their dignity, pray for their needs, and hope for their restoration. AMEN."
Above is a picture of the children at orphanage in India wearing hats knitted
with the yarn you donated to the Knit Wits of Plainfield Correctional Facility.
Get your Kleenex ready and take a look at the picture. It's beautiful! Thank
you for your generosity. (January 2013)