Friday, August 14, 2009

Serving Inmates in Their Darkest Hour

She started as a housewife without a clear sense of what she should be doing with her life and ended up a chaplain serving state prisons. Pam Moore ’87 has been involved in ministry since she left Gordon and says some of the finest people she’s known have worked in prisons and are doing their best with a limited amount of resources. How did she get there?
“I came to Gordon in 1982 as a young housewife with two small children, knowing I was being called to ministry but not knowing what that would look like. Gordon gave me an excellent education that challenged me intellectually, emotionally and spiritually and prepared me for studying for a Master of Divinity degree in pastoral counseling at Ashland Theological Seminary—finishing with honors while being a wife and mother and preparing for chaplaincy. I got a job as a staff pastor in a local church while simultaneously getting involved in pastoral counseling opportunities. I received my Ohio licensure as an LPC and was working in the field when I felt the Lord’s call to chaplaincy. I followed his call and was ordained and nationally endorsed as a correctional chaplain for the Assemblies of God denomination in 2000, serving state prisons in Ohio and New Jersey.
“I am a Protestant chaplain, employed by the state of New Jersey. I serve Protestant inmates, but I do supervise and facilitate other religious groups. I perform all the ordinances of the church on a regular basis, including an occasional wedding and memorial service. Pastoral counseling and overall pastoral care are daily duties and part of my calling as a chaplain. I also design and teach Christian education classes and Life Change programs, and I lead worship services and oversee religious services volunteers. I also assist communities in reentry training for when an inmate is released back into the community and am involved with helping inmates reenter as well.
“The most rewarding part of my job is the people I minister to. It is a great privilege to be allowed into someone’s darkest, most painful part of their life journey—to be able to stand with them in it, to share the love and hope of Christ with them; to watch them turn toward God’s light and away from darkness is a joy beyond words. I love these people dearly.”

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