I was greatly moved by this letter from our own Chaplain Dave Robinson to supporters of the ministry he leads, Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy. In it he announces his retirement and proclaims beautifully the meaning of Easter. I share it with you in celebration of his good work and in recognition of LABC’s support of this significant ministry.
For me, Easter has always been the sign of hope. The hope is based on the reality that we are loved as God’s children; that nothing can separate us from God’s love and we can live with our Lord and one another as new creations. We each have value and purpose in this love. We find our fulfilment as we love others, especially those that are seen as the least of our brothers and sisters, in the ways we are loved by Jesus. This is my Call and the Call of CIC Ministries, to share the love of God with those who need Hope.
In 1985, I was called as a chaplain to serve with CIC. Today, I wish to inform you that I plan on retiring on August 1, 2019. This decision has come about after many discussions with my family, my Lord and the CIC staff and board. I am looking forward to spending more time with my family, traveling and discerning the next steps in my call.
The CIC Board of Directors have decided to call the Rev. Elizabeth Milner to be the next Executive Director. Many of you know Liz. She has volunteered with us for over ten years then was called as the staff chaplain to the women’s jail three years ago. She is confident of her Call to this position and I offer her my full support, respect, and trust.
It has been my life’s call to serve as the CIC Director and chaplain. I have been able to use all my God given gifts and skills with those that are struggling with addictions and mental health problems as well as with suffering from rejection and traumas. I have learned much from these inmates, especially how hope can spring forth from the worst situations. Seeing the magnificence of God’s grace in the midst of this hell we call jail, renews my hope, my faith, and my love of God and people in the most powerful ways possible. Serving a diverse community has been exciting to learn and share faith stories, interpretations of Scripture, and how we can work together serving people inside the facilities and as they re-enter.
When I started at CIC I was told by my mentor that one of the special aspects of CIC was the way we prepare people of faith to serve the prisoners. Over the years we have trained thousands of volunteers to use their gifts of faith, hope, and love to minister to those in need. Our volunteers are called to go into the jails and juvenile facilities and CIC has provided a safe, meaningful and effective way to respond. They have grown in their own faith and appreciation for our Lord’s graceful love. They have experienced how, when we respond to the call, we are then used as instruments of Grace. As the parable in Matthew 25 states, as we love the least of those, we love Jesus.
Through our eyes of faith, we recognize our God in the midst of all these inmates, men, women, and the kids. It has been my privilege to be part of this ministry; my call has been fulfilled and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to be in jail with my Lord.
I trust CIC will continue to serve all the people with respect, compassion and to love each as a child of God. Thank you for all your support, time, prayers and funding for this great ministry. May the Lord’s blessings of love and hope continue to be with you and all our brothers and sisters who are incarcerated.Dave Robinson