Friday, February 15, 2008

Lent Day 9

The Journey says it's the feast of Thomas Bray...having not a lot to say, and some curiosity, I thought I'd share him with you, as he's a pretty interesting fellow:

In 1696 Thomas Bray, an English country parson, was commissioned to report on the condition of the Church in the colony of Maryland. He spent only ten weeks in the colony, but he radically re-organized and renewed the Church there, providing for the instruction of children and the systematic examination of candidates for pastoral positions. He founded thirty-nine lending libraries and numerous schools. Both in Maryland and upon his return to England, he wrote and preached in defense of the rights of enslaved Africans, and of Indians deprived of their land. Back in England, he worked for the reform of prison conditions, and for the establishment of preaching missions to prisoners. He persuaded General Oglethorpe to found an American colony (Georgia) for the settlement of debtors as an alternative to debtors' prison. He founded a missionary society, the SPG (Society for the Propagation of the Gospel) and an educational and publishing society, the SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge), both of which are still active today. James Kiefer

I found all that prisoner info particularly interesting of course. My little "ex-jail guy" is having his struggles. Life on the outside opens no easy doors to those with a past. The latest hard thing he's discovered is that filling out on-line applications for the local retailers is a no-go...they kick him out automatically due to his record. Wham! No discussion! No interview! Even if, as in one situation, the guy actually wanted to interview him because he knew of him...he couldn't without an application. And his appeal is not looking promising at this point based on info from some attorneys. He says his stomach hurts, I can surely see why! He wants to see his son so badly and we haven't even been able to pull that off....the social workers are "working on it"....sigh...and meanwhile he waits. It's a long hard Lent for L.

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