"This was the most powerful service that I have experienced in twenty years." /Paul, First Lutheran, Poulsbo
You and your congregation are invited to come and experience Living Stones worship on Saturday evenings at WCC/Shelton. For the men of Living Stones your visits are Christ's words in action and mean more to the men than human words can hope to convey. Your commitment to visit Living Stones displays love and care for men that society has in large part chosen to ignore. The men are "blown away" that people would travel, sometimes great distances, to worship with them. They are honored and blessed by your presence. And the blessing goes more than one way.
To schedule a visit, contact Sandi Nolte, LivingStonesAssistant@outlook.com.
Check out these resources as you prepare for your visit with the Living Stones community.
Jesus' message to the world was God is present (the Kingdom is at hand) and with Me love and care for one another. I truly believe that as we reach out to serve our neighbor we realize the Kingdom's presence and are blessed ourselves. The reality of God's presence in our midst and in the lives of others is realized. We are empowered and blessed by the God who is with us. Listen to some of the responses of our outside visitors:
I must say, it was a humbling experience. To hear those gates close behind you and to see open ones ahead was impressionable. That is the "life" those incarcerated see day in and day out. Imagine how disheartening that could be, and probably is to some. The walk to the building where we all met was eye-opening as well as sad. Sometimes coming to worship is the only interaction the men get. I am so happy that I was able to be part of that. . . .I know that I will be forever changed by shaking every hand of the men when they left that room to go back to their cells, knowing that I have the freedom to get in the van and come home to my comfortable home and life. I did not once ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable and would be more than willing to go back anytime! /Kristan, First Lutheran, Poulsbo
"Five of us from Grace experienced a glimpse of the kingdom last night at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton. We were welcomed into the Living Stones Prison Congregation with wide smiles, warm handshakes, and pleasant greetings. Then the prison worship band got up to sing and led us in heartfelt music praising and thanking God. One of the inmate worship leaders took time to explain that even in their situation there is plenty to be thankful for and then led the men in a beautiful song thanking God for their blessings. I was near tears through the entire worship service. I praise God for this experience. We went to prison—and we glimpsed the kingdom. We went to what the world considers the bottom—and we saw the top. We went to those who are damned by society—and we were blessed." /Coe, Grace Lutheran, Port Townsend
"I was totally impressed with the warmth and hospitality in evidence. It was easy to feel God’s presence within the congregation. The visit was very much worth the time it took to make the trip. I look forward to visiting again at some point in the future." Jim, Grace Lutheran Port Townsend
"Our journey down to the prison in the dark, in the rain, through the steel gates, and past the high cyclone fences led us to a fellowship of men praising God and lifting all our spirits. The message of light in the midst of darkness from Genesis and John was truly well-considered. I am very thankful for the opportunity to visit and hope to repeat this summer." Dave, Grace Lutheran Port Townsend
My visit far surpassed my expectations. The highlight was when the three men asked to be baptized and Pastor Norm decided to honor their request at that very moment. My impression was that the rambling, Scripture-hopping sermon by the music leader spoke to these men, and I shared that with him after the service. . . . Two other things struck me. One was that every man personally went out of the way to greet me. The second was that not a single man seemed to fit my stereotype of incarcerated prisoners, which I had anticipated as being angry and/or reluctantly adapted to their situation. Many of them seemed genuinely joyous during the worship service. /Tom, First Lutheran, Poulsbo
If you would like to share your experience of Living Stones, please contact Sandi Nolte (LivingStonesAssistant@outlook.com).