First Church offers several ways to experience this rewarding ministry. In addition to hosting the Forgiven Ministry One Day With God Camp, First Church also provides volunteer opportunities within the walls of Caldwell Correctional Center in Hudson. In partnership with Caldwell Prison Ministries Inc., there are opportunities to participate in services, Bible study, addiction support groups, monthly birthday parties, enrichment classes and mentoring/sponsorship offered to Caldwell Correctional Center inmates.
From the Forgiven Ministries website:
Reaching, Reconciling and Restoring Lives is our purpose. By encouraging change from within the individual, we can reduce recidivism, stop the cycle of crime, avoid the waste of human capital and lessen the burden that offenders and their families place on society. Eighty percent of the children of incarcerated parents follow in the footsteps of that parent and end up in prison themselves. Preventing an at-risk child from turning to gangs, drugs, and crime is one of the most important ways to make our communities safe and productive for our children in the future.
Reconciling the inmates with their families and with God is the most promising way we see to bring about this change from within. Surrounding the inmates and their families with unconditional love from a supportive Christian community at the camps and in the follow-up programs can truly make a difference that to some would seem impossible. Forgiveness makes this reconciliation possible.
The “One Day with God” Camps began with a vision of one day inside prison walls where parent and child could reconcile with one another and spend time together with God-anointed mentors working beside them. The day includes games, crafts, lunch, music, clowns, an illusionist, face painting, and a parent and child quiet time. It is a divinely appointed time for both child and inmate where both can experience the love of God and find forgiveness and reconciliation. If one child could have a Christ-centered Mom or Dad return home from prison, there would be a joyous change in that home forever, and it could change the path that child takes in life.