Have you ever wondered where a single act of kindness may lead and what lives it may touch? Two letters recently received by our church shed light on just how far a kind touch can travel

Over the past several months Birmingham First has received a letter from an inmate in the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas and a second letter from an inmate in a State Correctional Facility in Corinth, Mississippi. Both letters made the same request: would our church be able to provide the writer with a Bible. Our Church and Society Ministry provided each inmate with a Bible and a note that our congregation felt blessed to have been given the opportunity to support, in a small way, each man’s faith journey.

The men who wrote requesting Bibles do not know each other. Leavenworth, Kansas and Corinth, Mississippi are600 miles apart, and both are a long way from Birmingham, Michigan, with a lot of churches in between. How did these men separately discover our church, and each have the faith that we would welcome their request? What is the tie that binds them to our church? It certainly is not geography. Angel Tree is the answer, our annual all-church program to provide Christmas gifts to the children of incarcerated parents.

Each of these men’s lives were touched by our Angel Tree Program. The man incarcerated in Leavenworth shared time in that facility with his “brother in Christ” who shared with him the story of his children receiving Angel Tree gifts provided by our congregation. The man in Corinth has an even closer connection to Birmingham First. His children received Angel Tree gifts. In his letter he quotes his children as saying, “I love Angel Tree.”

A gift to a child has carried us inside prison walls and allowed us the blessing of supporting the faith journey of two men who are no longer strangers to us. In a time of pandemic when we cannot touch each other, we are continuing to touch the lives of others through our acts of kindness as we go about living out our faith.

For more information on Church and Society’s actions, contact:
Frank Driscoll, Church and Society Chairperson

For more information on our Angel Tree ministry, contact:
Liz Rito

“I love Angel Tree.”

InmateCorinth, Mississippi State Correctional Facility