A Morning at Hutto Detention Center

By Dave Holmberg

The headline from the 79th General Convention will likely be the discussion and voting on revisions to the Book of Common Prayer. Our current prayer book dates back to 1979, which replaced a book from 1928. We seem to be operating on a 50 year revision plan. For more on that issue, here is a link.

This morning, however, was spent at a prayer meeting at the Hutto Detention Center in Taylor Texas. This is a facility housing 500 women, roughly 40 of which have been separated from their children. The Detention Center was formerly a maximum security prison. It was a powerful morning. Sad and uplifting and hopeless and spiritual all at once.

During the prayer service, a group walked away from the designated area for the vigil, to the front of the detention center. We sang, we prayed, we wept.  And, after a while, we began to see movement in the windows – hands waving, handkerchiefs. They heard us, they knew we were there.

And maybe that’s just as important as any statement we were trying to make.  To let those locked inside the detention facility know – we see you, we hear you, we have not forgotten you, and we will fight for you.

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If you’d like to take the next step in supporting the women detained at Hutto, click here.

Find more pictures and videos from the prayer meeting at the detention center, along with other photos of General Convention here.

For a livestream of the prayer service, click here. For a video re-cap of this event, click here.

While the headline so far may be the multi-year prayer book revision project, you should know that your Episcopal brothers and sisters are hard at work on other thing too. Supporting the Cuban Episcopal Church, developing positions and advocacy strategies on the environment, refugees, church planting and so much more. As a first timer, I am blown away by the passions and talent and heart that I have witnessed here in Texas. Y’all would be proud.

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