Presence of The Presence
A ministry of presence is how I defined my pastoral model as prison chaplain. I borrowed the term from David Augsburger (1986); his phrase, the presence of the Presence. With this focus I enhanced my job description’s first item which read, “To represent the spiritual dimension of life throughout the Prison.” This mandate was inclusive of the darkest most god-forsaken depths of the prison. There were of course social-political forces that challenged my desire to be a restorative loving presence in this fashion. I made my visits adding other services to satisfy the institution’s Standard Operating Procedures. I still believe being the presence of PRESENCE is primary; God’s loving presence is necessary, especially in loveless institutional prison regimes.