SIM News

Convert and Scholarship recipient leads grief recovery for prisoners

Convert and Scholarship recipient leads grief recovery for prisoners


Debra Geller Rhodes is a recipient of the SIM/Carpenter merit scholarship who will be studying for holy orders at CDSP beginning this fall. As an adult convert to Christianity, raised in a secular Jewish home, Debbie's deep and thorough habitation of the faith is a living witness that is converting others - particularly in the Lebanon Correctional level three maximum security prison where she has led a Grief Recovery group for the past three years. As one of Debbie's supporters wrote SIM, "The intolerance and sanctimony of the public face of Christianity appalls many young Americans who now count themselves as Nones. The Episcopal Church has little appeal as the Church of the Status Quo: our potential grows from our struggle to be truly inclusive and overcome our prejudices. Debbie's realism about her own failings and her irrepressible joy welling up from God's love are astonishing. I feel she would make many skeptics take a second look." SIM also believes that Debbie's life and ministry are a powerful and articulate witness to grace and shares Debbie's view expressed in her essay:

"I believe that the mission of today's church is to BE the church, to 'sing the Lord's song in an alien land (Ps 137).' We must demonstrate, like the first Christians did, what it means to be a community of the faithful whose actions in the world (which today would be called social justice) come from a place of deep prayer and humble worship. It means welcoming the stranger, feeding the homeless, taking care of the sick, risking ourselves - our bodies, our reputations, and our comfort - to protect the oppressed, and proclaiming the gospel to the end of the earth. And we do this because Jesus did it, because it is a sign of God's reign." 

It is with great joy that SIM welcomes this powerful leader of the Jesus Movement into the family of the Society for the Increase of the Ministry.