In 1986, the rock group, Europe, launched their internationally recognized hit song, “The Final Countdown.” Though this song was not theologically sound in its eschatology, it often left a good feeling as a result of its calming sound. The sound was so affirming that it became a global hit, reaching record sales. Unfortunately, too often individuals impacted by crime approach their “final countdowns” with anxiousness, pain, (re)traumatization, and ultimately, a sense of hopelessness.
Some of these countdowns include lengthy prison sentences, case plans and court expectations that build in a very low likelihood of success, family break-down, joblessness, and a faith-life that, one may suggest, ensures eternal insecurity. At Next Chapter Ministries, we work hard to partner with our participants to approach their “final countdowns” with optimism and faith. The reason participants can do this is because they have increased positive social relations, are rebuilding family relations, have secured employment, improved academics, and have enhanced their faith walk with Jesus Christ as a result of being involved at Next Chapter Ministries.
As we at Next Chapter approach our “final countdown” of 2018, we are yet in need of almost $20,000 to make our annual budget. Ending 2018 strong will allow us to continue to support individuals and families that are generationally impacted by crime using our holistic service model. It will ensure that as we go into 2019 we will be able to continue our services and targeting this vicious cycle of crime with both post-incarceration and preventative services for youth and adults.
As we end this year, we are not, as the lyrics to Europe's hit song exclaim, “on our way to Venus” or “leaving together”, but rather we are embarking on this New Year, together. Our prayer is that we can work together toward closing this $20,000 gap and continuing to pursue, with excellence, our goal of changing the culture of crime in Rochester and Olmsted County. Partner with us as we continue to make Rochester a City of Destination for all!