An Open Letter
At my 25th college reunion, I learned of a classmate who since graduation had provided water systems to villages in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Upon his death from malaria in his forties, ten thousand villagers walked up to thirty miles to acknowledge with gratitude the important difference he had made in their lives. I was struck by his profound service to others - such a good life.
I considered, "Who would walk miles to acknowledge my life?" and more earnestly asked, "How might God use our lives in service to others?"
Level Ground offers one answer.
When a man leaves prison he faces substantial challenges in rebuilding his life - within family relationships and the complexities of employment, housing, health, skills training and education. A Level Ground mentor walks alongside a man during his reentry, supporting his inner strengths as he reaches for a level ground of opportunity and a fulfilling free life. In this process the mentor as well as the man who reconstructs his life may experience the transforming touch of God.
My life has been filled with opportunity. I was given a good education through undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University and the Boston University School of Theology. Mentors in pastoral counseling provided insights into interpersonal values and behavior through my clinical training at Boston State Hospital, Framingham's Trinity Mental Health Center, and the Arlington Youth Consultation Center, and through doctoral studies and further clinical training at Columbia Theological Seminary. I learned life lessons through inmate counselor work with general population and death penalty inmates at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Center, and within hospice chaplain relationships through Peachtree Hospice. I witnessed life's struggles and celebrations through eighteen years as an ordained associate and senior minister in Arlington and Magnolia, MA (UCC), and in Atlanta, Fairburn and Sandy Springs, GA (UMC). Eighteen years as a project engineer and construction company executive exposed me to the strains and satisfactions of corporate life.
I have felt God always close at hand. My most grace-filled moments have come from human interactions in which soul meets soul, and God’s life is revealed. I am convinced that one of the best ways to discover life's goodness is in serving others.
Please make a donation to Level Ground, or volunteer your time and life experience as a mentor.
You can help change a life.
Kelly Barge, President