Rockford Urban Ministries director to discuss jail population at Oct. 21 service
Online Staff Report
Stanley Campbell, executive director of Rockford Urban Ministries (RUM), will speak on “Holy Incarceration, Visitation of the Imprisoned” beginning at 10:30 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 21, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rock Valley, Rockton, Illinois, 329 School St. on Blackhawk Boulevard (Route 75) on the south edge of Rockton in the old Stephen Mack School. The service is free and open to the public.
Campbell has been directing RUM, an outreach of 25 area congregations, since 1985. RUM has shut down liquor establishments on Seventh Street, opening a non-profit fair-trade store at 201 Seventh St., and putting a wind generator on the roof. RUM hosted a program about the overcrowded jail, and supports alternative programs to keep people out.
“The Winnebago County Jail is getting more crowded, and we are called to do something about it,” Campbell said. “Visiting someone in prison is one of the corporal acts of mercy Jesus calls us to do. And while imprisoned, people should be offered every chance to mend their ways.”
Sometimes called “one of the few paid peace activists in northern Illinois,” Campbell is a long-time Rockford resident. A Vietnam veteran who found healing by helping others, he established a food pantry while graduating from Rock Valley Community College in 1976.
The Unitarian Universalists of Rock Valley is a congregation that seeks from the world’s religions those truths that uphold the Unitarian Universalist principles, honors with loving support the journey called “the circle of life” from birth to death, and promotes the responsible use of the Earth’s resources.
Since being hired by RUM (he’s their first non-clergy director), Campbell has started many non-profit organizations, including Promised Land Employment, Rockford Neighborhood Redevelopment and Harm Reduction Outreach, a needle exchange and ministry to street sex providers.
Campbell speaks out against war, guns, urban sprawl and treating the poor poorly. He speaks in favor of helping the poor, civil rights, safer communities and getting involved in issues.
For more information, call UU member Jerry Paulson at (815) 222-4414 or RUM at (815) 964-7111.
Posted Oct. 19, 2012
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