Kindway Matters Newsletter
Summer 2020
Investing in the Lives of Those Impacted by Incarceration
In Summer 2020, Kindway Welcomes Home:
Courtney, Toriano, Keri, Clarence

We thank God for all your prayers and support for their successful transition.
Kindway is happy to announce EMBRACE! This Fall, 2020, Kindway will launch EMBRACE in the community. EMBRACE is a Christ-centered reentry ministry designed to serve men and women who were incarcerated and recently released to the Central Ohio area. Also eligible are men and women whose lives have been impacted by incarceration or are at risk for incarceration. EMBRACE will include the components that have made EMBARK so effective.

    Celebrate Recovery 
    Getting It Right
    Navigators 
    Networking in the Community 

The EMBRACE program will be held one night a week from 6 pm – 9 pm for a period of six months at a location to be determined.

Please send an email to if you would like to receive an application.
On March 10, 2020 all volunteers and visitors were prohibited from entering all DRC prisons due to COVID.
However, this week we celebrate the fact that 13 men from EMBARK Season #9 completed the program thanks to MCI staff and our inside facilitators.
The mission continues! Woo Hoo!
  • Monthly on-line courses created specifically for Kindway volunteers.
What will each course include?
  • Each one-hour course, presented by a subject matter expert, will include a 20-minute presentation followed by a question and answer period. We listened to our volunteers and are excited to deliver on the most requested topics! One on-line course will be offered the second Tuesday of each month from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm starting in September 2020 and they will conclude with the final course March 2021.
Mark your calendars. Course offerings, in sequence, are:
• EMBARK, How it Works September 8, 2020
• Life on the Inside October 13, 2020
• Parole Board 101 November 10, 2020
• Navigating as a Navigator December 8, 2020
• Is This Relationship Healthy? January 12, 2021
• Heads Up about Relapse and Addiction February 9, 2021
• Unraveling Conflict Resolution March 9, 2021
The New Home Project
West Ohio Conference United Methodist Church, All In Community COVID-19 Grant Helps Returning Neighbors Establish A New Residence
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, All In Community shifted grant funding to support churches providing direct assistance to men and women returning from prison. One grant recipient, Stonybrook UMC, recently welcomed home the first beneficiary of their COVID-19 Pandemic Response Grant.

In collaboration with Kindway and New Albany UMC, recent Kindway EMBARK alumni, Lori W., moved into her new home on July 12. 

Lori not only is walking into a new life; she is celebrating a new year of life. Just one day after moving into her own apartment, Lori and friends celebrated her birthday and the wonderful gift of living freely and independently on the outside.

Stonybrook’s grant helped pay for Lori’s apartment deposit, and the two UMC churches furnished many essential household items through congregational donations. “Everything we asked for and more was given by the members of New Albany and Stonybrook churches,” reports Stonybrook’s Prison Ministry Chair Thomas Hofmann.

Stephanie S. became the second EMBARK alumni recipient. Stephanie and her two children moved into their new place in August. Thank you to our partners at Stonybrook UMC and New Albany UMC.
On July 6th, The Maynard Ave UMC “Welcome Home” ministry hosted a gathering for EMBARK alumni, navigators, allies, and guests to remember an EMBARK sister who died of an overdose. Pastor Kathi Herington led a brief memorial service and created an opportunity for sharing and support.  

The evening also included a visit from the Columbus Fire Department’s Rapid Response Emergency Addiction and Crisis Team (RREACT).  RREACT offers immediate substance abuse disorders treatment services to individuals who experience a life-threatening overdose.

The team provided guidance on how to access community resources, immediate substance abuse treatment services, training on the use of Narcan, and the distribution of Narcan and Fentanyl kits.  
The Annual Welcome Home Picnic will be held for EMBARK women and their families on Saturday, September 12, 2020 from 4pm - 7pm at the Park of Roses.
For more information on RREACT and the assistance available, contact 614-330-3413.
Testimonial from a COVID Survivor

Contracting the Corona Virus  is a terrible thing. But to contract the Corona Virus while in prison, is a nightmare.

After showing severe symptoms of the virus, I was taken to the prison medical facility equipped to handle perhaps 10 patients at a time but had already been overrun with more than a thousand confirmed cases. My friend George Henderson and I were placed in a makeshift hospital room wherein George died the following day. Dizzy, feverish, unable to breath, and no energy to make the smallest of movements, I was simply waiting to die. An irony that caused tears to run down my cheeks, not only because it took no physical energy to cry, but also because I had been recently informed that I was recommended for release after 29 years in prison only to die knowing that I had come to the edge of freedom, having caught a glimpse of, but unable to walk into it. 

I was alone in the cell and I cried out to God, agonizing at the thought that God possibly did not love me, perhaps never loved me: because if He did why would He allow me to come this far, only to die? I cried out to God, praying and hoping to hear an audible voice in response, something for me to hold onto and lift myself out of this black hole that was swallowing me... nothing.

I closed my eyes and waited for the inevitable. Then I heard God speak to my soul with the voice of my wife Susan; “Move, you must move. The Virus wants you to lay down. Get up and walk.”

Only able to stand up with extreme effort, and then needing to sit back down from the exhaustion, I managed to develop a routine. I took one step, two steps, and as days passed, I was able to do more until I was walking an hour at a time, pacing the four or five steps before having to turn and go back in the other direction in the tiny cell. 

The same God that spoke with my wife’s voice, is He who freed me from that cell, healed me completely, and brought me out of that prison. God allowed me to go to that dark and lonely place to equip me to minister to others who have, and are experiencing such a condition of despair and loneliness. I've learned to be careful when I say that you want to serve God, because He will take us up on the offer, and then prepare us for that service in ways that we cannot begin to imagine. 

In His Service, 
Toriano D. Henry  

Let's Help!
While we remain on the sidelines, we have a wonderful opportunity to bring a bit of normalcy and an unexpected gift to the residents and employees at MCI.  Warden Wainwright and Deputy Watson have given Kairos permission to send in individual bags of 1 dozen chocolate chip cookies, which will also include a short note of affirmation and encouragement.   And because they need 3000 bags of cookies, each containing 1 dozen chocolate chip cookies (no specials), we need your help.   If you have ever been involved in Kairos, you know exactly what I am talking about.   

The cookies will be distributed by our inside Kairos graduates in October, which would have been the same day Kairos would be conducting day two of our four day weekend.  In order to allow enough processing time, Kairos will be collecting the cookies on Oct 17 from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm at Liberty Church (Rt 315 and Home Rd). Please bring your cookies in boxes, preferably 25 per box, with the number of bags written each side.   The cookies will be delivered to MCI on Oct. 19.
Words do not do justice to the meaning of cookies to MCI's residents and staff nor the impact on their hearts. So, please bake, bake and bake. Tell you friends, churches, and family.   Many hands make light work and create many cookies. And yes, you are allowed some quality control.  
Should you have any questions, please email Jeff Maynard, MCI Advisory Council Chair and Kindway Volunteer
or call
(614) 981-6252. 


Looking for Love and Acceptance in Relationships

All of us need and want people in our lives. We can’t choose our birth families but we can create a chosen family and a support network that helps us thrive. One tool for selecting positive relationships is to answer 2 simple questions we can apply to all our relationships, including family, friends, as well as romantic ones:
1. How does the relationship make me feel?
2. Is this relationship healthy for me?
This two-part workshop will explore how to get the most out of relationships and will include:
  • Learning how your personal history impacts relationships
  • Understanding when and how to set boundaries
  • Recognizing red flags of risky relationships
  • Staying “Me” when becoming part of a “We”
We are planning to launch the first two part program in October 2020.
Location and weekday evening to be determined. Time- 6:30pm-8pm.
Female EMBARK alumni- if you are interested please send an email to
 Space is limited!!

Diana Kubovcik is a Licensed Independent Social Worker with a graduate degree in Social Work from Case Western Reserve University. Diana has a range of professional experience including being an administrator, a trainer and an instructor at The Ohio State University. Diana has had a private counseling practice providing services to individuals and couples. Diana is also a Kindway Volunteer.

Coming Soon!
Since all of the events are cancelled where we normally take Kindware, we will be launching a catalog and information to obtain Kindware on our website.
Start making your gift list for the holidays and other special occasions!
Watch for more to come in September!

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