Hagar's Community Church
Hagar's Community Church is a congregation of the Olympia Presbytery on the inside of the Washington Correction Center for Women
Hagar’s Story is found in Genesis 16 and 21. She is a woman to whom history has been unkind - much like the women who are incarcerated at the WCCW. Hagar is often seen as “the other woman”, a woman who was mean to Sarah, a foreigner, slave, the unknown. Hagar is not someone lifted up as a hero of our faith. When you read her story, however, it becomes apparent that, though history has been unkind, God is not. Rather, God finds Hagar in the wilderness and blesses her with the same blessing that God gives Abraham- that she will be the mother of a nation. God provides for her, and cares for her. Hagar is the first person in scripture to name God- “She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me” (Genesis 16:13). There are many points of connection of Hagar’s story to the women at the WCCW. When choosing this name the women stated that they find it healing to know God is the One who sees them- and that they are indeed blessed.
The goal is to create fellowship and understanding among all who are part of our worshiping community. To cultivate trust and understanding in the midst of an environment where that is not often found. This is not just a worship service being offered where the women come to sit and hear a sermon and return back to their living unit. Rather we are creating an atmosphere of trust and belonging across all sorts of boundaries that exist at the WCCW. Our goal is to create true Christian fellowship that will nurture and sustain these women in the most trying of circumstances.
We are striving to create our own distinctive church that allows the women of the WCCW to belong and empowers them to make decisions about who we will be as congregation. It is a long term goal for this congregation to charter and be counted as its own distinctive congregation in the Olympia Presbytery. It is also our goal to hold space each week for the women of the WCCW to commune with and worship God.