Palanca letters are intended to communicate to incarcerated people who attend a REC retreat weekend that they are not forgotten but rather remembered in prayer and/or sacrifice and cared for by people on the outside.
Palanca letters or notes of encouragement are intended to state prayerful thoughts and wishes to the incarcerated person from faith filled strangers.
Palanca is a Spanish word that means “Lever”. Palanca is intended to serve as a lever to “raise up” another person to God in prayer and/or with a sacrifice of some kind. The person on the outside may choose to make a sacrifice such as giving up coffee or tv for an extended period of time or do something such as random acts of kindness in honor of the incarcerated person. Palanca always includes daily prayer for the incarcerated individual and for the success of the REC weekend.
Palanca is anonymous…first name only with no personal identifying information such as phone number or address.
Often Palanca letters start with “Dear Brother In Christ” and end with “Your Sister (or Brother) In Christ”.
Palanca letters are not intended to pass judgement but rather to express affirmation to the incarcerated person for exploring their relationship with Jesus.
Palanca expresses prayerful concern for the incarcerated person and for the success of the Residents Encounter Christ retreat.
Palanca letters are not intended to be a “pen pal” relationship but as a single letter stating prayerful concern for the faith journey of the REC participant.
Palanca communicates respectful and prayerful regard for the incarcerated individual by specifically stating what palanca the person on the outside has been doing and for how long the writer has been engaged in it. eg.” I have been praying for you and your loved ones every day for the past 2 months.” or “Everyday since April 1st I have been going without my morning coffee and offering my sacrifice to God in hopes that your REC weekend will help you grow closer to God.”
Palanca letters may be written on any paper, stationary or card so long as there is no personal information on it such as address of a business or residence, name of a town or church. If you would like to use PMUNY graphic
(without the PMUNY letters) please see attachments….use bookmark, half page or full page as you see fit.
Both Children and adults can do palanca. For those unable to write a letter a picture may be drawn to share prayerful concern.