Prison Pete

Thursday, December 29, 2005
  Now What?
I have been listening to the live broadcast of the Sunday morning service from a Presbyterian Church in Kenmore, NY. They recently had a $2,000 sound system used for their youth programming "borrowed" by persons unknown.

I had wanted to send a small donation in support of the funds they were seeking to replace the system. I wrote a letter to another Presbyterian minister down in Raleigh, NC, asking him to provide me with the mailing address for the Kenmore church.

He sent me the address, along with the Web Site address www.kenpres.org, of the Kenmore Presbyterian church. I filled out the paperwork that was needed for the funds to be taken from my commissary account and typed up a letter to the pastor of the church.

While I was working on this, I heard a great sermon by one of the Pastors, Pastor Dean Weaver, and included some additional money to have a cassette copy of the sermon sent to my Mom and Dad.

According to the information on the website, the address for the Kenmore Presbyterian Church is 2771 Delaware Ave., Kenmore, NY, 14217. The letter with the necessary funds was mailed out on November 29, 2005.

On December 10, I received the letter back, with confirmation that the check I had sent was credited back to my account. The envelope was marked in pen, "UAA RTS" and the red stamp with the hand marked "Return to Sender", "ATTEMPTED - NOT KNOWN."

At this point I am asking my editor to please email a copy of the letter to the web site (I am assuming that it is a valid web site address) and have the church send me confirmation by good old snail mail of their correct mailing address.

My question is why this letter did not have the usual "Yellow Sticker" that tends to be applied to undeliverable mail these days. In the good old days, even if the address was off a bit, as long as it was delivered to the right post office, it would be delivered by the post office since they were knowledgeable of the churches and businesses in their area. Now with all the computers, if there is something that does not 'fit' into the system, it gets tossed out.

There is a possible sinister problem here. Since all our mail from this prison is clearly marked as such on both the front and back of every envelope, are there some employees of the postal system that like to redirect properly address letters back to sender just for the 'fun' of it? There have been a few other inmates that have received mail that was properly address returned as undeliverable.

I have enclosed the original envelope so that the editor can verify that I did have the correct address.

The point I am also raising here is that the otherwise simple procedure of sending a donation to a church is now taking three different people and four weeks time to accomplish. Editor, please note if the address on the web site is as I have written it.

[Editor] The reason the letter was returned to Pete was because it was sent to the wrong Presbyterian Church in Kenmore, NY.

Pastor Dean Weaver is the Pastor of the Knox Presbyterian Church, which is also in Kenmore, NY, not the Kenmore Presbyterian Church. The address for the Knox Presbyterian Church is 2595 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore, NY, 14217. Their web site is www.knoxchurchbuffalo.com.

I did a Google search on "Pastor Dean Weaver" and figured this all out in about two minutes. Don’t you just love Google?
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