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Beyond the Bars Blog

Christ is Risen! A Bright Week Message from Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry

Enter all of you, therefore, into the joy of our Lord,
and, whether first or last, receive your reward.
O rich and poor, one with another, dance for joy
O you ascetics and you negligent, celebrate the day!
Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Resurrection of our Lord means death is conquered!

Throughout this Bright Week we celebrate, rejoice, and exalt our Lord for His sacrifice and ultimate victory over darkness and death. Like many of us who were physically removed from our church communities this Pascha, those in prison also celebrated the Lord’s Resurrection in their hearts. They were also able to share a very small amount of communal celebration through a special Paschal message from OCPM in the mail.

This week we also reflect on the lessons we learned during Holy Week – for instance, that true repentance from the heart, as we saw from the Good Thief, means Christ will remember you when deciding who will enter His Father’s Heavenly Kingdom.

While we cannot enter the prisons and jails right now, we are still able to reach the prison population through our David C. Patton Correspondence Ministry program. For most, this will be their only hint of the Paschal season from the outside. Thank you for remembering and praying for them and we wish you all a Joyous Feast from everyone at OCPM.

Truly He is Risen!

 

Give at: theocpm.org/donate

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OCPM Continues to Minister this Lent Despite COVID-19

First, thank you for your support throughout OCPM’s history. We continue to serve those who are incarcerated and their families, and provide resources, training and support to our ministry partners so that lives are transformed and God is glorified. Your support has made that possible.

As you may know, I was appointed as the new Executive Director of OCPM a month ago. In just a short, very intense time, this ministry has already touched me greatly and I feel humbled to be at the helm in this unusual time.

The coronavirus outbreak continues to rapidly evolve and expand, including in prisons across the country where inmates face dangerous confinement. In the midst of this stress, visitations from family and even chaplains have been cut off. Even so, OCPM is here providing comfort to our incarcerated brothers and sisters in Christ through our correspondence ministry.

OCPM maintains personal correspondence with over 3,000 Orthodox and inquiring inmates. To many, we are the only source of outside comfort and companionship in this time of quarantine.

One inmate who receives our correspondence shared, “I received your Bible study . . . I was very happy, excited, and grateful to receive it in a place where I am alone except with Christ.”

Your help is needed to ensure that this critical program will continue during this crisis.

Please consider making a gift to the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry at this time to help us meet these needs during this unprecedented time.

The most effective means of helping is both prayer and a financial donation. You can send a check or click the DONATE button at the top right corner of our website www.theOCPM.org. Your donation will directly ensure that people currently in deep physical isolation continue to receive hope and the unconditional love that is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Again, thank you for your support.

In Christ,

Nicholas Petrogeorge

Executive Director