Happy New Year!
Despite the immense challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and a generally hectic 2020, your prayers and financial support allowed Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry to adapt and continue to minister to those who are incarcerated and their families.
Fr. John Kowalczyk, Director of Field Education Studies at St. Tikhon’s Seminary, federal corrections chaplain, and OCPM board member said that the mantra many prison ministry volunteers adopted during the pandemic is “keep your distance, however draw near to Christ.” A simple approach with powerful results.
In 2020, the immense ministry OCPM does through the mail became even more critical, with jails and prisons going into covid lockdowns. We began to see new things, with some facilities allowing video conferencing.
The impact through the year was immense during this time when OCPM was largely the only outside contact for thousands of hundreds of prisoners:
Mail and Replies Sent: 16,384
Packages of Spiritual Materials Sent: 871
Catechism Study Guides Sent: 390
Icons Sent: 10,978
Postcards/Weekly Letters Sent: 13,773
Bibles & Books Sent: 1,252
“Thanks for writing me; it makes me feel good, because I pray to God to show me if He is listening to me. And I know that He does because your letters show me that.”
We are also pleased to state that despite the pandemic, Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry is deep into the implementation of our strategic plan. We are working on fresh methods to incorporate volunteers into this important work and are holding ourselves to the highest industry standards for excellence.
We celebrate the fact that eternal life and hope are available to all people due to Christ’s birth and ultimate sacrifice. We also celebrate the fact that as a Church we are able to bring this hope to those who are incarcerated and their families no matter the difficulties placed before us.
Thank you sincerely to all our supporters who helped us through this difficult year. We look forward to an immense 2021 and beyond, as we work to heal lives and through them communities.
Christ is Baptized! Glory to the Triune God!