Categories
Beyond the Bars Blog

“UNBIND HIM AND LET HIM GO!”

By Father Stephen In chapter 11 of the Gospel of St. John, we find the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.  There were many people standing there, watching what was taking place.  Jesus “cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.”  The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, […]

Categories
Beyond the Bars Blog

Hot Time, Summer in the Prison

Someone in prison once wrote to this ministry and mentioned he was reading Dante’s Inferno.  He suggested that perhaps Dante got the inspiration for his book after spending a summer inside a prison.  There is a prison in Texas which some people serving time there call The Glass House because the exterior walls are nothing […]

Categories
Beyond the Bars Blog

Orthodox Catechesis for People in Prison

Before offering some thoughts on how OCPM conducts catechesis for people in prison I would like to take the opportunity to recognize those Orthodox clergy and laity who work tirelessly where they are able to help our brothers and sisters who are incarcerated. Despite their sacrifices there is still a difficulty which must be faced: […]

Categories
Beyond the Bars Blog

Prison Reform and Protests

Confronting the evil of social injustice must be predicated on the understanding that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12). Social injustice is a failure to see […]

Categories
Beyond the Bars Blog

“Bring my soul out of prison that I may give thanks to Your Name.”

by Fr. John Brown These words are familiar to most Orthodox Christians. They come from Psalm 142, are chanted at every Great Vespers, and they can teach those of us with a heart for inmates and prison ministry. The psalmist is describing his own experience of prison. It may have been an actual, physical prison, […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
Beyond the Bars Blog

Memory Eternal: Remembering Father Gervasios, the “Saint of Prisoners”

A true example of Orthodoxy recently passed away. Born George Raptopoulos, people called Father Gervasios “the priest of the poor,” “angel for the sons of the prodigal son,” and the “saint of prisoners” as he had an impact on countless lives all over the globe. The Orthodox Times notes that since 1987, Father Gervasios’ Ministry […]

Categories
Beyond the Bars Blog

Letter from the Chairman of the OCPM Board of Directors

Dear Supporters of OCPM: The human touch: a hug, a pat on the back, or a handshake. The human interaction: laughing together, talking together, or crying together. We take them for granted. But there is a group of people in our country who rarely experience these. They might experience the touch of someone’s hand, but […]

Categories
Beyond the Bars Blog

Lenten Inspiration Through Volunteerism

As we continue through Great & Holy Lent, we wanted to provide you with some inspirational updates from our ministry. We would like to welcome our newest volunteer, Jim Demetrios, to the OCPM! Jim has started corresponding with those in jails and prisons across the United States. The challenge of writing to prisoners extends beyond […]

Categories
Beyond the Bars Blog

OCPM Members Teach Inmates Victory Through Forgiveness

In Matthew 5:44-45, Jesus gave us a radical command “love your enemies; bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and […]