Categories
Beyond the Bars Blog BTB

#AscendingTogether Part 2: What Can Prisoners Teach Us About Repentance?

“God is the life of all free beings. He is the salvation of all, of believers and unbelievers, of the just and the unjust, of the pious and the impious, of those freed from the passions or caught up in them, of monks or those living in the world, of the educated or the illiterate, […]

Categories
Beyond the Bars Blog BTB

Mentally Ill Prisoners: Icons of Christ

For nearly three years, Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM) staff have been regularly writing to a prisoner, whom I will call Michael, who lives in a state mental hospital and suffers from delusions. The staff send Michael personal letters, cards with pictures of nature and wildlife, icon cards and even funny illustrations. Often, Michael’s letters […]

Categories
articles Beyond the Bars Blog BTB

A Thanksgiving Message from Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry

“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, We would like to wish you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving! Amidst this difficult and challenging year, we still have so much for us to be grateful for this Thanksgiving season. Orthodox Christian […]

Categories
BTB

“Lock’m up and Weld the Doors Shut”

Years ago, I gave a retreat at a wonderful church. The retreat focused on God’s amazing love for people in prison and how He touched different lives in miraculous ways drawing them to Himself. I talked about things I had personally witnessed over my many years as a prison chaplain and how those men had […]

Categories
BTB

A Timely Reminder from OCPM

I entered the women’s prison with my keyboard on my hip and my Bible in my hand. My plan was to bring them to Christ through music and psalms. I had good intentions but God had other plans. I surveyed the scene, praying the Jesus Prayer intensely. Lord Jesus Christ Son of God have mercy […]

Categories
BTB

May 20th 2018 Is Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday

To all the Clergy and the Laity of the Holy Orthodox Churches in the United States; Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ: CHRIST IS RISEN! The Hierarchs of The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America have approved this year, Sunday, May 20th, 2018 to be Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday in […]

Categories
BTB

The Case of Andrea

What follows is a letter from an inmate that Joy Corey ministered to under the auspices of OCPM while she was in the County Jail. Joy has been a member of the Chaplaincy Corps at that jail for 12 years and currently serves on the OCPM Board of Directors. To Whom It May Concern: My […]

Categories
BTB

The Case of James

A parish priest had a dilemma when he learned that a sex offender, who was interested in Orthodoxy, was being released to the neighboring state which he bordered. No church in either state wanted him. The godly priest, took a chance. He presented a document to his parish which required that this sex offender sign. […]

Categories
BTB

The Case of Melanie

Imagine you are ten years old; your mother is a drunk who never knows of your whereabouts, nor does she care; your father isn’t in the picture and you find yourself roaming the streets of one of America’s mid-sized cities. Your friends are pimps and prostitutes and you’ve learned to make money so you can […]

Categories
BTB

The Case of Sheila

Sheila was raised in an atheistic home.  If she spoke the word “God,” she would be smacked so hard and beaten by her father.  I’ll never forget the first time I met Sheila while conducting my OCPM Bible Studies in the County Jail.  She was awaiting sentencing for her drug addiction which led to grand […]