Prison Ministry Opportunities:
Kairos Prison Ministry
A number of DOV members are involved in Kairos. It is a prison ministry not of proselytizing, but of bringing the knowledge of God’s love to those who have experienced very little evidence of love in their lives. The Kairos program consists of a series of talks – each talk building on the previous talk. There are five key elements involved with Kairos, namely: The Weekend; the Instructional Reunion; prayer and share group fellowship; monthly reunions and a two-day retreat. The heart of the ministry is the on-going weekly prayer and share group fellowship which occurs within the institution. To find out more, visit their official website. A number of DOV parishioners from various parishes including St. Patrick’s, Falls Church, St. Paul’s, Richmond and St. James’, Louisa participate in Kairos.
Offenders Aid and Restoration
Offenders Aid and Restoration of Arlington County, Inc. (OAR) began when local women saw a need for ongoing support of prisoners and ex-offenders who remained largely ignored and forgotten by society. OAR serves the county of Arlington and the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church. The mission of OAR is to have “a community-based restorative justice organization, that blends compassion and accountability to assist offenders in leading productive lives, to the benefit of all.” A number of DOV parishioners from various parishes including The Falls Church, Falls Church volunteer with OAR’s programs and services.
Loudoun Aftercare provides programs, services and support to prevent the “revolving door” in our jails and prisons. The program answers basic needs, offering education, training and support to become successful, contributing members of the community which reduces crime in our community while also preventing homelessness. The program, based on Christian values, focuses on the healing of family relationships, the caring for children and the overall well-being of those living in the Loudoun County Community. The Partner for Success program provides a faith-based mentor to help convicts make a smooth transition back into society. Each participant is matched with a mentor and a church that works with the participant to establish a plan of action for reentry into the community. A number of Diocese of Virginia parishioners from various parishes including St. Matthew’s, Sterling volunteer with the Partner for Success program.
Other Ways Congregations are Involved:
All Saints’, Richmond, 2000 – Present, member, Sally Gunn, has been facilitating a bible study at the Virginia Correctional Center for Women for thirteen years. The bible study is run by five volunteers and has about twenty participants. She also introduced a pen pal program between a group of offenders at VCCW and a bible study group from All Saints.
Diocese of Virginia, 2012 – Present, members of the Diocesan staff donate books, magazines, and toiletries to the Richmond City Jail. Bishop Goff and members of the staff also visit once a month to serve Eucharist to the women inmates.
Holy Comforter, Richmond, 2013-Present, a parishioner has started a bible study with the women inmates of the Richmond City Jail, building on the historic ministry of the Reverend Cary Montague, rector of Holy Comforter in the 30's and 40's.
Messiah, Fredericksburg, 2012 – Present, Music Director Rochelle Felsburg, sends a monthly newsletter, “Day by Day,” which includes scriptures, Christian puzzles, testimonies, histories behind Anglican worship days and a Bible study to about 20 inmates.
St. Peter’s, Port Royal, 2012 – Present, the Rev. Catherine Hicks and parishioners of St. Peter’s facilitate a Bible Study once a month to men of Peumansand Creek Regional Jail. The congregation also donated Bibles and at Christmas, packaged 300 bags of hard candy to spread cheer throughout the jail.
St. Stephen’s, Richmond, 2015 – Present, parishioners of St. Stephen's, serving as volunteer jail chaplains, come forward every Sunday during the morning services to receive consecrated bread and wine (or, in the case of the jail ministry, consecrated grape juice). The volunteers, men and women, visit the Richmond City Jail every week to take communion and hold Bible study with groups of incarcerated men and women. They also offer to pray with those in solitary confinement.
Pictures by: Mary Anne Bryant; Bp. Goff serving Eucharist to women inmates at the Richmond City Jail
Tell Us More
Are you interested in getting involved with our prison ministries? Do you have an existing ministry or connection? Send your comments to Buck Blanchard.