The biblical concept of justice focuses on the victim, the offender and the community, in the hope of restoring all to a sense of God’s wholeness. It is also important to understand that our Methodist heritage is rich with examples of ministries carried out in jails and prisons. John and Charles Wesley had a passion for those in prison. As early as 1778, the Methodist Conference adopted action making it the duty of every Methodist preacher to minister to those who were incarcerated. United Methodists have reaffirmed and expanded the mandate for prison ministry and reform in many different chapters of our denominational history. This is a part of our identity and call.
Adapted from Mission Plan for Restorative Justice Ministries from The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church, 2012.
EPA Conference Committee on Prison Ministry and Restorative Justice
Goal: Ecumenical collaboration to provide support through advocacy, education, restorative justice and resources for individuals, families and communities affected by the criminal justice system. Everyone can do something!
Rev. Marilyn Schneider
Chairperson, Committee on Prison Ministry and Restorative Justice
True Justice: Seeking Equal Justice for People and Communities of Color
A Film Showing, Discussion and Action Planning for Change
February 22, 2020 (Snow Date: February 29)
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, at Cedarville UMC, 1092 Laurelwood Rd, Pottstown, PA.
Cost: $10. Lunch included. CEUs certification requested. Register online now! Click here to view and download the flyer! The registration deadline has been extended to Feb. 17.
Why is Prison Ministry & Restorative Justice Important?
- As Christians we are called to do this: Matthew 25:36b “I was in prison and you visited me”
- Hebrews 13:3a “Remember those who are in prison as though you are in prison with them”
- John Wesley believed that personal holiness needs to lead to social holiness and social justice. He ministered in prisons beginning in 1730.
- Currently a large no of people in the US are under control of the criminal justice system
- The costs to incarcerate people are considerable. If we can help prevent situations that lead to incarceration, and help those who are incarcerated avoid recidivism, we will not only save money but will gain as these individuals contribute in a positive manner to society.
Prison Ministry & Restorative Justice Resources
- Where can someone go for help if a friend or family member is incarcerated?
- Prison Ministry Church Contacts: Eastern PA Churches involved in Prison Ministry and Restorative Justice
- Prison Ministry Organization Contacts: PA Chaplain contact information, and additional organizations involved in Prison Ministry and Restorative Justice
- National Healing Communities website: will give you more information on this organization. Local contacts in the Philadelphia area are co-directors Dr.Chris Kimmenez who you can reach at email@example.com or Dr. A`Shellarien Lang at firstname.lastname@example.org. They hold quarterly meetings with congregations who have been trained in Healing Communities to share ministries and talk about work in the community.
- Ministry to the Incarcerated, a book by Dr. Henry G. Covert. “Dr. Covert uses his experience as both police officer and retired state prison chaplain to examine the problems of the incarcerated, specifically the stressors which are obstacles to a prisoner’s personal and spiritual development. In his analysis he provides both secular and biblical themes that promote penal reform and offender rehabilitation.” If you have any questions, you may contact Dr. Covert at email@example.com, or Download and share the flyer!
- Eastern PA Conference Committee on Prison Ministries & Restorative Justice on Facebook
- Prison Ministry & Restorative Justice Introductory Brochure (PDF)
- Kairos Prison Ministry
Kairos is a 3-day course on Christianity similar to Walk-to-Emmaus for men and women who are inside prisons and, through Kairos Outside, meeting the spiritual needs of women waiting for their incarcerated loved ones. Kairos teaches about Jesus Christ and his call to each of us, his healing, and his request that we help each other and love each other. Even more important, the ultimate goal is not outsiders caring for those inside. Its goal is to build a strong community of faith on the inside – so inmates are there for each other, to support one another and lift up their brothers and sisters when they need it. They are there for each other – every day, throughout the day – at times when volunteers from the outside could never be there. Kairos prison ministry has programs in 38 states in the U.S. and in nine other countries, including 9 programs in Pennsylvania and two in Delaware.