Our congregation will never be fully financially self sufficient.
It is a difficult fundraising story to tell, given the population served.
Every year our fundraising starts from zero. We have no multi-year pledges.
Prison regulations trump ministry considerations. Therefore we serve under the guidelines and at the discretion of the prison warden.
Losing a member is a good thing
We are always in flux; high turnover of new faces; reassessment of talents and resources as inmates leave.
Not all inmates are allowed to attend worship.
Participation in activities outside of worship such as bible study, choir, and any workshops are mandated by prison regualtions.
The start and end time of worship and activites is determined by the needs of the prison. Whether it is a bell, a horn, or a siren -- women's movement are determined by prison command.
Pastor care ministry is unique. The way in which you interact with parishioners is determined by security and prison scheduling.
The prisoner needs are often dramatic and challenging.
Delivering God's Message
To share the light of Christ in a dark place.
Dealing with parishoners that have challenges of trust, vulnerability, and communication.
The parishoners are hungry for forgiveness and God's grace.
The parishoners are thirsty for human interaction and a non-judgemental ear.
ELCA Criminal Justice Statement
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) affirms the fundamental principles of the U.S. criminal justice system such as due process of law and the presumption of legal innocence. Yet, this church hears people’s cries that reflect the current system’s serious deficiencies. Drawing from the biblical witness to God’s wondrously rich forms of love and justice, we are compelled by a “holy yearning” to address the need for a change in public mindset and for dramatic reforms in policies and practices. This statement calls upon Christians to strengthen or take up ministries of compassion and justice. Drawing on evidence and data, it affirms some current efforts at improving the system while identifying numerous other reforms that urgently need implementation.
Read the full statement here