To share the love of Christ and His Church with those who are incarcerated and their families so that lives are transformed and God is glorified.
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 the sixth Sunday of Pascha, Sunday, June 2nd, of this year, to be Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday in all Orthodox parishes of North America.
“Let there always be a preponderance of mercy within you, even though you don’t feel such mercy in yourself as God has for the world. A cruel and merciless heart is never purified. A merciful man is the doctor of his own soul because as a strong wind from his heart, he drives out the darkness of the passions.” (St. Isaac the Syrian, Homilies, 41)
May God help each of us find that level of mercy within us when it comes to people in prison. No matter what crime they may have committed, they are still human beings made in the image and likeness of God Himself. It is possible to hate the crime but to love the criminal. OCPM needs all our help to bring the mercy, forgiveness, and love of Christ to these precious souls. The Holy Orthodox Church, through OCPM, offers both hope and healing to those living in such darkness.
Please remember “these the least of my brethren” by assisting OCPM with this vital ministry, not forgetting that “the very essence of the person is the image of God, and this remains in him despite every disfigurement” (St. John of Kronstadt). After passing a tray for the ongoing work of your parish, please pass a second tray on Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday, June 2nd, and kindly send these gifts to OCPM as soon as possible.
With much love and thanks in our Risen Lord,
Fr. Stephen Powley
Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry
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