The Synod of the Northeast Welcomes the Prison Ministry Network!
Presbyterians in the Northeast have been engaged in ministry with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated persons for as long as we have been in this region. During its September 2015 meeting, the Synod Mission and Ministries Commission approved the formation of a Prison Ministry Network. The primary purpose of the Prison Ministry Network is to improve the pre-release and post-release reentry process of persons formerly incarcerated into welcoming communities.
As they begin to organize, and to reach out to persons and community engaged in this kind of ministry, they hope to work on their purpose by creating awareness of the many conversations on improving and reforming the criminal legal system, educating congregations about opportunities to engage and organize for reform, develop spaces for advocacy, current and needed opportunities for direct service to persons in prison and their families, and support current leadership of formerly incarcerated persons at all levels of this work.
There are plans for an inaugural conference on prison ministry in May of 2016. More information to come.
The convener of this new network is the Rev. Cass Shaw who is also the Executive Director of the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport. She is a Teaching Elder in the Presbytery of Southern New England.
The Prison Ministry Network joins the Coaching Network, Mediation Network, Committee on Ministry Network for Northern New York, and the Live Wire Network for emerging ministries leaders.