An Epistle of the Incarcerated to the 21st Century Church

St SilasApostolic Letters from Prison

In the book Ministry with Prisoners & Families: The Way Forward, Madeline McClenny-Sadler offers a “Letter to African American Churches Concerning the Saints Coming Home from Prison.” It uses “the hybrid style of a Pauline epistle and a scholarly article” as a call to action (140).

Inspired by her letter, several PrisonLectionary.net contributors took up the same task. The second comes to us from “AMN .”

In case you missed the first, you can find it here.

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Sermon: St. David’s Episcopal Church, August 14, 2016

St Silas

This sermon, by Matthew Harper, was read during a worship service at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Chesterfield, Virginia, on Sunday, August 14, 2016. 

Isaiah 61:1-3
Psalm 103:1-13
Matthew 25:31-45

Prison is a terrible place. The purpose of prison is for it to be a terrible place. Where there are problems in our world our justice system seeks out the offenders and send us here. We are sent here to protect society, to punish us, and perhaps to give us space to repent and grow.

Prison is full of people. Each prisoner is a person full of good and bad, carrying wounds and inflicting them. We too have our hopes and dreams, as well as sorrows and regrets. Some of us are redeemed, some not, and all struggle with addictions, pride, loneliness, and sorrow. We are beautiful and amazing, and also completely messed up. We are all too human.

Continue reading the full sermon on St. David’s website here.

Lectionary: Proper 16C / Ordinary 21C / Pentecost +14

by LA

Luke 13:10-17

During times of heightened Pent 14C Lukedanger the administration at this institution will declare a Level 1 Lockdown to be in effect. During such a lockdown, all prisoners must be handcuffed behind their backs before opening the doors at their cells, no exceptions. This procedure helps keep everyone safe until the time of heightened danger passes.

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Reflection: “What God Needed…”

by Jessica McGee

McGee Jn 14What God needed…

“But he needed to go through Samaria…” (John 4:4)

God knows what to do. He’s God. God knows what he needs. He’s God. The reading today states that God wants to reach every person even a woman. She was a woman whom Christ should’ve never spoken to, but he did. He told hers things that no man would know, He offered her a life with Him. She took it and believed. She spread the Good News long before Jesus ascended to heaven. The first person to tell it. A woman.

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Letter of EB to the Churches

St SilasApostolic Letters from Prison

In the book Ministry with Prisoners & Families: The Way Forward, Madeline McClenny-Sadler writes

“What would the apostle Paul do if he heard about the mistreatment of brothers and sisters who return to our congregations and communities after being released from prison? I think we know exactly what Paul would do. Paul would write a letter!” (140)

Thus, McClenny-Sadler offers a “Letter to African American Churches Concerning the Saints Coming Home from Prison.” It uses “the hybrid style of a Pauline epistle and a scholarly article” as a call to action (ibid.)

Inspired by her letter, several PrisonLectionary.net contributors take up the same task. The first comes to us from “EB .”

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Lectionary: Proper 15C / Ordinary 20C / Pentecost +13

“Right Place, Right People, Right Time”

by CM

Isaiah 5:1-7
Psalm 80:1-3, 8-19
Hebrews 11:29-12:2
Luke 12:49-56

There is a particular location where one’s gift fits perfectly. There are particular people among whom your genius will be most appreciated. And there is a particular time when the stage is ready for your grand entrance. It is one’s true purpose to create the point at which these elements converge for the glory of God in the uniqueness of your life.

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Lectionary: Proper 14C / Ordinary 19C / Pentecost +12

“Our True Nature”

by AMN

Isaiah 1:1, 10-20

I often hear people say that this country is a godly nation and I see people take pride when “God Bless America” gets played. In Isaiah’s day, the Kingdom of Judah felt the same exact way about their nation. Who could blame them? With direct access to God, the beautiful temple of Solomon and having more priests and Levites than the ‘hood has liquor stores; it put the other tribes in the Northern Kingdom to shame.

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