“Virgil Brigman is back on the air”

Our friend Matthew Harper reflects on a recent thirty-day stint in solitary confinement.

Grace and Peace to you all.

Sorry I’ve been incommunicado, I spent the last thirty days in segregation. Someone had been urging our band to do the Humble Pie song “Thirty Days in the Hole,” but we put it off. I guess I should have played the song. Instead I did the thirty days.
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Poem: “Institutional Shakedown”

by AMN

Psalm 139:14

I

“Orange Crush is in the building!”
Is the call I hear at dawn’s break.orange_crush
“Awake, awake, tactical is here to take!”
A thousand boots stomping, hundreds of
sticks clanging,
As they invade the cell house and raid.

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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.

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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