September is Prison Awareness Month!

Our Diocese has set aside the month of September to help raise awareness about the effects of incarceration on those who are currently incarcerated, their families, and those who work at the correctional facilities as well as the impact that incarceration has on our communities. Many of our churches are already involved in prison ministry in some way. This month gives us an opportunity to share these ministries with other members of our congregations and our communities.

art show

We’re kicking off Prison Awareness Month with the “Straight from the Heart” art show hosted by the Episcopal Church of St. Matthew (Tucson). The art show will feature about 40 pieces created by a variety of ladies in Perryville prison. Donations are accepted for the artwork and will benefit the artist as well as Diocesan prison ministry programs. Contact Rev. Kim Crecca ( for more information or to host an art show at your church.

Open House

In addition, Magdalene House West in Avondale is hosting a rare Open House from 2 to 5 PM on Sunday, Sept. 18th. Come meet the residents and learn how Magdalene House is helping these ladies to transform their lives as they transition back into our communities! Contact to RSVP and receive directions.

Mentoring training

You can be a part of the transition process for other returning citizens by volunteering for our Beyond the Gates Mentoring Program. Online orientations are scheduled for September 15th at 3 or 7 pm and September 17th at 11 AM. These orientations are focused on answering questions you might have about the program. Online training sessions begin September 29th. For more information or to register, go to the Bridges Re-Entry website (www/

Donation drives

But wait…there’s more! During the month of September, we are encouraging churches throughout the diocese to host either a shoe drive, a Showers of Kindness hygiene drive, or a yarn donation drive to help raise awareness about the needs of those inside and outside prison walls. More information about each of these options is provided on our website at and flyers to promote the event(s) are available for downloading from our Resources section as well. Donated items can be dropped off at the Prison Ministry Exhibit Booth at Diocesan Convention in October.

Liturgy and more

There are so many other ways your congregation can participate in Prison Awareness month. Simply including a special Prayers of the People during September can help someone in your congregation who might be struggling with the stigma of incarceration. Take some time during coffee hour to bring some joy into the life of an incarcerated woman by sending birthday cards to some of the inmates from Perryville Women’s Prison (click here to get the list). Help out some of the children who have a parent in prison by taking up a special collection on Camp Genesis Sunday (Sept. 18th) to assist with scholarships and other donations needed for Camp Genesis. More information (and downloadable flyers) are available on our website. Hosting a prison ministry table during a coffee hour is a great way to share information about the many different ways to become involved in this ministry. Resources are available to print and share!

Special events

Check out these Special Events that have already been scheduled! Please contact Rev. Kim Crecca (, Convener of the Diocesan Prison Ministry program to let her know about an event at your church or find out more about any of the programs that have been mentioned.