SEPTEMBER IS PRISON AWARENESS MONTH!
Prison Awareness Month, observed each September, was conceived by the Diocesan Prison Ministry team and adopted by Resolution at the 56th Diocesan Convention in 2016. The purpose of Prison Awareness Month is to help raise awareness among the congregations of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona about the effects of incarceration on our surrounding communities. Individuals and churches who are already active in prison ministry have been blessed by the experience and are excited about the chance to share this joy with others.
2023 Prison Awareness Month Events
- 9/1-30: Hygiene Product Drive for Magdalene House
- Every Wednesday in September at 6PM: Anglican Rosary for Those Affected by Incarceration via ZOOM; email Kim Crecca for Zoom link.
- 9/10: Guest Storyteller from Arouet Foundation at 10 AM coffee hour, St. Francis in the Valley, Green Valley
- 9/16: Re-entry Simulation led by Arouet Foundation and hosted by St. Matthew’s, Tucson. Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/st-matthew-reentry-simulation-tickets-675378484227
- 9/17: Camp Genesis Sunday – all parishes are asked to help support this camp for children with incarcerated loved ones through donations and/or a special collection
- 9/24/23 – Magdalene House West Open House from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
- 9/28 at 6:30 PM via Zoom: Advance Screening of the documentary film “Confined to a Canvas” which focuses on artists who are or were previously incarcerated. “Straight from the Heart” art show curator, Rev. Kim Crecca is featured in the film along with Meredith Smith, owner/operator of Artists Serving Humanity (Tucson), and Julio Miramontes, an artist released from Yuma prison in January 2023, plus many more. Public Film Premiere TBA
- 9/30: Re-entry Simulation led by Arouet Foundation and hosted by St. Francis in the Valley, Green Valley
On 9/28 at 6:30 PM via Zoom: Advance Screening of the documentary film “Confined to a Canvas” which focuses on artists who are or were previously incarcerated. “Straight from the Heart” art show curator, Rev. Kim Crecca is featured in the film along with Meredith Smith, owner/operator of Artists Serving Humanity (Tucson), and Julio Miramontes, an artist released from Yuma prison in January 2023, plus many more. Public Film Premiere TBA
Suggestions for Parishes
Those who are incarcerated often feel forgotten by society and by the church. Bringing them the message of Christ’s love and forgiveness can take many different forms as indicated by the suggestions offered here.
a. Host an adult forum regarding criminal legal reform, mass incarceration, and/or the death penalty including guest speakers and/or Arizona Faith Network members (from the social justice/criminal legal reform focus groups). Contact the Diocesan Prison Ministry team members for suggestions regarding speakers.
b. Adult book study (suggestions available on the resources page)
c. Adult small group/discussion (suggestions available on the resources page)
d. Movie/DVD Night with Q&A or weekly discussion of TV Programs (suggestions available on the resources page)
e. Invite a Guest Speaker (including those who were previously incarcerated, family members of incarcerated persons, and those who are involved in prison ministry as well as mentoring and re-entry programs). Contact Diocesan Prison Ministry Program team members for suggestions and contact information.
a. Special collect/prayers(suggestions available on theresources page)
b. Prayers of the People – this adaptation of the Prayer of St. Francis has been revised to include a focus on those affected by incarceration. As another option, downloading these specific petitions may be incorporated into standard Prayers of the People, especially during Prison Awareness Month.
c. Sermon – the 3rd Sunday in September is recognized as Camp Genesis Sunday in our Diocese. Clergy are encouraged to share information about Camp Genesis and even take up a special collection if possible to help support this camp program which serves the needs of children who have an incarcerated family member. Click HERE to download the flyer for Camp Genesis Sunday.
d. Liturgy on the Day of an Execution (suggestions available on the resources page) can be held whenever an execution is scheduled in Arizona or elsewhere. Upcoming scheduled executions can be found on the Death Penalty Action website along with petitions to halt individual executions.
e. Stations of the Cross (bulletin available on the resources page)
f. Anglican Rosary for Those Affected by Incarceration. During the month of September, you are invited to pray individually or join our Zoom group to pray communally for those affected by incarceration. The Zoom group meets on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 to 6:30 PM. Contact Deacon Kim Crecca for the Zoom link.
f. Shoe Drive
Click on the links below for more information about these opportunities.
b. Donate subscriptions to Forward Day by Day devotionals to inmates.
c. Re-entry programs such as Mentoring Beyond the Gates.
d. Collect funds to help send children of incarcerated family members to Camp Genesis at Chapel Rock. Camp Genesis Sunday is the 3rd Sunday in the month of September. Special collections to provide scholarships for campers or to purchase items for their Camper backpack are appreciated. Contact Deacon Kim Crecca for more information.
f. Identify employment opportunities for those re-entering society after incarceration and contact Diocesan Prison Ministry Program team members to add potential employers to list.
(As described in Resolution A011-2015 passed by the General Convention)
Connect and support the organizations that our Diocese partners with to effect change in our State regarding the criminal legal system as well as the jail and prison systems. Click Here to view our Advocacy partners.