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The Department of Prison Ministry

On April 6, 2017 at the Department Meetings at the Antiochian Village, Metropolitan Joseph formalized the Department of Prison Ministry, with His Grace Bishop Thomas serving as Hierarchical Overseer and V. Rev. David Randolph as Director.

Teleios Ministries, a 501c3 organization, is a ministry within this Department. This outreach effort ministers to adult and juvenile offenders and their families and provides assistance to at-risk youth who are often on a path to incarceration. Teleios provides education programs for those preparing for release and support systems for prisoners post-release. Both Orthodox and non-Orthodox are served.

Christ clearly instructs us to minister to those in prison but few are prepared to do this. Working with offenders and ex-offenders is a difficult task. Proper training is necessary to work effectively within the system and to avoid manipulation. Teleios Ministries can fill this void by training interested individuals (both clergy and lay) across the Archdiocese to minister to this troubled population.

The Department is developing an extensive training and operations manual for use in the Archdiocese. The training manual is based on thirty years of jail and prison ministry experience and includes topics such as:

Biblical mandate for ministry
Typology of inmates
Avoiding manipulation
Areas of ministry
Qualifications of volunteers
Expectations for volunteers
Types of facilities
General "dos and don'ts"
Working within differing institutions
Institutional emergency plans of action
Domestic violence
Working with families
Networking with service organizations
How to start a ministry

The Department goals for 2017 are to identify current prison ministry within the Archdiocese and their form of outreach in order to develop a network and offer ministry training, if needed, and to explore the possibility of utilizing the Becoming Truly Human program in prison systems. An advisory council will be developed.

Read our 2017 Convention Report