As far back as 1900, Christ Church had a jail ministry. Men from the parish took a walk after Sunday services and had lunch and bible study with inmates in the city jail. As far as our records show, this went on for at least 30 years.
Beginning in the fall 2014, Christ Church began looking again into ways to get involved with the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail (ACRJ), and in the fall of 2015 our first group bible studies began. With the help of Chaplain Alonzo Minor and the Good News Jail & Prison Ministry, Christ Church now has a weekly bible study in both the men’s and women’s side of the jail, with a volunteer group of nearly 30 parishioners.
Incarceration and recidivism are big issues in today’s social justice conversations. Nearly everywhere you can read articles about the brokenness of the American criminal justice system. But the large, systemic issues can so easily obscure the very personal difficulty and shame that burden someone who has been locked up. Our understanding at Christ Church is that we all have fallen short–parishioner as well as prisoner–and we all need good news. Our ministry’s hope, therefore, is nothing more than to share the message of God’s grace for those who, like us, need it more than ever.
- Men’s Jail Bible Study happens on Thursday afternoons, from 1:30 PM to 3 PM.
- Women’s Jail Bible Study happens on Friday nights, from 7 PM to 8:30 PM.
We would love to have you join us! If you’re at all interested in getting involved in the Jail Ministry, there are plenty of ways to do so, but we recommend first going on a “Look Behind the Walls” tour with the Chaplain. This is a great, non-committal opportunity to see for yourself how the jail operates on a day-to-day basis. If, after the tour, you’re interested in getting involved in one of the bible studies, you can fill out a volunteer application and email us for upcoming Orientation dates.
There are also plenty of ways to get involved with the jail ministry outside of the weekly bible studies. If you’re interested in sending books to inmates, becoming penpals with an inmate, or discussing re-entry possibilities for former inmates, you can email us here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Once a year, the Jail Ministry hosts events featuring speakers in the community who are also involved in the criminal justice system, both locally and nationally. Stay tuned for future dates! Email Ethan and Hannah Richardson, our Jail Ministers, with any questions: email@example.com