Skip to main content

“Will God indeed dwell on the earth?” —1 Kgs. 8:27

Thursday, October 22

Share with a friend

 

 

Presbytery of Northern New England

Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts

Rev. Beth Richeson offers words of gratitude and hope to the women at a special celebration of her ordination in the yard of the prison. Courtesy of New Hampshire Council of Churches

 

Rev. Beth Richeson offers words of gratitude and hope to the women at a special celebration of her ordination in the yard of the prison.

 

Courtesy of New Hampshire Council of Churches

 

I never set out to be a prison chaplain, and yet I love being with these women in a world that should not exist. I serve as a chaplain at the New Hampshire State Prison for Women, a ministry supported in part by a mission grant from the Presbytery of Northern New England to the Women’s Prison Ministry of the New Hampshire Council of Churches.

I lead worship services and provide pastoral care to these women, who together hear Jesus’ words of “release to the prisoners” and seek to experience the transforming and freeing love of God in Jesus Christ. Beyond the walls and wire fences, I serve as a link—helping congregations in the presbytery connect their mission programs with the needs of women in prison.

Several congregations collect yarn and fabric so that the women can make blankets, scarves, hats, and mittens for area homeless shelters and schools. Many others provide greeting cards for women to write to their families. One congregation has started Caring Closet, which provides clothes, coats, shoes, and backpacks to women being released from prison. The good news for prisoners is that God’s love can be conveyed even in a backpack—and there are compassionate and prophetic disciples across our presbytery eager to answer Jesus’ call to share God’s good news with them in every way possible.

The Presbytery of Northern New England and its 30 congregations are learning together with me how following Jesus leads to caring about prisoners as though we were in prison with them.

Rev. Beth Richeson, member, Presbytery of Northern New England

Let us join in prayer for:

Presbytery Staff

Cindy Kohlmann, resource presbyter
Cliff Creel, stated clerk
Lillian Johnston, treasurer
Norma Biron, office administrator

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Cheryl Santos, BOP
Jason Brian Santos, PMA
Juan Sarmiento, BOP

Let us pray

Gracious and loving God, it is one thing for us to hear Jesus proclaim release to the prisoners. It is another, harder thing for us to imagine how we might follow Jesus in this mission. Show us the way, with your compassionate, freeing love. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 143; 147:12-20
First Reading Ezra 1:1-11
Or alternate Second Reading Jeremiah 42:1-22
Gospel Reading 1 Corinthians 16:1-9
Gospel Reading Matthew 12:15-21
Evening Psalms 81; 116

Leave a comment

Post Comment