“…I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Matthew 25:36)
The United Methodist Church’s compassion for the incarcerated dates back to John Wesley’s deep involvement in prison reform in the late 18th century, when he advocated for a humane prison system.
All In Community (AIC) is West Ohio’s modern day, Biblical response to the impact of mass incarceration across our West Ohio mission field.
Today as over 20,000 inmates are released each year, our local communities are responding to this large influx of returning citizens through a variety of systemic resources. The participation of West Ohio’s churches in this effort is critical in helping prisoners reenter society. Unlike service providers, our churches can provide incarnational relationships for inmates in prison and safety nets of support as they return to our communities.
The AIC initiative exists to equip local churches in the West Ohio Annual Conference to become communities of support for families and citizens impacted by incarceration. Support can include existing ministries within a congregation that provide basic needs like clothing or food. It also includes relational needs like support groups, mentoring children whose parents are incarcerated, and communial care following a crime, arrest, or sentencing. Finally, spiritural support through prayer for the incarcerated, Bible studies on forgiveness and reconciliation, and pastoral care are of the greatest importance for families and individuals involved in the criminal justice system.
Discover the relationships, resources, trainings, and tools that are available to help your church grow spiritually, physically, and relationally as together we reduce the trauma of incarceration on prisoners, returning citizens, their families, and our communities: