The NBA connects collaborative communities of Disciples working together on particular health and social service justice issues through Affinity Group Ministries. Through the NBA Prison and Jail Ministries Affinity Group, we focus on supporting congregations and individuals as they engage in prison- and jail-related ministries, and connecting conversations across Disciples-related ministries in order to strengthen this work.
"It seems that creative, innovative methods for an obviously dysfunctional criminal justice system are now necessary...together, we can explore and exchange new ideas and approaches." --Rev. Dean Bucalos, Mission Specialist, NBA Prison and Jail Ministries
The work of the Prison and Jail Ministries Affinity Group centers around inspiration, advocacy, and education, including:
- Participation in events such as Ecumenical Advocacy Days and the Interfaith Criminal Justice Coalition
- Sponsorship of Resolution GA-1723, "On Becoming Immigrant-Welcoming Congregations," which was adopted as a Sense-of-the-Assembly Resolution at the 2017 General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
- Sponsorship of Resolution GA-1525, "A Call to End Solitary Confinement," which passed as an Item for Reflection and Research at the 2015 General Assembly
- Educational workshops at General Assembly and other regional events
- A Facebook group to help members stay connected and up-to-date on these important issues
Stories and Resources
Learn more and engage with NBA Prison and Jail Ministries through:
- Our blog series, discussing important justice issues and highlighting a variety of ministries that are making an ongoing difference in this work
- Our webinar series, exploring topics such as mass incarceration, mentoring programs for returning citizens, the use of prolonged solitary confinement, juvenile justice and restorative justice, and the connections between mental illness and incarceration, and safe sanctuary protocols, among others.
- NBA's "Called to Care" eNewsletter, a monthly email featuring stories across Disciples health and social service ministries - sign up here!
- Rev. Monica Wedlock Kilpatrick, Director of Connect Ministries
- Rev. Dean Bucalos, Mission Specialist, Prison and Jail Ministries
- Rev. Héctor J. Hernández, Peer Group Convener, Prison and Jail Ministries
Much of this work cannot be accomplished without the collaboration and encouragement of our ministry partners: Reconciliation Ministry, Disciples Center for Public Witness, Disciples Justice Action Network, Disciples Home Missions, UCC Justice and Witness Ministries, and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. Additionally, we're pleased to also work with ministry partners like Mission Behind Bars and Beyond and Urban Mission through the NBA Incubate Initiative and Disciples Care Exchange. We look forward to deepening our partnerships and shared work in 2017!
To learn more and get involved, please contact Rev. Dean Bucalos, Mission Specialist for NBA Prison and Jail Ministries, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and/or complete the form below. We look forward to hearing from you!