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The Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry is concerned about the well being of those behind bars. We know that a major difference between many of us outside and most of those inside is that they got caught and convicted. Many of us also quit before we were caught.

I myself have been involved with prison ministry on and off throughout my life.  While in college my Merrimack College Chess Club played against the Concord Reformation in Concord MA.  Of course, we lost, but it was a good experience.

I also worked as a corrections officer for four months with the Texas Department of Corrections.  I was stationed at the Otey Unit which is just south of Houston.  One reason that I left was the prevailing attitudes in DOC.  Many of the COs and staff seem to see the men as less than human.  The detainees respected me because I respected them and they knew it.

After my ordination I became actively involved when a friend called me and invited me to attend the Convocation in Philadelphia.  But what really got my involved was a call Sylvia Huntley.

Shortly before her call, Professor Albert Phillips at Baltimore City Community College commented in class about men being released in cold weather without adequate clothing.  Ms. Huntley requested toys for a Christmas party and Holy Trinity and St. Andrew Orthodox churches came through in flying colors.

Asa we were delivering the toys, Assistant Warden Gwendolyn Oliver told us basically what Prof. Phillips told his class and for several years we had a successful coat program until the Baltimore City Detention Center changed the location and management.  I hope that we will again take up this project.   It is very badly needed.

Ms. Oliver retired and Marty Mansiuk stepped up to the plate and made contacts and we were asked to provide school supplies for the children.  Holy Trinity and St. John Orthodox churches put into practice, "For I was in prison and you visited me."
 

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