Wanted: Prison Volunteers

    Prison ministry is a major element in RPC’s mission work.  We engage in that ministry through many programs, but central to it, and the first step the church took into the world behind bars, is the work of volunteers from the church meeting monthly with inmates at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining and later at Fishkill near Beacon.

    We now have openings for new volunteers to join our group and would welcome the opportunity to talk with anyone who would like more information about this life-changing and life-affirming work.  Many of you have heard from or met formerly incarcerated people who were part of our programs during our annual Church and Justice Service and luncheon.

    A few details:

    • At Sing Sing we have 1 opening, due to limits imposed by the State. We meet in the evening on the 3rd Sunday of each month, leaving RPC at 5:15 and returning about 9:30.  The men are students in or graduates of a Masters in Professional Studies in Ministry program at New York Theological Seminary..
    • At Fishkill, we have up to 6 openings. We meet during the afternoon on the 2nd Sunday of each month, leaving RPC at 11:30 and returning about 4:30.  These men are self-selected, typically serving long term or life sentences, and determined to change their lives and leave prison to serve their communities. 

    Volunteers do not need to attend every month.  Typically, people in our groups go at least 7 to 9 times in a year.

    In both prisons, the participants are remarkably intelligent, caring, articulate people.  Our discussions are wide-ranging, covering subjects like relationships, how to adjust to life outside prison, communications and listening skills, the criminal justice system and how to fix it, and more.  The participation from both inmates and outsiders (they call us “civilians”) is dynamic, poignant, occasionally funny, sometimes terribly sad, and always meaningful to us all. 

    For more information or to find out how to become a volunteer, please contact Nancy Steed ( ) or Bob Steed ( ).