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Evangelism in Prison Ministry

The following post by Miriam McKenney appears in the Spring 2018 issue of Odyssey. You can find the whole issue here.

The inmates who write to us touch our hearts every day. We’re thankful that Forward Day by Day reaches our incarcerated brothers and sisters, so that they know that God deeply and eternally loves them. Your gifts spread that love throughout the United States and to countries around the world – we are thankful for you.

This story of evangelism started with a request from a woman in a Texas jail.

My name is Sharon and I am currently incarcerated in County Jail. I may be looking at some real time, like 2-10 years in prison. I am writing you today to see if you can send me the Pathways of Faith Coloring Book, and a Day by Day?? I would greatly appreciate it. I do not have any money to pay you. At one time I was very active in my church, seeing how my father was a Pentecostal preacher all my life. However I lost both my parents in 2015 and fell off into depression and here I sit due to my bad choices. I am on my way to recovery and building my relationship back with God. I thank you for anything you are able to send me.

We sent Sharon the materials, but she was moved to another facility, and may not have received them. This is not unusual in the prison system. Thankfully, Sharon didn’t give up. She reached out to us again from her new facility in Texas.

My name is Sharon and I am incarcerated in Texas. I am serving a fifteen-month sentence. While I am here I have entered the recovery program called Turning Points. I am also working on my relationship with God. See, my dad was a minister for the Assembly of God all my life. Well I have lost him and my mother both to a better life with God in 2015. So I am now doing this time alone – well with me and God. I am writing to ask if you could please send me a Pathways of Faith Coloring Book and a Saint Augustine Prayer Book? Anything you could send me to get closer to God and help me while I am doing the time would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and God Bless.

We sent her the materials, and thought that was that. But a couple of weeks later, we received this letter from another woman in the same prison.

My name is Amber. I am incarcerated and I would love to send my child the Pathways of Faith Coloring Book. May you please send me a Pathways of Faith all ages coloring book. Please and God bless.

Her letter included nine additional women’s addresses. A day or two later, we received yet another letter:

Hello my name is Robin. Some of my cell mates received the faith based coloring book you have sent them. Me and my bunky are wanting to receive the same book. Thank you, God Bless.

She listed her address along with those of five other women. We’ve mailed 38 copies of Pathways of Faith to that Texas prison to date. We feel blessed to share something that will bring joy and light into the lives of these women and their families. Often, a mailing from us is the only touch an inmate has from outside prison. Your generosity allows us to say yes to every request like this we receive. Thank you so much for helping these incarcerated women and their families experience a relationship with God.

Can you donate today, so that we can continue to give the gift of prayer to those in need?

Will you help us send God’s love to our soldiers?


We hope you have enjoyed a Merry Christmas with friends and family. Most of our soldiers won’t be with their families; they’re stationed all around the world, guaranteeing our safety. When Episcopal Priest and US Navy Chaplain Philip Webster recently deployed, he reached out to us for resources to use with those who rely on him for spiritual guidance. Thanks to your generosity, we sent him over eighty books and copies of Forward Day by Day.


In his letter of gratitude, he wrote:  

“One of the mottos that we use in the Chaplain Corps is that we are “where it matters, when it matters, with what matters most”.  The good people of Forward Movement are helping me to accomplish my mission and ministry as a priest of the church and a chaplain in the Navy.  Your generosity, as well as that of your donors, is making a real difference – thank you! 

Please find attached a picture from a recent celebration of Holy Communion.  I want you to know that lives are being touched with a message of good news and transformative, unconditional love… and Forward Movement is part of that story.

“Be assured of my prayers and gratitude for you and your ministry.  I ask that you continue to remember me and the men and women aboard the USS DONALD COOK”

Your gift today lets us say YES again and again to our military and many, many others with gifts of Forward Day by Day, prayer books, and much more. Please make your gift now. Happy New Year!

Text FDD to 41-444, or click here to join Forward Movement’s ministry. Thank you!
All gifts are tax-deductible.


Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. -BCP 

What Your Gift Means: A Letter

At Forward Movement, when we ask for your donation, we’re asking you to help us give the gift of prayer and practice to people in need. We often receive letters like the one below, sent to us in February by Michael Gilbert, who is incarcerated in Oklahoma. Michael’s words are a remarkable testament to the power of prayer in times of struggle—and to the impact of your gift.


Dear Forward Day by Day,

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I noticed in the February, March, April edition of Forward Day by Day that you were looking for stories from your regular readers. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you the impact your ministry has had on my life.

When I first arrived at James Crabtree Correctional Center in Helene, Oklahoma as an inmate in 2005, I was a very angry person. I was angry with myself, our society, and with God. All human decency and any sign of God seem to be missing from our legal system when viewed from the perspective of a person on trial.

I began to see Christ when I was invited to attend a Kairos prison ministry four-day weekend. My sponsor, John Pearson, an Episcopalian, started providing me copies of Forward Day by Day. Through daily use of this publication I developed a spiritual practice of daily prayer, meditation, and scripture reading such as I had never known before. My thinking began to change. I began to change. I became less angry.

My pace of spiritual growth greatly increased when your ministry gifted me a copy of Hour by Hour. I began praying four times a day. With this addition to my life I began to focus more on Christ, to consider his point of view. I was soon praying even when the set times were not at hand.

I found myself feeling connected, a part of the Forward Movement family, a participant with the Episcopal Communion, and a member of the body of Christ.

Today I am thankful to be growing in Christ and worshipping him in fellowship with St. Patrick’s Community, the prison ministry sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma. I am a much different person today than I was in 2005. I am less angry, less destructive, and more loving. I have been rehabilitated, not by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, but by the love of Christ shown to me through the Episcopal Church. Your ministry at Forward Movement started me down the path and nurtured me on the journey. I am profoundly grateful for all you have given me. May God bless everybody involved with Forward Movement.

Your friend and brother in Christ,


Will you consider making a donation of any size today, and help us send the gift of prayer to those in need?