Resources for Healing Communities Congregations

Written by Melanie G. Snyder on .

The Lancaster County RMO is pleased to offer these resources for Healing Communities congregations as you work toward the restoration and healing of persons who have been affected by crime, whether as victims of crime or surviving family members of victims, defendants, prisoners, people coming home from prison ("returning citizens") or their family members.

RESOURCES FOR STUDY, WORSHIP  AND ACTION IN HEALING COMMUNITIES CONGREGATIONS  

* Six Ways you can help improve community safety, reduce recidivism and improve people's lives by supporting the work of the RMO

 

* Take One Small Step (TOSS) - a brochure containing dozens of ideas for specific, tangible, practical ways a Healing Communities congregation can help prisoners, victims, returning citizens and families - created by the Criminal Justice System (CJS) Ministry of the Lower Susquehanna Synod of the ELCA  

"Bags of Love" brochure explains how to assemble a kit of basic toiletries and other small personal items that Returning Citizens typically need when they are coming out of prison

* Impact of Crime interlocking circles activity sheet

* Pew cards for a Healing Communities congregation to offer help and support to members impacted by the criminal justice system - these pew cards provide a safe, confidential way for congregation members impacted by the criminal justice system to request prayer, resources and other assistance without the shame and stigma of making their situation known publicly; this idea was developed by St Matthews United Methodist Church of Valley Forge, PA and they invite other congregations to adapt and customize this idea for their own congregation

Suggested Activities for Healing Communities Congregations

 * Study and Reflection Questions for Healing Communities Prayer Circles

 

* A BIBLIOGRAPHY of books, DVDs, published reports and other materials  to educate yourself and members of your congregation about a variety of issues and topics related to the criminal justice system

 

Letter Writing to Prisoners -  very good article with helpful guidelines about writing letters to prisoners

 

 

 

There are many publications on the Healing Communities USA website that may be of interest - see

http://www.healingcommunitiesusa.com/#!resources/c8j5 

 

There are 3 versions of the Healing Communities curriculum and toolkit:   

* INTERFAITH HEALING COMMUNITIES GUIDE: Balancing Justice With Mercy: An Interfaith Guide for Creating Healing Communities

 

* INTERDENOMINATIONAL (CHRISTIAN) HEALING COMMUNITIES GUIDE: What Shall We Then Do?

* CHRISTIAN/SCRIPTURALLY ROOTED "FAMILY FREEDOM" HEALING COMMUNITIES GUIDE: What Shall We Then Do? A Family Freedom Kit

 

GENERAL RESOURCES FOR ALL INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES:

Self Sufficiency Reference Guide: a guide to Lancaster County social service agencies, supportive services, free community meals, and other resources that can be helpful to individuals and families in the areas of housing, transportation, financial matters, parenting, health care, mental health, food, clothing, employment, education and other areas. Published in partnership with United Way of Lancaster County

RESOURCES FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN VICTIMS OF CRIME:

Lancaster County Victim/Witness Services website

Center for Community Peacemaking (Victim Offender Conferencing)

Pennsylvania's Office of the Victim Advocate

Federal Office for Victims of Crime HELP Brochure Series (by specific type of crime) 

 

RESOURCES FOR DEFENDANTS, PRISONERS, RETURNING CITIZENS and THEIR FAMILIES 

SPECIAL TOPICS:

Sex offenders in the pew - an article from Christianity Today 

Click HERE for other information and resources related to sex offenders

 

PRESENTATIONS:

Understanding Trauma, Resilience and Healing

 

For Healing Communities instructors:

Healing Communities one-day training Powerpoint - Lancaster version

Free Book Excerpt from Grace Goes to Prison: Jerry's Christmas Story

 

Reentry coalitions