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FCC Helps Mission Behind Bars and Beyond Hire Student Minister

Dismas Charities gives men and women released from state and federal incarceration the skills and motivation to re-enter society as contributing members. The work of Dismas is to end the cycle of victimization and to heal the human spirit.

In Louisville, KY, Mission Behind Bars and Beyond (MB3) is a faith-based reentry program for returning citizens affiliated with the congregation of New Life in Christ Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), located inside Dismas Charities-Diersen House.

MB3 provides spiritual support, life skills training and mentoring for those inside prison and for those who return to our community. In the past, New Life in Christ had worked with seminary interns who were paid through a family grant. While at New Life, this intern assisted in pastoral counseling, taught life skills classes, led a Bible study, participated in worship and preached on occasion. The regular additional pastoral presence was invaluable to the women of the congregation whose members have been so marginalized in the past and who have many spiritual, emotional and psychological crises they are often left to navigate on their own.

Lisa Griffith-Tierney, part-time student associate minister with Mission Behind Bars and Beyond.

In 2018, with assistance from a First Christian Church of Louisville Wholeness Ministry Grant, MB3 was able to hire a part time student associate minister in the hopes that by inviting a seminary student to serve New Life in Christ, MB3 could inspire and equip more and more people to consider this important (and often neglected) type of ministry.

In September of 2018, Lisa Griffith-Tierney, third-year seminary student from the Chicago Theological Seminary began her work with MB3. Lisa is assisting in the coordination and oversite of the mentoring program and will be with MB3 for a full year. Lisa has visited the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Bardstown for their Music with a Mission Sunday service and accompanied a MB3 success story as she shared her story with that congregation. Lisa has also preached a well-received sermon at New Life in Christ Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), connected with the women at Dismas Charities-Diersen and attended MB3's mentor training for her work with the MB3 mentoring program.

Lisa provides valuable on-going assistance to Rev. Carol Wieger, pastor of New Life in Christ Christian Church by expanding the pastoral care that MB3 offers. Through this immersion process, Lisa is also learning about the blessings and benefits of serving those who are incarcerated and bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to those who yearn to hear a word of hope and promise. It is hoped that by exposing and introducing more and more seminary students to this powerful, unique and transformative ministry, more prison congregations like New Life in Christ will be planted throughout the denomination and in other denominations.

The wholeness grant used to fund this ministry was made possible through your faithful financial support of our church and its ministries and help fund a variety of efforts to make our world a better place.

You can find more examples of those efforts or apply for a grant to make the world a better place by clicking here.


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