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News & Events Article

Because of your support for Episcopal Impact Fund…

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Palo Alto collaborates with Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy Ministry to bring the Writing Groups Ministry to incarcerated men, women, and youth in Santa Clara County.



Writing is one way to help reflect, and process difficult memories, regrets and hopes. We hope that writing will be a tool that is effective for us all in pursuing healing and in moving forward. Thank you to the Episcopal Impact Fund for a grant towards making this group a reality.” —Liz Milner, Executive Director, Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy Ministries

Founded over 50 years ago by a consortium of churches in Santa Clara County, Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy (CIC) Ministries exists to provide all of the multi-faith chaplaincy services for people incarcerated in the County. With five full-time staff and over 250 volunteers, they support five facilities with approximately 3,300 incarcerated people. CIC Ministries responds to all requests for spiritual and non-spiritual general support. They provide multi-faith chaplain services – ranging from spiritual group services, secular mindfulness classes, processing religious diets, basically everything needed to practice one's faith (Bibles, hijabs, prayer mats, Eucharist, etcetera) while incarcerated, managing the death of a family member, and therapy and art groups. In addition to responding to the specific requests, CIC also runs special arts programs for the incarcerated. Episcopal Impact Fund's grant supports one such program, The Writing Groups Ministry, which is a collaboration between St. Mark's Episcopal Church and CIC. The program supports incarcerated individuals, the vast majority of whom are from poverty, in using writing to explore their memories, lives and dreams, offers spiritual support and volunteer interaction to promote healing and restoration. The program is designed to be a time when chaplains, volunteers, and incarcerated individuals can come together in a supportive, honest, compassionate way to explore some of the topics that we all struggle with. When you invite people to tell their story and create a safe space for that to happen, it leads to transformation. When people feel heard, healing happens. An important part of CIC Ministries' mission is to educate and raise awareness around the issues of incarceration, its effects on those behind bars and the impact on our communities. In this time of social change, when many are thinking about incarceration and its effects, sharing the stories of incarcerated people in their own words and voices is so important. We invite you to read some of the poetry and prose created by those who are part of the program. I Am From… I am from a room with hard working parents. I am from an empty room, a state of shock. I am from my mom who would sell churros, sodas, and candy. I am from a big united family with lots of inspiration to keep going in life. I am from rosaries my family had together. I am from tacos de asada and tacos from taco bell. I am from shock to see my sister fall. I am from hurt, to never see my sister the same. But that’s not the end of my story… I am to be a father to my 4 children. I am to reflect in order to change my ways. I am to remain sober. I am to openly communicating and trust. I am to being drug free and harm free. I am to staying on the right path and being a great father and son. ~ E More writing samples Chaplain's Writing Group Elmwood Jail | Summer booklet Chaplain's Writing Group Elmwood Jail | Spring/Fall booklet


By serving and loving in a humble and compassionate manner, CIC Ministries and St. Mark's help incarcerated people build a foundation for lives of purpose and hope. Episcopal Impact Fund is proud to support their good work.

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