Posted by on July 13, 2017


The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:5

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Ephesians 2:8-9


December 6, 2016

A Concilio Prison Ministry Renewal Update

Advent Greetings,

Thank you for your continued interest in the renewal process of Concilio Prison Ministry.
Approximately two weeks ago on Saturday, November 19, a group of 20 individuals pondered the information on the goals and objectives of Concilio Prison Ministry from focus groups, telephone interviews, and face-to-face meetings. This process was guided by Carla Anglehart, an external facilitator. Many individuals shared positive comments about the importance of the overall ministry of Concilio. Others stated they were leaving with gratitude, and some stated they were filled with renewed hope. Concerns were also freely expressed about the future of this ministry begun and inspired by the late Dr. Charles Taylor.

Next Steps

This day of reflection and discernment resulted in identifying the following next steps:

  1. A steering group will meet to grapple with the concepts and ideas that came from the gathering on Saturday November 19. The members of the steering group are Sheila MacCrimmon, Dr. Harry Gardner, Robert Elsford, Vicki Patton, Clarence DeSchiffart, and Derrick MacEachern.
  2. The Board of Concilio Prison Ministry will meet with Carla Anglehart (facilitator), Sheila MacCrimmon and Clarence DeSchiffart (the renewal team) to review the draft written report prepared by Carla. The final report will be shared with the larger community in January 2017.
  3. The Board of Concilio Prison Ministry will explore short-term actions to address two ministries – Spring House and St. Luke’s Renewal Centre.
  4. Each member of the Board of Concilio Prison Ministry will individually discern the call to remain on the Board or to step down
  5. Clarence has created and will maintain an email distribution list of “Friends of Concilio” — interested in regular communications from Concilio Prison Ministry (more than 100 people are currently on this list).
  6. Board and Steering Committtee to examine how to call people to volunteer:
    • Board Member
    • join a sub-committee for one of the ministries of Concilio Prison Ministry
    • join a communications sub-committee
    • sit on a fundraising sub-committee

Impact of our reaching out .. Reflections on a Recent Marathon

A Kairos Prison Marathon at Springhill Institution was held on November 25-26. Many of the volunteers left this circle of sharing feeling profoundly reflective at the depth of personal sharing. I personally was struck by how one inmate, who was new to this Kairos circle, shared about his deep wounded spirit and brokenness. His story of experiencing PTSD and willingness to be open, genuine, and vulnerable drew others out to have the “light shine in the darkness”.

Another inmate at the end of the two days summarized his own recent painful experience and confusion in his whole life by stating, “You (members of the circle) may have just saved a life!” Again, it appeared that he was acknowledging his experience of the Trinity (spirit) within this time and circle – in a way that was simply worded, yet so applicable — on many human levels.

This recent Kairos circle speaks of what Concilio Prison Ministry is doing on behalf of God’s desire. It is attempting to create spaces for the wounded to experience love and healing, and hence be “saved” in our world today.

Prayer Requests

Please pray for the ministry that God does through us, specifically:

  1. The future unfolding of Concilio Prison Ministry.
  2. Reflecting on your willingness to volunteer or ask/suggest others to volunteer.
  3. Consider making a year end donation to support the continuation of the ministries.
  4. The Advent Program volunteers travelling to four federal prisons in Atlantic Canada, over the next two weeks, to minister to inmates through fun activities, singing, laughter, and the story of Advent – bringing hope, peace, joy, and love to those trying to find these gifts of the Spirit.


Wishing you a blessed Advent and Christmas season,

Clarence & Sheila
Concilio Renewal Team





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