We all aspire to be our best selves.  During the Tokyo Olympics we watched as athletes from around the world strove to be the G.O.A.T.  - the greatest of all time.  But in Matthew 25 - the parable of the sheep and goats - being categorized as a goat is not a good thing.  As Christians, we are called to treat the least of our neighbours as if they were Jesus himself as we work to be more sheep-like.

Perhaps the most challenging command in Matthew 25 is the edict to "visit the prisoner" - it is just not something that many of us find easy to relate to.  And yet it is clearly part of our Christian call.  

Join Rob Betty as he uses Prisoners' Justice Day to spark a series of reflections on integrating compassion for the incarcerated into our Christian journey. Through the videos offered via the links below, you will meet people who have visited the prisoner and hear how that act changed both the visited and the visitor. Just as importantly, they will share some suggestions as to how we can better visit this often forgotten part of the "least of these."

  • Watch the video Prisoners' Justice Day: Introduction

    Rob Betty first entered a prison to meet a new friend in 2013.  Over time, how few other visitors he encountered while visiting this friend struck him.  As a life-long Anglican, he was inspired to become an advocate for justice within the prison system and a voice to call attention to these often neglected members of our community. Rob has been a member of the Edmonton Anglican Diocesan Social Justice Committee since 2015.
  • Watch the video Interview with Arlette Zinck: Reflection 1

    Arlette Zinck is a Professor of English at The King’s University. She serves as Executive Director of The Ephesus Project, a volunteer initiative that funds, organizes and delivers post-secondary courses to eligible incarcerated learners in Correctional Services of Canada prisons. Arlette is a parishioner at St. John the Evangelist Church in Edmonton, and she currently sits on the Anglican Diocese’s Examining Chaplains Committee.
  • Watch the video Interview with Arthur Dyck: Reflection 2

    Arthur Dyck has a Master's of Divinity degree in Church and Family Ministry with a focus on Restorative Justice.  He is ordained to the diaconate and serves St. Faith's parish as community chaplain and is Anglican Chaplain at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.  Arthur is the Coordinator for Edmonton Circles of Support and Accountability, an organization that walks with convicted sex offenders as they work to reintegrate into the community after serving their term in prison.
  • Watch the video Interview with Quinn Strikwerda: Reflection 3

    Quinn Strikwerda is an Anglican Priest and former Chaplain at the Edmonton Remand Centre. He is currently Pastor at the Inner City Pastoral Ministry Community of Emmanuel.
  • Watch the video Interview with David Goa: Reflection 4

    David Goa is an academic by training and his focus is on deepening the capacity of the faithful to think through the gifts of the Christian tradition: the spiritual life, the theological traditions, and our responsibility to the public world. For many years he walked this out in his role as the Founding Director of The Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life. More recently David has spent time teaching and thinking alongside residents of a number of Canadian prisons.
  • Watch the video Interview with Ron Nikkel: Reflection 5

    Ron Nikkel is President Emeritus of Prison Fellowship International (PFI), an association of independent national Prison Fellowship organizations in 127 countries. For more than 30 years Ron has traveled extensively throughout the world promoting PFI's work of compassion and reconciliation among prisoners, ex-prisoners, victims of crime, and the families involved.
  • Engage in some self-reflection by reading Suggestions From Our Interviewees (PDF)

    You have now watched five compelling reflections on how some of your fellow Christians have answered Jesus’ call to visit the prisoner. Hopefully, you are motivated to go and do likewise!

    Here are some suggestions that were made during these interviews on possible paths to follow. Perhaps your path is somewhere on this list.