Host a Second Chance Sunday this April!
Pastor Jon Kelly is living proof of the power of a second chance.
Jon spent two-thirds of his life in the criminal justice system. The day someone handed him the New Testament behind bars, everything changed. Jon read it and "was never the same again." He left prison with new purpose and hope. After his release, he found gainful employment, housing, and a church community that supported him in reentry.
Now Jon is a husband, father, and college graduate, and the lead pastor of Chicago West Bible Church,
CELEBRATING SECOND CHANCES
Jon and his church host a Second Chance Sunday every April, holding a special service to raise awareness about the stigma and barriers that people with a criminal record face. The service inspires church members to create a place of welcome and belonging. This effort is part of Second Chance® Month, a nationwide campaign led by Prison Fellowship® to unlock brighter futures for approximately 70 million Americans with a criminal record.
On a typical Second Chance Sunday, Pastor Jon shares a special message on second chances, reminding his church that God offers everyone a second chance through Christ. The service is an opportunity to highlight reentry ministries, organizations, and resources to help church members stay involved in supporting second chances. People can also share stories about the impact of second chances in their own lives.
Jon says Second Chance Sundays align with the church's mission to live out the Gospel: "We believe that every man and woman, every individual, regardless of if they have a criminal record or not, has been created in God's image and is worthy of dignity and respect and opportunity."
And the annual observance of Second Chance Month is making an impact that lasts beyond April.
"Second Chance Sundays have been huge for our church," says Jon. "It's created a culture in which everyone feels free to truly embrace one another in Christ, as He designed us to be."
WATCH: SECOND CHANCE SUNDAY
Prison Fellowship welcomes you and your church to download the free Second Chance Sunday toolkit to help break down barriers and create opportunities for second chances through teaching, study, and prayer.
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