Volunteer Resources

Prison Fellowship Canada provides its volunteers with resources that equip them with carrying out their ministry faithfully. Below are some resources available to you as a PFC volunteer. Visit this page regularly for ongoing updates. 

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Recommended Books

The AfterGrief: Finding Your Way Along the Long Arc of Loss – by Hope Edelman

Aren’t you over it yet? Anyone who has experienced a major loss in their past knows this question. We’ve spent years fielding versions of it, both explicit and implied, from family, colleagues, acquaintances, and friends. We recognize the subtle cues—the slight eyebrow lift, the soft, startled “Oh! That long ago?”—from those who wonder how an event so far in the past can still occupy so much precious mental and emotional real estate.

Because of the common but false assumption that grief should be time-limited, too many of us believe we’re grieving “wrong” when sadness suddenly resurges sometimes months or even years after a loss. The AfterGrief explains that the death of a loved one isn’t something most of us get over, get past, put down, or move beyond. Grief is not an emotion to pass through on the way to “feeling better.” Instead, grief is in constant motion; it is tidal, easily and often reactivated by memories and sensory events, and is re-triggered as we experience life transitions, anniversaries, and other losses. Whether we want it to or not, grief gets folded into our developing identities, where it informs our thoughts, hopes, expectations, behaviors, and fears, and we inevitably carry it forward into everything that follows.

Drawing on her own encounters with the ripple effects of early loss, as well as on interviews with dozens of researchers, therapists, and regular people who’ve been bereaved, New York Times bestselling author Hope Edelman offers profound advice for reassessing loss and adjusting the stories we tell ourselves about its impact on our identities. With guidance for reframing a story of loss, finding equilibrium within it, and even experiencing renewed growth and purpose in its wake, she demonstrates that though grief is a lifelong process, it doesn’t have to be a lifelong struggle.

When Helping Hurts – by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert

Poverty is much more than simply a lack of material resources, and it takes much more than donations and handouts to solve it. ‘When Helping Hurts’ shows how some alleviation efforts, failing to consider the complexities of poverty, have actually (and unintentionally) done more harm than good.

Homeward – Life in the Year After Prison – Bruce Western

Quantitative and qualitative evidenced-based research drives a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t in successful ex-offender community reintegration. This 2018 re-entry study was conducted in Boston, Massachusetts.


Addiction and Pastoral Care
– Sonia E. Waters and John Swinton

Substance addictions present a unique set of challenges for pastoral care. In this book Sonia Waters weaves together personal stories, research, and theological reflection to offer helpful tools for ministers, counselors, chaplains, and anyone else called to care pastorally for those struggling with addiction.

From the Ashes – Jesse Thistle

This autobiographical book demonstrates how difficult it is for individuals to come out of a cycle of addiction and crime, particularly where they have been abused and/or neglected and where systemic racism is at play. This is a heartwarming and heart-wrenching memoir.

Transforming Twisted Thinking: Straight Thinkers Accept Responsibility – Jerry Price

Drawing upon life’s experiences, biblical insights, and field-tested models for transforming lives, Transforming Twisted Thinking presents this combination in a conversational style that does not spare honesty in revealing personal twistedness or forthrightness in offering God’s guidance. In addition to 14 chapters that describe the diverse ways people twist their own thinking, four appendices offer resources on definitions of terms, the allures of forbidden excitement, advice for applying principles, and questions for study and discussion.


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