Matt recently announced that he is organizing a BBQ for families of inmates at his local prison. The cast and crew very graciously allow him to take over the conversation this week to talk about the events origins, its rationale, and how Matt is thinking about activism in its relationship to the church in light of it.

For more details about the event and to contribute to the cause, please visit here. Donations of any size are very welcome–as is help spreading the word about what would be a unique opportunity. Anyone interested in knowing more about it or planning an equivalent event should email Matt at matthewleeanderson dot 84 at gmail dot com.

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Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.


  1. The only/main requirement of family of prisoners is to be loyal to person in jail – otherwise you are not family. The logistics of feeding 1000 people is the easiest part (I’m not saying it is easy), funding is perhaps more difficult but what exactly are you going to say to the prisoners that will convince them that they have anything to gain by allowing their family to attend such an event? The whole thing for them will be about trust. Good luck to you and I’m glad you are doing it but the greatest hurdle you will face will be that nebulous trust/solidarity issue.


    1. We’re going through the jail, block by block, with printed invitations and letters explaining what we’re about…and allowing them to invite their own families. You’re absolutely right it will all be about trust. That’s why we’re asking the inmates to invite their own families. They want visits, and they want their families to be taken care of in their absence. And I think that will motivate a good number of them to take the leap.


  2. Hi Matt, thanks so much for sharing about this on the podcast. I’ve been listening to Mere Fidelity for a couple of years now, and I think this is the most practical topic you guys have discussed. I find all of the shows to be edifying, but this one was thought-provoking and encouraging as I consider ways to work pursue reconciliation in my local community here in Lancaster, PA with / through my local church. Thanks for everything you guys do. I look forward to hearing how the BBQ goes!


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