Spotlighting Jail Ministries and Upcoming Training

Jun 6, 2023 | #DidYouKnow, #Stories

Story and photo by Canon Debbie Low-Skinner

One of our lesser-known clergy and unsung heroes is The Rev. Liz Milner, who is the Executive Director of Chaplain Services of the Santa Clara County Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy (CIC) and also the Facility Chaplain of the Correctional Center for Women.  She has worked for the CIC since 2016.

She wrote (in her LinkedIn profile), ” I love working with people who are incarcerated, discovering their stories and their strengths.  (I also) love speaking and connecting with local faith groups to bridge divides and grow spiritual health.”

Previously Rev. Liz was the former Executive Pastor of the Palo Alto Vineyard Church for 12 years.  After she completed a Certificate of Anglican Studies at CDSP, she was ordained an Episcopal priest by Bishop Andrus in 2018.  Besides an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary, she earned a BA in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge in England.

Currently, Rev. Liz is a member of DioCal’s Commission on Ministry and occasionally serves as a supply priest.

FYI if you are interested in volunteering for jail ministry, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Saratoga is offering training on June 10th.  St. Andrew’s has had many of their parishioners actively involved in this lay ministry over the past 40 years.  (While serving as Pastoral Associate at St. Andrew’s, Rev. Debbie Low-Skinner conducted monthly holy communion services at the Santa Clara County Main Jail.)

At this upcoming CIC Ministries in-person “Going In, Staying In” volunteer training on June 10th, people will be trained to provide spiritual services in Santa Clara County Jails (i.e., the Main Jail in downtown San Jose and the Elmwood Facility in Milpitas) and the Juvenile Detention Facilities. Take the first step to share the hope found in knowing the love of God with individuals that are incarcerated.  The CIC is especially looking for volunteers for Juvenile Hall and to lead group studies in the adult men’s facilities.

The “Going In, Staying In” jail ministry training is for new and returning volunteers and focuses on orientation to chaplaincy and facility updates, as well as context specific skill building such as trauma informed ministry and cultural humility. The training is free and open to all over the age of 21.

Ellie Simpson
Author: Ellie Simpson



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