Archive for the ‘Annual Conference’ Category

2014 YPM Annual Conf – Oct 3-4

The 2014 Annual Conference was held Oct 3 & 4 at the Best Western Country Cupboard Inn in Lewisburg. The theme of the conference was “The Ministry of Reconciliation.”

Annual Conference Brochure

2013 YPM Conference

Theme – The Power and Practice of Small Groups

Oct 4-5 Best Western Country Cupboard, Lewisburg, PA

See YPM 2013 Annual Conference Brochure (pdf) for details.  Click here for Registration Form (pdf)


Friday Afternoon:

Friday Evening (Banquet):

Saturday AM:

Saturday PM:


Tom O'Connor

Tom O’Connor grew up in Ireland and qualified as a solicitor (attorney) in the Irish legal system. Then Tom joined a Catholic religious order and lived as a friar (wandering monk) for 9 years, working and studying in Ireland, Scotland, France and the USA. He was sent to Washington DC in 1987 and 2 years later left the order and took a research job at Loyola University of Maryland to evaluate the impact of a federal prison program on recidivism. For the next 23 years, Tom spent most of his time focused on change and human development issues in the criminal justice system.


Tom has degrees in law, philosophy, theology and counselling; his Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America focused on Religion and Culture in the US Penal System.  Tom lives in Salem, Oregon with Aislinn, his wife, and Sorcha, his 11 year old daughter.


Most recently Tom worked as a research manager and as the head chaplain with the Oregon DOC. Tom has published, trained, and coached widely on change management, organizational development, the contribution of chaplaincy and volunteers to corrections, the role of humanistic, spiritual and religious ways of making meaning in the desistance process. Tom has trained prison chaplains and volunteers nationally and internationally. Tom teaches in the Criminal Justice Division at Western Oregon University, and is the CEO of Transforming Corrections, whose mission is to advance a more compassionate, effective, safer and less costly criminal justice system.



Joseph Herbst

Joseph Herbst, M.A., is the Executive Director of Bethseda Family Services Foundation in Lewisburg, PA. With 7 years of experience in the fields of youth and family intervention including alternative education, residential treatment, and adult corrections, Joseph is passionate about engaging the community in the area of family relationships and restoration.  Joseph earned a Master of Arts and Religion from Liberty University.  He is an expert in both Peer Governance and Relational Healing Models as a certified trainer. He assists in broadcasting live interactive webcasts nationwide in the Restoring Relationships Model. Among his other duties, Joseph oversees BFSF’s Residential Treatment  Center, prison programs and counseling center.



Chaplain Ray Kauffman

Chaplain Ray Kauffman, is a retired chaplain from the Franklin County Jail, serving 1979-89. Ray has also been a chaplain at a nursing home, to area migrant farm workers and has served as a church pastor. He is a graduate of Shippensburg University and Gettysburg’s Lutheran Theological Seminary. He recently wrote “Breaking Out of Your Prison,” an easy-read book for inmates and their families that identifies 12 keys that unlock the doors of one’s personal prisons. These keys are helpful for anyone going through a crisis. Ray and his wife, Georgia, have two daughters and three grandchildren.


Tom Rice has a powerful testimony of his 26 years of imprisonment. Yokefellowship volunteers ministered to Tom in a personal way as they shared the Word of God. Tom had previously committed his life to Christ but wasn’t able to walk-the-walk without the love and support of other Christians. Yokefellowship volunteers walked with him while he was incarcerated and helped him to stay on the narrow road after release. Yokefellow volunteers connected him with New Beginnings in Canton, PA where he was eventually hired as staff. He held that position for several years and continues to volunteer there as he is able.


2012 YPM Annual Conference Highlights

The 2012 YPM annual conference was held Oct 12-13 in Lewisburg , PA. The theme of the conference was: “Building Relationships for Spiritual Healing and Positive Change.” (more…)


YPM Annual Conferences have typically been events where YPM volunteers and others interested in prison mininstry gather together to hone their skills, share experiences, and learn about ministry-related issues and trends from knowledgeable and highly-respected professionals in the field of criminal justice and rehabilitation.

For years, conferences have been held at the Best Western County Cupboard in Lewisburg, PA near one of the first two institutions in which Yokefellowship started in the 1950’s. The conferences kick-off with  a banquet Friday evening with a special speaker followed by a day filled with speakers and a variety of workshops on Saturday.  For the past several years, YPM leadership has added an “optional” Friday afternoon session for those thirsting for more, and a Friday evening social time for those desiring more time to meet and mingle with other volunteers.