Kairos Prison Ministry
Kairos is an international ecumenical Christian ministry to
prisons. It is modeled after the Cursillo weekend and originated in Florida
some years ago. It started in Louisiana at the Louisiana State Penitentiary
at Angola, LA, and has since spread to the Louisiana Correctional Institute
for Women at St. Gabriel as well as the State Penitentiaries at Winnfield
and Homer. It has been used by the Lord to provide life changing experiences
for both inmates and team members. Through these changed lives, much of the
darkness and hopelessness in the prisons is being removed.
The Kairos approach is to encourage and then nourish a Christian community among the inmates in the prison. This is done through 3-day weekend "retreats" in the prison led by a team of "free people". The weekends are followed up in the prison with weekly prayer and share meetings and once-a-month Reunion Saturdays. The weekly and monthly meetings continue idefinitely and are attended by free people as well as inmates.
Each weekend begins with the formation of a team of about 50 from many denominations. These people participate in 6-8 team building meetings prior to the weekend. During the weekend, all the meals are cooked outside and brought into the prison. Homemade cookies baked by volunteers along with lots of fresh fruit are provided for the inmates all during the weekend. These "gifts" demonstrate servanthood and can show God's love for the inmates. The meals are cooked by team members who work on the outside in support. Approximately 3,000 dozen homemade cookies are consumed on a typical weekend. The baking of cookies involves many other people in the ministry.
Through teachings, sharing our personal stories, songs, prayers, and graphic art, inmates are encouraged to accept how much God loves them, that He is ready to forgive them no matter what they have done, and that as they accept Jesus as Savior and Lord of their lives, they become members of the Church, the Body of Christ. Many accept Jesus during the weekend. Others who are already Christian experience a renewal of their faith and deepening of their commitment. None go away unaffected by the demonstration of God's Love. Team members' as well as inmates lives are changed forever.
First Tuesdays is when the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in the Angola State Prison meets. Members of this ministry meet at the Angola State Prison gate at 5:30 PM to check in to go the various Camps inside the prison.
Cursillo is one successful way to live out Christ's call to all of us to bear witness to Him, so that His presence is felt and His voice heard through His people. This voice is heard not for a weekend at a conference center but everywhere He sends us, and for all time to come -
HERE I AM, LORD. SEND ME!!
As Cursillistas we have been reminded that our goal in this life should be to live out God's purpose for our lives. We were shown first hand God's love within a community of Christians. The weekend experience is part of the overall mission of Cursillo to remind us that Christ is counting on us and we on Him. This proven method of assisting Christians to bear witness to Christ in the daily environments continues to strengthen God's church in the world. In order to successfully continue to be Christ to others, Jesus needs His people to do His work.
An Ecumenical Ministry of Churches joined together to provide food and emergency financial assistance to clients in southeast Baton Rouge. Holy Spirit Church is a community church partner, providing fresh produce from Our Father's Garden as well as can goods.