Mountain Sky Appointment Announcements Learn more
“Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (NIV Isaiah 43:19)
Do you ever think about the broken people in the world? Of course, all of us are broken, but some of us more so than others. We all carry pain and shame that weighs us down. Some of us are born into better circumstances than others. It’s not about who is good and who is bad. That’s all relative. We are well aware of so many bad things happening all the time. We see all of it, as if the world is spinning into chaos.
But what if indeed, “the arc of the universe swings towards justice,” as MLK Jr. said. What if all these amazing and good things are happening simultaneously in our crazy chaotic world. What if God is still creating and God’s goodness is happening all around us all of the time also? It is the opposite side of the same coin.
“It’s not what you look at but what you see.” Henry David Thoreau
Think about that for a minute… It’s not what you look at but what you see….
Have you heard of Kairos Prison Ministry – it’s an ecumenical ministry all around the world. It is where Christians go into prisons and provide a retreat weekend for inmates where participants get to experience the love of God. Have you ever heard of or participated in Cursillo (https://www.cursillo.org) or Walk to Emmaus (http://emmaus.upperroom.org/about)? It’s like that. I was lucky enough to be a participant on a Cursillo weekend 10 years ago and it changed my life. I joined the UMC a couple weeks after that and in the next year, I started my ordination process. A group of volunteers showered me with God’s love that weekend. They let me really get in touch with that I am a beloved child of God. And you know what happens when your heart is “strangely warmed”? It changed me and I have never been the same since.
There are talks that build throughout the weekend given by volunteers about God, church, forgiveness, community and love. There are “ah-ha” moments, almost always tears (tears of heartbreak AND healing), lots of snacks and good food (of course), and community and fellowship and kindness and care AND joy. Oh, and of course, singing. Methodists always sing.
Do you know how much Jesus loves you? What if you have been thrown away by society? What if you never really had a chance? What if our broken system has put you in a figurative or real prison where there is no love, no kindness but all the broken chaos of our world contained in the tiny space you call your life? Society looks down upon you. You are shamed. And more than likely, you are forgotten. Any sense of worth you may have had, any sense of hope that may have existed does not live in your heart anymore. And if you are a loved one of someone incarcerated, you too feel so much of this.
But there is a light in the darkness! People have not forgotten you. People are loving you. People are holding you. People do want you to know that you are part of God’s great family and plan.
“For I was in prison, and you visited me.” (Matthew 25:36) What if the veil of shame and suffering can be lifted? What if hope and love can enter in? What if freedom can be unleashed in a soul of one of God’s beloved children? What if we can be channels to bring restoration to each other?
That’s what Kairos is… where people take care of you and shower you with love, reminding you who you are AND whose you are. Some people have never known this – to be shown their goodness and value in this world. What if we, in community, can do that for each other?
Those who participate (attendees and volunteers) are transformed. There is, indeed, “a light in the darkness and the darkness cannot extinguish it.” (John 1:5) And they in turn and in kindness invite family and friends to be able to participate in a weekend like they experienced…
It’s called Kairos Outside and I had the good fortune to be the spiritual director at the second one hosted in Colorado that happened this past spring. A host of 30-something volunteers doing everything from making beds and serving food to leading music, small groups, praying and sharing stories heaping loads and loads of God’s love on participants. It is life changing for all. There is no judgement; there is no pretense. Shame does not live here. It is a safe AND sacred space. This is where love, joy and hope abound, in every moment. People embracing people in our brokenness. Holding up a mirror that reflects the light of Christ that lives in each of us.
There are so many different ways to participate – be a volunteer for the weekend, a Day-Angel, donate, sign up for a prayer time and more. The weight of the chaos and negatively of the world is wiped away as you love and community happen. Would you like to be part of it? Share the light of Christ that lives in you with others? It is a sacred and humbling experience to be part of the very building of the Kin-dom in real time.
Consider it! The Kairos Outside 3 Weekend!
Saturdays – 8:30-4:30 – St. Philip in the Field, 397 Perry Park Rd., Sedalia, CO 80135
August 6, 20, September 10, October 1, 15
(breakfast & lunch included)
(There are 5 Saturdays of training with the whole team – there is much to learn. What is Kairos, what happens during the weekend, who does what, the talks that are given, building community, reflecting on the call to serve. The training alone is a commitment, but it is the foundation of community that makes the weekend happen. Imagine being on a team with 30+ other people all with one single focus - sharing Christ’s abundant and grace-filled love with others. You walk away feeling a peace and tranquility that God is indeed alive and at work – through you!)
KO Colorado #3 Weekend
Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, October 28, 29, & 30, 2022 (2pm Friday-2pm Sunday)
Ponderosa Retreat Center – 15235 S. Furrow Rd., Larkspur, CO 80118
Please call, text or email Colleen Campbell (Good Shepherd UMC, Thornton, CO) to inquire and volunteer at (720) 346-2928 & firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also please feel free to call or email (email@example.com or (814) 410-5457) if you would like to discuss before contacting Colleen. It is one of the best experiences I have ever had – as participant (Cursillo) and volunteer (Inside and Outside). - Rev. Natalie Marionneaux, Executive Assistant to the Bishop, Mountain Sky Episcopal Area.
Perhaps it is God’s appointed time for you to be a part of Kairos Outside.