Mission of the Month - Kairos
By: Susan Naslund
This year, please consider pledging just one hour of service in our community. To help you decide, Foothills will focus on one of our many ministries. In April, we turn our attention to the Kairos Prison Ministry.
Dan Palm set out to read the Bible from cover to cover. When he finally finished, he wept. He wept for several weeks. The penetrating love of Christ had altered his life forever. Dan cannot explain how the spiritual change took place, yet he cannot deny the transformation of his character. Perhaps it is this conversion experience that deeply draws Dan to the Kairos Prison Ministry.
An international Christian organization, Kairos serves inmates in jails and prisons. The volunteers in the program bring God’s grace, forgiveness and hope to incarcerated individuals and to their families. Lives are transformed. Prison environments are changed.
In 2004, Dan joined the United Methodist Men at Foothills, and not long after brought the program to the attention of the group. Since then, several men have participated in the twice-yearly weekend events at R.J. Donovan State Prison. Women are Kairos volunteers too, providing spiritual healing to the families of the incarcerated. Both men and women Kairos volunteers acknowledge that being part of the program has enhanced their own spirituality.
It is easy to ignore the incarcerated – both unintentionally and intentionally – once they have entered into a correctional facility. But, if we are to be imitators of God, then we must look into the heart of the prisoners and see in them the dignity of God’s creation. We read in Matthew 25:36, 40, “I was a prisoner and you came to visit me . . . I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” In Hebrews 13:1-3 we are told to, “[k]eep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”
Trust that no one is beyond Christ’s love.
If you believe that every person can be redeemed by the love of Christ, and if you feel called to be God’s representative through prison ministry, please consider becoming a Kairos volunteer.
WAYS TO VOLUNTEER: Receive training and participate in an upcoming men’s prison ministry weekend or provide support at the women’s program called Kairos Outside; bake cookies for Kairos retreats; donate financially to support a retreat
ONE HOUR OPPORTUNITIES: Write letters of support to candidates who have been selected to take part in a Kairos retreat; pray regularly for those incarcerated individuals who have been transformed by the Kairos program
For more information, contact Dan Palm (619) 971-5114