STAY CONNECTED

~ an article by Stewart Humphrey
~ article from the November 2013 Kairos Weekend
Central's Ministry with Those Incarcerated

 

“I was in prison and you visited me”. Matthew 25:43

 

There are children of God who live their lives off our beaten path - the homeless, for instance and those who are in prison. Christ calls his faithful to be the embodiment of the Holy Spirit in every crook and cranny of the world. “Go ye into the entire world”, He tells us and that means the prisons that bind his children as well. There are nearly 40,000 men and women in North Carolina prisons. Studies show that 70% of the children of those fathers and mothers are likely to spend time in prison as well. So ministering to those in prison has a compounding effect as it touches their spouses and their children.

 

Central volunteers frequent five prison facilities in Western North Carolina and the local jail. The scriptures are taught, reading materials are distributed and Kairos weekend retreats (similar to The Walk to Emmaus) are conducted. Every week there are Central volunteers bringing the message of Christ to those in prison!

 

Recidivism is reduced from around 70% to less than 20% when individuals encounter Christ in prison ministry. Prison officials tell us that participation in faith based programs and worship experiences are the most successful deterrent to recidivism for the majority of inmates.

 

John 10:27 (GW) My sheep respond to my voice, and I know who they are. They follow me.

 

Romans 10:13-16 (GW) “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  But how can people call on him if they have not believed in him? How can they believe in him if they have not heard his message? How can they hear if no one tells {the Good News}?  How can people tell the Good News if no one sends them? As Scripture says, “How beautiful are the feet of the messengers who announce the Good News.”

 

More volunteers are needed, teach Disciple Bible Class at Craggy Correctional Institution, join a Kairos team or become a Community Volunteer and sponsor inmates by bringing them to church and helping them with re-entry into the community.  Contact one of our pastors and learn how you can become “announcer of the Good News” through Central’s prison ministries.

 

Kairos Ministry

 


Kairos teams are composed of 44 members who will journey into the prison with a mission of bringing Christ's love and forgiveness to the prison residents.  Kairos (a Greek word for time) places a serious focus on training.  Kairos is a word of very special significance in the correctional institution environment where the word "time" carries so many special connotations.  Team meetings prepare the team for this experience.

 

Kairos Prison Ministry is an Interdenominational team of volunteers -both clergy and laypersons- ministering to the incarcerated. Bringing Christ’s love inside prison is a gift from God, a miracle.  Kairos is a four-day weekend teaching and demonstrating what God's agape love, unconditional love, is like. Click here to view a 7-minute video showing you what a Kairos weekend is all about.  Kairos is very similar to the Methodist Walk to Emmaus weekends, the Catholic, Presbyterian, and Episcopal Cursillo weekends, and the Lutheran Via de Cristo weekends.

 

The Kairos program currently operates in 350 prisons (14 in North Carolina) in 32 states in the U.S. and 8 additional countries:  United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, and Canada. As the Kairos team keeps growing, we can expand the ministry to additional prisons.

Kairos Map

Christ in Matthew 25 challenges all of us as his disciples to visit those in prison, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and then adds, "inasmuch as you've done it to the least of these, you've done it to me."  While not everyone can easily go inside a prison to fulfill this command, you can go vicariously through participation in this prison ministry.

 

If you feel the call to share God’s love at MCI please feel free to contact John Klees (828) 667-0580.

The Next Interdenominational Kairos Events are: April 27 - 30, 2017 at Marion Correctional Institution (MCI), September 21-24, 2017 at Swannanoa C.C. for Women (SWCC)

 

Kairos Spring 2017 Training Schedule MCI:

 

Saturday, April 8, 8.30a.m. – 3.00 p.m. East Marion UMC, Marion, NC

Thursday, April 27, 8.30a.m. -  2.30 p.m. Glenwood Baptist Church, Marion, NC

 

Kairos is very excited to announce that Kairos #1 is scheduled for Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women (SWCC) September 21-24, 2017.  We are in the process of recruiting female volunteers and clergy to serve on this weekend and have training information available upon request.  If you are unable to serve on the weekend but want to be involved there are plenty of ways to help.  Pray for the weekend, the trainings, and everyone involved.  There is an actual "prayer chain" involved and we would love to include your first name on this chain if you can commit to praying for this weekend.  Other ways to get involved include writing letters, having your church or youth group make a poster and or place mats for the ladies, and then there are many financial needs that range from paying for someone’s meal to sponsoring a "table family" to other major expenses involved in hosting a Kairos weekend.  I am happy to answer questions and provide additional information if you are interested.  Please prayerfully consider how God can use you in this ministry and contact me as soon as possible so we can get you on board!

 

Love and Prayers,

Michelle Young (Leader of Kairos #1 @ SWCC) 

ph:  828-925-0041

email:  myoung319@gmail.com               

 

Kairos SWCC summer training schedule is as follows:

 

Saturday July 29, Living Waters, 344 Moffit Hill Rd, Old Fort, NC

Saturday August 12, Living Waters, 344 Moffit Hill Rd, Old Fort, NC

Saturday August 26, TBD

Thursday September 21, TBD

See team application to serve on the SWCC team, HERE

See the Invitation to Serve Letter Here

 

If you wish to serve MCI, please contact:

Gene Schimpf, MCI 17 (gsechota@bellsouth.net); 828-669-1931; 828-778-7453 (cell)

 

 

Prison Disciple Bible Study at Craggy minimum security unit (formally BCC)

         

                   Prison Ministry     

Disciple Bible Study in Prison

 

In the mid 90’s Central members received the Word through Disciple Bible studies. Then acting upon God’s call in Matthew 25, they took their experience of God’s love and in 1996 started Disciple Bible studies in the Buncombe Correctional Center (BCC). BCC was our local minimum security correctional facility which was incorporated into Craggy Correctional as a minimum security unit in 2014. As many as 500 to 600 men may pass through the Craggy MSU doors annually. Many of them settle right here in our community. As a result it is not uncommon to see a Disciple Bible study student from Craggy in Sunday school and worship here at Central.

 

Volunteer teams from Central visit the Craggy minimum security unit weekly sharing the love of God through Disciple study and living out the Gospel in their own lives. Members of the team take Craggy inmates out on community volunteer passes for church and assist with transportation, job placement, and numerous other functions related to their release from prison. Disciple Bible study at Craggy is not only sharing the Word through study, but team members offer Holy Communion several times throughout the year at the facility and celebrate annually with Holy Communion as a means of helping the men at Craggy feel included in the Central family.

 

Several Central members are members of the Community Resource Council at (BCC-CRC) and Central members have led the way in the planning and fund raising to build a chapel/educational center at Craggy Minimum Security Unit. Known as the “New Life Center,” this facility was dedicated to Craggy on May 31, 2015 and will enable not only Central to broaden its commitment to Craggy but also allow other churches to have space to provide worship and study opportunities. Through the week educational opportunities designed to help inmates prepare for their return to their families, community, and workplace will fill the building with hope for “New Life”.

 

Central, “a community for Christ in the center of the city,” has no city limits. Our goal is to welcome all to that wonderful “City of God” where there is love, joy, hope, peace, and material blessings sufficient to meet all its citizen’s needs including those in prison. You are invited to share in our prison ministry.

 

 

“I was in prison and you visited me.”  -- Matthew 25:36

 

On August 24, 2015 we launched a very special Web-based video show highlighting the ministry of Disciple Bible Outreach Ministries both in North Carolina and Nationally. Disciple Bible Outreach Ministry Video