Kairos 19 Weekend: May 23-26, 2003 (Memorial Day Weekend)
The Rector for our next weekend will be Rich Antles. Please keep him, and our Lompoc Kairos Council, in your prayers.
As we get closer to the weekend we'll have four opportunities for you to support the ministry: the team, the prayer vigil, letters, and shields.
I hope this e-mail finds you all in good health and positive spirit. It has been 4 months since God completed His work on Kairos 18. What a blessed weekend that was! I've been thinking...one of the most significant aspects of the Kairos ministry is its perpetuity. It is not a one time event, a flash in the pan. Rather, it is constant and on-going. Through each weekend, reunion day and every letter exchanged with a resident, the work of God remains in continuous motion. It is a blessing and honor to have been chosen to be a part of God's work behind those gray walls.
Did you ever imagine that you would be called to prison ministry? When your old Aunty Martha pinched your cheek as a child and said "What are you going to be when you grow up?", did any of you answer, "A member of a Christian prison ministry group."? I don't think any of us could have envisioned our individual calls to minister to the criminal because, well, that's just not a natural human thing to do. Our human nature, and just about every commercial on television these days, calls us to be self-centered, to gratify the needs of the self. God, however, calls us to turn our energy outwards to provide for the hungry, the sick, the naked and the imprisoned. As he began his ministry, Jesus went to the seashore and called His disciples one by one to join Him, to be fishers of men. It is important to note that Jesus did not command them to follow Him. No, He made the call and they chose to accept it. I'm sure those 12 original followers must have had other plans for their own lives, their weekends, their free time. It was probably not convenient to become a follower of Jesus and some material sacrifices would have been necessary. For some, following the Son of God meant leaving behind their family and friends. Can you see the parallels to your own personal call and involvement with Kairos prison ministry?
For those of us that have accepted the call and worked a weekend or two at USP Lompoc, we have been blessed beyond the description of mere words. We have witnessed miracles occur right before our very eyes. We have felt the presence of the Holy Spirit burning brightly in our hearts. We have laughed, cried, hugged and most importantly loved God's children behind bars. Through this experience we have come to know and love God more deeply. Some of us have even experienced personal salvation through involvement in this ministry.
We all know the challenges that the Kairos commitment brings to our lives, but just as the original 12 apostles found out, the blessings of working for God are beyond measure. Soon there will be another opportunity to join God in His work as He leads us through a new Kairos weekend. I find myself humbled to tears to be serving Him as the rector for Kairos 19. When I look back at my life 10 years ago I find it to be a miracle that God has brought me to the place I am at today. And so it is with great expectation that I invite the members of the Kairos community to spend some time in prayer with God, asking Him to reveal his will for your life, specifically as it pertains to Kairos 19.
In closing, I want to leave you with an excerpt from a letter written by Michael Fay in January of 2000 (clergymen, you will recognize this from my letter to you all a few weeks ago):
"...I will be leaving prison ministry for the time being to pursue other kinds of service. Serving in Kairos has led me to a new kind of closeness to Jesus that has irreversibly changed me. If you are reading this and have never served on a Kairos team - pray about it. I don't know of any other ministry that offers the intensity of experience or meets such a great need. It will not be easy. But it will be awesome. I have to smile as I reflect on the wisdom of Jesus in challenging me to visit the prisoner. Yes, he knows more about me than I do - so what else is new?"
It is a blessing to say that Michael Fay will be back, serving the Lord on Kairos 19. If you too feel called to participate in the K19 weekend, please consider the following dates:
Team Meeting 1: Saturday, April 5, 8am-2pm - St. Mary's in Lompoc
Team Meeting 2: Saturday, April 26, 8am-2pm - St. Mark Methodist in Santa Barbara
Team Meeting 3: Saturday, May 10, 8am-2pm - St. Mary's in Lompoc (badged members leave at 11:30 to attend reunion)
Team Meeting 4: Saturday, May 17, 8am-2pm - St. Mark Methodist in Santa Barbara
Kairos 19: May 23-May 26, USP Lompoc
May God bless you and keep you always,