Kairos Inside is composed of well-organized and well-trained volunteer teams of men and women from the communities surrounding an institution that present an introductory 3-day weekend, described as a short course in Christianity. This inter-denominational team of volunteers – both clergy and laypersons – works in cooperation with the Chaplain who carefully selects up to 42 inmate leaders to attend. Well organized follow-up is part of this program.
The Inside Program strategy brings positive and negative leaders of the institution together for a 3½ day weekend event of carefully coordinated talks, discussions, chapel meditations, and music led by the loving servant spirit of the volunteers. It is useful to think of the Weekend as a series of carefully planned events that flow one to another. For many Participants, this experience creates the desire to become a Christian and for others the desire to continue his/her personal Christian growth. After the Weekend, the Inside Program continues by helping the Participants establish small, 3 to 6 person Prayer and Share Groups within the institution. These small groups meet weekly to share their lives on a deep spiritual level and to pray for one another, other residents, their loved ones, and the staff of the institution.
The Weekend is conducted in an institution by a team of volunteers of the same gender as the institution. The Team begins on Thursday evening and ends with a spirit-filled Closing on Sunday. It is only the “starting point” as the Participants are guided through the steps of understanding the Christian life. Each day of the 3½ days of the Weekend has a guiding purpose or focus. The activities for each day are designed to support that day’s purpose. As the day’s activities unfold, a building process is occurring. The Participants are led, step by step, through a growing understanding of the focus for that day, which is why Kairos is such a structured program. Every activity has a purpose that supports a higher purpose for the day, and every activity builds on prior activities. Everything has a place and an order.
The Team returns to the institution as soon as possible, but no later than 3 weeks following the Weekend to teach the newest members of the Inside Community how to form Prayer and Share Groups.
The Weekly Prayer and Share Group Fellowship is the heart of Kairos! The ultimate goal of Weekends is to build a Christian community inside the Institution. Prayer and Share Groups of 3 to 6 individuals provide an opportunity for the Inside Community to pray and fellowship together on a weekly basis by nurturing each other in their faith walk and providing accountability.
Participants provide leadership for monthly Reunions. Three or more Participants are selected to share how Jesus is working in their lives. This gathering creates an environment that fosters participation and an opportunity for spiritual growth in the lives of the Participants.
Kairos Outside is designed to support the families of men and women who are or have been incarcerated in the country’s state and federal correctional facilities, as well as county jails and youth offender programs.
The Weekend Retreat is a series of talks and activities by women sharing their life journey. Each Guest has the opportunity to review the talks in small family groups. However, sharing in the small family group is voluntary. The program is interspersed with music, prayer, fun activities and general pampering. The Weekend is Christian in nature, although no religious affiliation is necessary to attend. Those who attend are expected to stay for the entire program.
Any adult female 20 year old, or older, whose life has been impacted by the incarceration of relatives/friends, is eligible to attend a Kairos Outside Weekend. Women, who did not have an opportunity to attend a Kairos Weekend while incarcerated, may also attend. This program IS NOT limited to those women whose relatives/friends have attended a Kairos Weekend.
Kairos Torch offers unconditional love and acceptance, encouraging young men and women to share their life journey through participation in a long term mentoring process. The program begins with a weekend retreat inside the prison. Torch team members commit to a weekly mentoring process with the youthful offenders for six months after the weekend.
Kairos Torch is an introductory two-day program for youth ages 25 and under who live in juvenile detention or correctional facilities. The weekend is a combined effort of an ecumenical, Kairos Torch Team to introduce young men and women to Christian concepts as a means of making better choices for their lives.
An ecumenical Christian team presents 72 hours of intense interaction with incarcerated youth. There is good food, music, and time to reflect on who they really are. Each young person is encouraged to remove the masks that they wear and see themselves as God sees them. After the Kairos Torch Weekend each inmate participant will be mentored for six (6) months. The mentoring is done by the volunteer members of the Kairos Torch Team. As a mentor you will be trained and provided with a mentoring manual that guides the mentor and mentee through the mentoring program. You will not be alone. There are plenty of experienced hands to guide you. The Christian centered mentoring is conducted with the rest of the Team in one of the juvenile or correctional facilities. Through unconditional love and affirmation the incarcerated youth will begin to see themselves as God sees them: as unique, special, and created in the image of God. With their masks off they will be better able to make positive choices for their lives. This will, in time, decrease the violence in our cities and begin to relieve crowded prisons.
At this time we are prayerfully seeking God’s will and support for an active Kairos Torch ministry in the State of Washington.