Pastor’s Ponderings

I am committed to the Keryx Ministry. Recently I had a conversation with our Mid-West District Superintendent. Our district superintendent Margie asked me why I was committed in my personal ministry to Keryx. It was an easy question for me to answer for I have thought about it numerous time during the past almost twenty years that I have been associated with Keryx. By being part of Keryx God has allowed me to use the gifts He gave me for what Jesus has commanded us to do in His name. Back in the mid-1990s Reba, Michelle and I were blessed to attend and participate in Walks to Emmaus as part of the United Methodist Church upper Room Ministries. The Cursillo Movement (of which Walk To Emmaus) is offered under a number of different names and associated with a number of denominations such as Via de Cristo, Tres Dias, Way of Christ, DeColores, Kairos, The Journey, Chrysalis Flights, and the Keryx which is a nondenominational Cursillo Movement specifically designed for those incarcerated in our prison systems.

These ministries are designed to renewing Christian Discipleship and strengthening local churches. Participants who desire a closer walk with our Lord are willing to commit not just 72 hours on the weekend but to take and use the spiritual gifts that God has given them in new ways to build up local church and Christianity as a whole. After participating in a Cursillo Moment you continue to develop a closer relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are moved by the power of the Holy Spirit to share the gifts which God has given to each of us with all those who seek a relationship with our Lord and Savior.
For many years Reba, Michelle and I serve in a number of capacities to assist in providing Cursillo experiences for many who have begun their walk to Emmaus. After a number of years working within the Emmaus community I was asked to be a part of Keryx by a close and strong Christian brother Ron who at times had been a strong mentor to me as I continued to walk closer and closer with our Lord. Ron had been active in the Emmaus community and continued his ministry as a leader within the Keryx ministry and encouraged me to begin participating in that ministry. Ron knew that I had a social work background and cared deeply about social justice in our community and expressed to me the desire of Keryx Ministries to assist chaplains within our correctional system by offer experiences to men and women who want to continue a deep relationship with God as Christian brothers and sisters in a system where spiritual forces make it very difficult for them to be disciples of Christ for the transformation of the world.

While our correctional system leaves much to be done in the rehabilitation of those incarcerated the work of chaplains and volunteers from outside the system walls can do much for those men and women who want to see a change in their life and are committed as Christians to follow Jesus Christ. Statistics have shown that those incarcerated who participate in Bible studies, attend worship and fellowship with other brothers and sisters as they meet for prayer and other activities that bring them closer to Jesus Christ return to prison at a much lower rate than the general population of our correctional systems today. I take the passage from Matthew 25 seriously where Jesus asked when did you give me water when I was thirsty and when did you visit me when I was sick and in prison. We as Christians must be willing to be in ministry with those who Jesus is very concerned about. Because the way the correctional system is set up today very few of us have an opportunity to have long-lasting effects on those that are incarcerated. So my Keryx ministry as a pastor and supported by you my congregation is important to me. It is my prayer that you will continue to support me in the future and allow me to continue to give when asked with my time and commitment to participate in Keryx weekends as your pastor.
I have seen what Christ has done in people’s lives and I know that Keryx has made a difference in so many men and women during their time of incarceration and in their lives after release. May we continue to visit the sick, welcome the stranger and be with those who are in prison.

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