Tag Archives: love

Kairos Torch Volunteers Needed

Hi!  I’d like to share with you a mission that is dear to my heart.  Kairos Prison Ministry.  In Greek, there are two words for time…chronos and Kairos.  Chronos is the time on your watch and Kairos has a meaning more close to “the right or opportune moment.”  Any expectant mother can tell you about waiting for Kairos time while being on chronos time.

Kairos Prison Ministry delivers a little bit of God’s time to those who are incarcerated.  It offers a short course in Christian love and unity to people who have little experience of a supportive, loving community.  Often, lives are transformed.

Kairos Torch is a ministry for juveniles who are incarcerated.  Hey, youth need God’s love too!  In Torch, not only are the youth given a Christian retreat, they are given a mature Christian mentor that they meet with for one year.  This can often be one of the most stable relationships that a youth may have.

This year, here in Washington, Kairos Prison Ministry is holding Torch #1 at King County Youth Detention Center in Seattle. We hope to interrupt the cycle of recidivism that so many youth become trapped in. Kairos for adults has been shown, statistically, to lower the recidivism rate from 70% (or so) to 30%. This is significant! And you can be part of it!

There are several ways to support Kairos Prison Ministry. Prayer, Volunteering, and Financial Support just to name a few!  If you are interested in any of these, please contact Roberta Newell at rnewell@post.com or Terri Stewart at YCC-Chaplain@thechurchcouncil.org.

Washington State Kairos Prison Ministry Website

International Kairos Prison Ministry Website

My Heart is Strangely Warmed

No, my heart was not strangely warmed by listening to an explication of the Book of Romans, but by witnessing four beautiful young men from detention mix and mingle with the people of Rainier Beach UMC at the first Clover Youth Mission Team meeting on the premises.

They ate food, they laughed, they drew pictures, they played games, and they chit-chatted.  And I skunked one of them in a rousing game of dots and lines. Overall, it was fabulous. And you know what? It was a glimpse of the Kingdom of God in the here and now. Nobody judged them. Everybody loved them. And in the building, Christian and Muslim ate side-by-side, East African and Euro-American and African-American and Fijiian all at the table together. Now that is the Kingdom of God.  All the children playing together with the values of listening and loving.

Yes.  My heart is strangely warmed.

A silly moment before the real picture.
So serious.


Celebrate! Gertrude Apel Pioneering Spirit Award!


I am very excited to let you know that the Church Council of Greater Seattle’s 2012 Gertrude Apel Pioneering Spirit Award winners are:

The Youth Chaplaincy Coalition, headed by Terri Stewart

The Coalition lives and breathes a truly ecumenical spirit in walking with young people in the Youth Detention Center and Echo Glen.  Involving ministers and lay people from diverse Christian backgrounds and various faith traditions, the ministry is being taken in new directions to support youth coming out of incarceration and to provide a base of pastoral care for young people in the community.

Sr. Julie Codd, CSJP

Sr. Julie was a catalyst in the evolution of the Chief Seattle Club and has maintained an active and vibrant ministry with Native American communities before, during and since her time as Director of the center.  Her urban ministry reflects the deep spirituality and cultural respect that has transformed lives and relationships in a city so hungry for authentic encounter.

In the spirit of the Rev. Gertrude Apel, both the Youth Chaplaincy Coalition and Sr. Julie Codd, CSJP, have the “talent for fostering cooperation and getting things done.”  The Church Council of Greater Seattle is proud to celebrate these witnesses to the Gospel of Christ who model faith-filled compassion and justice.

Please join in a simple, festive celebration for these Pioneers:

Sunday, November 18
3 p.m.
Seattle First Baptist Church
1111 Harvard Avenue
Seattle, WA

Thank you for sharing this invitation with your friends, communities and congregations.

I invite your RSVP to Ann Erickson at aerickson@thechurchcouncil.org.   For further information or questions, feel free to contact me at mramos@thechurchcouncil.org or 206.525.1213 x3911.

Blessings on your ministries and your commitment to creating a more just world.


Michael Ramos
Executive Director
Church Council of Greater Seattle

Tough Love Rules from Gathering Voices

From:  http://blog.thethoughtfulchristian.com/2012/01/tough-love-rules-when-hearing-horror.html#


Gathering Voices post by Beth Pyles

Sooner or later, someone is going to tell you of a life experience that is beyond description in its horror and evil.  Here are some suggestions for how to not screw it up.

1. Suck it up.  Do not cry – not then, not while you’re in the room with them.  This is their horror, not yours.

2. Do not run from the pain of others.  If they could live through it and they can tell it, the least you can do is hear it.

3. Talk less, listen more.  They need to tell and they need you to listen.  They don’t necessarily need you to understand every detail.  But they do need you to pay attention.

4. Do not underestimate the cost to you of the listening – it costs you something of your soul to learn firsthand about the reality and enormity of evil.

5. Share with a trusted confidant your own processing – your feelings and reactions.  Think about how all this affects your own faith and worldview, but before doing any of the thinking work, simply feel your own feelings – after you’ve left the presence of the story teller.  Own your revulsion, your rage, your horror, your grief.

6. Find your own way to forgiving the wrongdoer(s).  Judging them and what they did is not the answer to your own reaction.  You need to do the work you preach and forgive.

7. Avoid telling the one to whom it happened about their need to forgive.  Maybe that’ll come later.  But in the throes of relating a story of great suffering is not the time to speak of forgiveness unless the story teller brings it up.  Chances are they won’t, except perhaps as a challenge.  People telling about horrible things that have happened to them are often, if not always, reliving the experience in the telling.  When you’re in the middle of the event is not the time to talk forgiveness.

8. Tell them you’re sorry it happened to them.  Don’t cringe from naming the reality.  The one who lived through it and is brave enough to tell already knows what it was.  “I am so sorry you were raped.”  “I hate that you were tortured in this way.”

9. Treat what they have told you as the strictest of confidences.  Never allude to it in the company of others – not from the pulpit (even in general terms), not in a social setting, not even in the presence of those closest to them.  It is their story, not yours.

10. Acknowledge that you don’t understand.

11. Never, never, never, say that you know how they feel.  You don’t.  Even if something very similar happened to you, you don’t know how they feel.  You know how you feel.  And sharing your own experiences when someone is sharing theirs is stealing center stage for yourself.

12. Maintain eye contact.  It’s tempting to look anywhere but into the eyes of the suffering, but they need that contact from you.  Give it to them.