Cursillos in Christianity (in Spanish: Cursillos de Cristiandad, short course of Christianity) was founded in Majorca, Spain by a group of laymen in 1944. Cursillo is the original three day movement, and has since been licensed for use by several mainline Christian denominations, some of which have retained the trademarked "Cursillo" name, while others have modified its talks/methods and given it a different name.
You may already be familar with the Methodist adaptation, Walk to Emmaus, a three day weekend course on Christianity. Participants are asked to take what they have learned back into the world on what is known the "fourth day."
Kairos is another derivative weekend retreat dating back to 1976. Kairos is now active in 35 states and in nine countries. The ministry is active in over 300 ministry sites and 62 Kairos Outside ministries for women whose sons and husbands are in prison.
Kairos does this with a paid staff of nine people and over 30,000 volunteers who pay for the 640+ weekends presented each year. Recidivism studies in Florida and South Carolina found that Kairos experience brought a drop in recidivism of about one-third when compared to a control group.
By bringing the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ into prison, Kairos is widely recognized as a highly effective program to positively change inmate attitudes.
Kairos Outside is a special weekend retreat designed to support the female loved ones of men and women who are or have been incarcerated. Families of the incarcerated "do time" right along with their loved ones. In a safe environment with loving people, women interact with other women who are in similar situations and learn to form small support groups to give them strength for the challenges they face.
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 years 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.
The next KAIROS weekend is at Desoto Correctional Institute on October 27-30, 2016. Training is held on Tuesday evenings only, from 6‑9pm, at Good Shepherd UMC, 2951 Trail Dairy Circle, North Fort Myers, from August 23 through October 18.
The next KAIROS OUTSIDE weekend is on October 7‑9, 2016. Any woman who has been impacted by the incarceration of a loved one, or her own incarceration, who is interested in attending should contact Loretta Barche for more information and an application.
If you would like to volunteer or just learn more about our program contact one of our coordinators.