VIRTUAL ULTREYA - September 18*
Our monthly Ultreyas for 2020:
September 18, 2020 - 7PM
MUST SEE TV
The National Capital Area Emmaus will broadcast the August Ultreya on our new online platform (see link below).
The video will begin promptly on September 18 at 7 p.m. This new online broadcast service provides the opportunity for the community to watch the Ultreya broadcast simultaneously. Additionally, there is an online chat room (cause you know, we like to talk) and an opportunity for you to pray with a designated Prayer Warriors should you have the desire for someone to pray with you.
I look forward to seeing you online on September 18, at 7 p.m.
This is a video recording and all contributors adhered to the social distancing guidelines outlined in the Governor’s Executive Order.
Schedule for 2020
October 23 - Virtual
November 20 - Christ Church UMC
Our 2020 Weekends!!
E-193 Chris Scholz Oct. 1-4,2020 - POSTPONED!
E-194 Sam Gero Nov. 12-15 - POSTPONED!
All weekends will be at Camp Happyland!
Check out our new NCAE Intro Video!!
The Nominating Committee is looking for anyone that is interested in serving on the NCA Emmaus Board of Directors. This is a two-year commitment.
Please contact Kat Lopez (Kat.Lopez812@aol.com), Tom Lambert (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Shari Spring (email@example.com) if you are interested.
From the Community Lay Director...
From the Lay Director
As I was preparing what I was going to say to you for tonight’s Ultreya, the news reported that the United States has exceeded over 170,000 COVID-19 related deaths. I just want to pause for a moment of silence as we pray for the families of these victims and our nation. Just so we are clear, I didn’t mention this to politicize the number of deaths or to engage in a conversation with regard to public health and safety. However, the number is relevant to the Board of Directors as we continue to evaluate the possibility of our community returning to conducting live Ultreyas and Weekends.
During our last Board meeting the topic was presented and discussed. The Board of Directors voted to postpone all in person events for the remainder of the year, 2020. The Board came to this conclusion based on the following issues related to Ultreyas and Weekends.
Camp Happyland – Under the Phase III Executive Order from Governor Northam, there are no overnight events to be held at campgrounds. With a campground designation, they are unable to hold events at this time at their facility. (more)
From the Community Spiritual Director...
From The Community Spiritual Director
We head into the fall this month, new beginnings of old traditions. School has started up, virtually for some and in-person for others. Old and new come together to form a new normal. We need to remember in these trying days of pandemic that what is new for us was anticipated by God. As stressful as this unusual new normal may be for us, God already knew it was coming, anticipated our every need during these days and is way ahead of us providing all that we really need in this day.
God's sovereignty is over all of creation from the beginning of time to the very end of time. Things may look upside down to us but rest assured God's got this. Colossians 1:16–17 reminds us: “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together”. We can rest, knowing that all things will work out to the glory of God. (more)
|From the Community Music Directors...
Music Directors' Message
Friends, Can you say "It is well with my soul?"
When you face trials or death - will you have peace?...will the Lord say, "Well done, my beloved child." ? Some songs provoke us to contemplate things and strive to walk closer with Jesus, other songs comfort us with details of just who Jesus says we are. We had chosen songs and made plans for September but life called for flexibility. This month we drew from past recordings and added songs sung by Sheri and Milton from their personal locations. We are always looking for new musicians in the community and continue to enjoy "old" ones.
The NCAE recordings have been like monthly mission trips wherein we go into unfamiliar territory, fully trusting, giving all and leaning on the Lord for the final product. It's all for His glory. We usually start by tuning and sound check, prayer, snack, short devotional and watch the Holy Spirit move. Phil Wisner lead us in prayer last month for the Holy Spirit to cover all we do. We witnessed Him move and empower, truly a mission trip. Praises!
You, Community, are on our minds and in our hearts and prayers. We miss you but we all know it's okay and we will be together again soon. We will keep our joy in the middle of this time and keep singing! Start the day with song, lace it throughout your day and watch it get better and better! (more)
From the Chrysalis Lay Director
I would like to take the time to thank the Board members from the Class of 2020 for their service and dedication to making Chrysalis what it is today. They have all graciously decided to take on another two years as the new Class of 2022. I will be continuing as the CLD. Two members of the Class of 2020 had to step down due to other commitments outside of Chrysalis. I would like to personally thank Katie Rowe and Aiden Wills for their hard work and contribution to making Chrysalis what it is today. At the same time, I would like to welcome our new members, Rich Goad and Madison McDonald. I know they will bring a lot of great ideas to the table and look forward to working with them. The board met last month and with a sad heart, we have collectively decided to postpone the January weekend. We felt with the uncertainty of this virus and virtual school system in place, it would hinder the teaming experience and the bug applications. Hopefully, we can pick up where we left off.
Chrysalis decided that we needed to stay connected to the bugs from past weekends. We have come up with Virtual game night. Our first game night was Aug 26th. It was a small crowded, but that did not stop them. Kayleigh, Becca, Casey, and Bryson wanted to figure a way to stay connected and have fun at the same time. So, they brought out Jackbox. It was a blast playing. It made me feel 20 years younger. This will be a monthly get together. It will be held every fourth Wednesday of the month. We will be posting alerts on social media. I hope everyone comes and joins us in a little down time of fellowship and games. So, don’t forget to bring your humor and your drawing skills. Here are a few pictures from our game night. I hope to see more faces next time. (more)
KAIROS KORNER CALL FOR KOINONIA
“It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” Acts 26:14
Have you ever heard a message from the LORD and discovered that it is useless for you to fight against His will? I have learned that what transforms a man’s spirit is wisdom and virtue brought about by the struggle we all share with the world. I have learned that man can use force and struggle even against his own nature in order to succeed in his daily battles, or he can use that force for the good of humanity.
In this recent age of fear and trembling, all of God’s children are struggling within themselves within various prisons we have adopted for ourselves as we attempt to cope with the challenging times surrounding us. For myself, I have had to weave my own way through the maze of confusion left behind by the coronavirus plague. I have had to survive as an “essential” worker, one who manages many other high-risk essential workers, and I must admit, I’m tired. Throughout this challenging time, I have leaned heavily upon my prayers and faith in God’s will. All spiritual activities had become either impossible, or severely limited in scope. The KAIROS prison ministry came to an abrupt halt early on as the Government triggered a general lockdown that effectively completely crashed the Kairos programs overnight, not to mention all other volunteer programs. A true test of our faith has been set before us all. Pretty much all contact with the men inside was lost.
Seven months now have passed since this time of testing began. Throughout that time, I never missed even one day of work (I am a landscaping manager/designer). I made my work my mission, serving the workers and keeping their jobs going as best I could in the face of massive commercial business shutdowns. I wanted to ensure that they had a reliable income and were able to still care for their families. And suddenly just a few days ago I was told I no longer have a job. And I count it as a blessing. It’s time to move forward into a new future. 9 I had been praying consistently that the LORD blesses me with a clear path going forward. I have been feeling the tug on my spirit and sensing the goads pressing in on me. On the day I was let go I got a text message from my Kairos brother (I call him my spiritual twin) Jerome. I had not heard from him for months and BOOM…text message!
“Hey Mike, I’m going through some resident messages and Robert Humple (I was his sponsor and he’s got an amazing testimony) asks about you.” “I think he’s hoping for a correspondence from you.” OUCH! That goad hurt! Especially since just hours before I had my exit interview at my now former job. Just as I was getting ready to feel sorry for myself…Knock knock, goad goad, ouch ouch, message from the LORD!
10-4 LORD, message received! And here I sit as I type this article, also writing letters for the men inside. I bought some blank inside cards and am sharing some encouraging words of hope for God’s lonely children on the inside. Father forgive me my neglecting the fellowship of the believers.
GOOD NEWS: You too can help encourage and share the NCAE koinonia blessing by writing letters and cards of hope, love, peace, and encouragement. Now the official rule in KAIROS for volunteers is purposefully left unclear. We who volunteer on the inside can write letters, but we are encouraged to avoid doing so out of an abundance of caution. That said, YOU are not limited in any way! We recommend that you strive to keep the words spiritual and professional with nothing too personal included.
I have an offer for you in the community who would like to write some general palanca letters to the inside men. Write them and contact me, I’ll get them to the men inside. And for those who would like to become a pen pal I will provide the resident info you need and instructions.
AND I’m nearly finished: I have another mission for you.
Maybe you recall when we gathered thousands of Christmas cards for the inside men to use to become a blessing for their families? I’d like to try that again but this time collecting Birthday Cards, Thanksgiving, Christmas, General Thoughts cards and so on.
These men are starving for Christ’s love on the inside. We all know now how challenging it can be to be without our churches and spiritual activities…that feeling is doubly dark from within a prison. I am imagining John the Baptist in prison, asking Jesus’ followers to ask Jesus for him if he really is the Messiah they have been waiting for. Like John, these men want to hear from Jesus…can you be Jesus in a love letter from God?
Just call me, text me, email me and together we will get it done!
P.S. The next day I had an appointment to meet with the a past employer I will most likely be working with again. And the timing is Godly perfect. Please pray for that if you will.
With Love and Blessings from your brother in Christ Michael Anthony Gentile (child of God) 38 Vista Woods Rd Stafford, VA 22556 Phone: 703-638-2545 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kairos Testimony - Alexander Campbell
When I see the reflection of the man in the mirror, I see a husband, a father, a brother, a son, an example, a man of faith. These are the persona’s I had to grow into from a young man that had lost his way and had to go into a foreign land in order to rediscover and reclaim.
Prior to incarceration, I grew up in the burbs to a single mother. Did not want for anything, had what was needed to succeed in this life. A good home, good school, and positive people nearby if I would have searched them out. I played basketball ball in high school with letters coming from many Division 1 Colleges. Schools from the Big Ten, Big Twelve, Pac 10, and others. Beautiful.
As a young man I did not see God’s hand over my life despite the fact that I had an awesome praying mother who did her best to save me from myself. But, hell bent is hell bent. I loved going into the city, I found my excitement. The aura, the lights, trouble, and danger. I wanted to prove how tough I was opposed to how smart and talented I could be.
Sometimes as young men we feel something is owed to us like the prodigal sons that we can be. We demand things from our fathers that are in them to give and not search for the things for them to keep. Often times we are given what not to be as the encouragement to stay on the straight and narrow. And when we receive the tainted treasures of heartbreak, physical abuse, mental and spiritual abuse, along with drugs, and alcoholism we fall victim to the sways of the world with a hellbent obsession.
Crime does not benefit the committer or the victim. The victim can not return to their place of sol-ace. The committer believes themselves to be invincible until his reckoning comes. The court, the chains, then the cage that houses the individual for a time, and, more time. In my case, a quarter century.
Like the prodigal son, playing grown had left all of my blessings behind. My future in the rearview mirror and when I desired to wash my face, brush my teeth, it would be done in the dark be-cause that young man who chased hellbent after nothing, but the illusions of this world was place where you can hear the gnashing of teeth, tears and cries of other hardened men as yourself, the madness ,chaos, debauchery, and witness every weakness, sin, and hate of oneself daily. It burned the spirit of how John the revelator speaks of a place of a habitation of every foul and hateful bird.
Does God forgive a sinner like me? Why should he? He has given me more gifts and talents than I should have. And all of my foolishness pre-prison to post conviction has not found me of best of character. Why should He care if I do not? The man that I choose to be is not in align to what and who I could be. I am as much savage in the environment as the next man if not worse and I am not asking for forgiveness.
I knew what it was to work in the fields, feed the swine, eat the same husk that the swine ate. I felt depression, I felt the walls closing in, the pain of a mother passing away while in this cage unable to say I love you and hold her as she passed into the next life. Glory!! She was my rock as I was the worst of sons. An embarrassment, a regret, ugly, and ungrateful. A sin and shame in the eyesight of God is what I saw in the mirror I diligently hid from in my cell.
But my mother before she died told me, “Son you do not have my permission to be an average man. I gave birth to you to be an extraordinary man.” I said yes mam because she was dying and I thought it was simply the talk of a dying woman. Then she said, “God still has purpose for you. And I pray for you.” She died a few days later.
For a while I tried then gave up. Parole came and I was not ready to be released. Angry, angrier, content in my madness, you owe me to free me did not understand how God was preparing me. How I had to be humbled and understand what my purpose would be. It took me thirteen no’s to receive the yes. In those thirteen years I had to move to another facility, get past my self and let God into my heart and cry out to the Father like the song by Patrick Lundy “Even Me” and found Jesus not waiting to grab my hand to guide me but the whole time patiently whispering in my ear.
I have been home for close to three years. I have been a member of Kairos for almost twenty -three years, but actively participating since 2010. The Kairos community upon my coming home continued to perform my plays, supported me through brotherhood and in return I the same. And my family received me, my mother’s prayer sees me striving, I have an awesome, awesome wife, a daughter, serving in my churches prison ministry, and many more blessings. And I praise my God every day. WON’T HE DO IT!!!!
Three Cheers for Palanca !
We are so excited to carry on our love of Emmaus by helping with Palanca . We are ready to collect, organize and distribute Palanca.
Do you want to make palanca bags ? We have a pattern .
Join us on this Rainbow journey... As we share God’s love .
Ruth Washburg and Becca Washburg
Weekend Fees - Take Note!
The Weekend Fees for 2020, as set by our Board of Directors, are:
Application Fee $35
Pilgrim Fee $215
Team Fee $250
While we're not in the habit of distributing the large volume of internet-sourced Christian media, every now and then a message arises that is so clear and convincing that we feel compelled to share it.
Many of us have heard this story, but it bears repeating.
Watch and enjoy!