Epiphany offers a three day short course in Christianity with on-going follow-up to incarcerated youth.
If you have been through Cursillo, Walk to Emmaus, or any other of the various three day renewal weekends, you will recognize the structure of Epiphany. Each day of an Epiphany weekend has a theme. Day one is you are loved and you are not alone. Day two is you are forgiven. Day three is God is counting on you.
Digital image by Bill Bengston
What an Epiphany Weekend is like
Epiphany presents talks which reflect Christian beliefs and values. We hold discussions in small groups or “families” at tables into which the young people that we call Stars are divided. At each table, there are five Stars with four volunteers: a leader and assistant leader (or table dad and table mom), clergy, and a table servant.
We perform skits, most of which are based on the parables of Jesus. We also sing seriously up-tempo Christian music. We have lay people and clergy do meditations on love, forgiveness, prayer, and what it means to be a Christian. We feed the kids - - a lot; that’s one of the carrots we use to get them to come to what they often view initially as just another religious program.
What we try to accomplish
We in Epiphany emphasize “Listen, listen; love, love." God’s love is real, and it’s our job to manifest that love - to make it apparent in our actions. One of the best ways to do this is to listen. We do not promote our personal beliefs or those our denominations. Our hope is to change lives. Part of the message these kids get is that there are alternatives to the lives they have led that they have never considered before. We teach a concentrated dose of Christianity as a way to realize these alternatives.