Kairos Cookie Ministry

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It was traditional in many societies to clear our cupboards of foods made with butter, eggs and fat that would be given up during the Lenten season. However, may we offer an alternative suggestion, use those ingredients to make cookies. We don’t need them until April 7th but they can be made ahead of time and frozen.

Please make each cookie with prayer. These cookies help open hearts to repentance and forgiveness and an awareness of God’s vast love.

Bake any recipe you would like, but please keep in mind that if we are to take each and every cookie into the institution, we need to follow certain guidelines.

This means that specific ingredients cannot be used. When baking, please remember:

  • NO raisins or other dried fruit or coconut

  • NO toppings such as sugar, decorations or icing

  • NO candy such as M&Ms

  • NO nuts

  • YES to chocolate and butterscotch chips

  • COOL COOKIES completely before placing them in 1 quart zip lock bags

Cookies should be approximately 2 to 2 1/2 inches in size.

12 cookies per quart size ziplock bag
Please indicate the type of cookie on each bag
We need 100 dozen cookies so feel free to start baking now and put them in your freezer.

Questions? Please call Cheri Martin @ 540-837-1774

All cookies need to be here by Sunday, April 7th.

A Kairos Christmas Greeting

From Kairos Team #32 and the woman at Fluvanna Women’s Correctional Center, we send warm Christmas greetings and a sincere thank you to all at Trinity Church who baked your wonderful cookies for our fall weekend.

These cookies are extremely important. They provide the mainstay of our program for the women; they set the stage and comfort zone for our round table discussion groups; they serve in our forgiveness ceremony; and, one dozen is given to everyone of the 1,200 prisoners late Saturday night. We are able (with a guard) to enter the wings of the prison and personally distribute the cookies. It warms one’s heart to see grateful faces and to hear their expression of gratitude—most asking God to bless those who have remembered them with these cookies. People who don’t even know them.

There is one thing of which I was unaware. Since Fluvanna is a maximum security prison, no homemade food items, from family or friends, are allowed to enter the facility. The Kairos cookies (which are screened) are the only homemade foods allowed in the prison. Now we really understand why they are so special to prisoners and staff alike.

As one woman once said to me, “I really came for those cookies but I’m leaving with so much more.”

I never cease to be amazed at how the Holy Spirit can move and change hardened hearts in a dark place into those hearts filled with forgiveness, love, peace and joy.

In closing, I would like to share a few comments from the women at their closing exercises on Sunday afternoon. They are given an open mic opportunity to describe their weekend experience:

“I found God’s face this weekend, and I’m overwhelmed with joy for what he has done for me and for others.”

“It took me seven years to get to Kairos. God knew that this was the right time for me. God is really real. God worked through you [the team] to say exactly what I needed to hear. I’ve had a problem trusting people; I build walls. I cried my make-up off thirty minutes after arriving here. I thank God for His love—for loving me—when I don’t deserve it.”

“God has shown He loves me; He’s here for me; He’s going to help me.”

“I’ve always had a problem with forgiveness and have held on tight to past hurts. I’m a wall-builder. These talks have been an eye-opener, and I’m slowly removing my blinders.”

“I was angry with God! Why did he allow me to come here? Now I know that He has a plan for my life and I need to let go and let God take control. It all starts with forgiveness of myself and others…”

“I spent my life running from God. He knew that the way to get me to Kairos was to provide cookies. I love cookies! Better than that, I’m so happy! I gave my life to Christ. Today I was filled with the Holy Spirit. I’m no longer ashamed.”

Thank you, friends of Kairos and supporters of our program. As we enter this holy season of Advent, let us thank God for the greatest gift of all—His Son, Jesus Christ.

Faithfully Yours,
Cheri Martin

KAIROS at Christmas: The Gift of Forgiveness

This fall KAIROS weekend (October 7-9) took a different direction for our team and the women of Fluvanna Correctional Center at Troy, VA. Instead of our usual preparation (which includes your wonder cookies!), our leader felt that God had called her and each of us to explore the very important topic of forgiveness.

As you may know, God’s unconditional love and forgiveness are at the heart of the KAIROS Prison Ministry. And within prison walls, unforgiveness runs rampant; however, unforgiving spirits lurk far beyond the confines of a prison. They can affect each of us in our daily existence, robbing us of experiencing God’s love and peace for ourselves and for those with whom we share our lives.

The topic for our retreat was, “Forgiven People Forgive.” In a series of shared personal talks and discussions, several things became clear.

  • Forgiveness is a choice we make out of obedience to God. Matthew 6:14-15 tells us : For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
  • The world tells us to get even, to revenge; but as followers of Christ, we are to become God’s mirror. God desires His forgiven people to be those who forgive.
  • We forgive for ourselves. When we withhold forgiveness, we hold ourselves hostage to something or someone else. This act causes anger and bitterness. This spills over into our lives and only hurts us.
  • Forgiveness is a process. We may forgive others, situations, or ourselves, but to forget is difficult. Forgiveness doesn’t erase the past, but it gives us a chance for a better future. We must surrender the issue to God, lay it in his hands, keep our focus and trust in Him, for He as promised to deal with our hurts in His time and on our behalf.

For me, personally, forgiveness is a gift – a gift given to each of us by the grace of God through the shed blood of His precious Son at Calvary. That act of true love and true forgiveness was one for which we will always be grateful.

As we approach this holy season of Advent, may we focus on the most valuable Christmas gift of all – the love, forgiveness, and freedom granted to us by our Lord through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Yours faithfully, Cheri Martin