Governor's CJ Service Award
Our Memorial Kairos was honored to be represented at the Prestigious Governor's
Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award Ceremony in Austin on April 6, 2017
In 2015 our Memorial Kairos “Inside & Outside Ministry Teams” was presented the Ministry Group of the Year Award commemorated by this beautiful wooden plaque handmade by the men in white at Memorial. Of course our “Inside & Outside” are all part of the same team but it is significant that the Memorial unit specifically chose to honor both as they recognized the important contribution of our support team to this ministry effort. Later, in the summer of 2016 our Advisory Council (AC) was asked by the unit chaplain to submit an application to be considered for the prestigious Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award. Our AC really did not know how to begin as no standard forms or guidelines for such a submission were found. We pushed forward calling on AC members & other members of the community to provide us with information on the ministry events related to Kairos since its inception at Memorial in 1988. In the process of this research, many revelations were discovered from veteran volunteers about the scope & impact of our ministry that were not known by our group as a whole. While regular Kairos ministry functions comprise the bulk of our volunteer hours, we were amazed at the myriad of other ministry activities outside of Kairos which were led by current or former Kairos team members & sprung from their original Memorial Kairos involvement. Kairos had served as the gateway for these additional undertakings that now impacted not only the Memorial unit but the greater community. The application which describes all of these volunteer roles is attached in its entirety that can be downloaded & shared with other members of the community.
In February of 2017, our Memorial Kairos received a notification letter from the Texas Board of Criminal Justice recognizing our efforts from this submission and requesting our participation in the awards program. When our application was considered by the state, the award was expanded to include all of Kairos of Texas. On April 6, 2017, the prestigious Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award was presented in Austin; Chuck & Kris Dewees along with Jerry & Mary Maxwell represented our Memorial Kairos at the ceremony (see picture). This is a great honor for our Kairos ministry & an opportunity for us to reflect on others who are so important to the ministry. Nothing could be accomplished without the cooperation & effort of the entire Memorial prison staff, including the wardens, chaplain, officers & others at the unit. In particular, we acknowledge their efforts that have allowed us to hold the multitude of ministry activities there for more than 29 consecutive years! We also acknowledge the Body of Christ which is larger than any of us. In the state of Texas alone, there are 44 Kairos Inside, 10 Kairos Outside, & 2 Torch for youth offenders. These programs have volunteer efforts similar to ours at the Memorial unit & are all well-deserving of recognition for their work and are included as such in this award. This is indeed a special honor for our Memorial Kairos, Kairos of Texas, and all of Kairos around the world.