Thursday, September 2, 2010

Emmaus Ministries, Sooo Much Training!

Emmaus Ministries has been generous in their training of the new Kaio Community interns. There are six of us. We have vastly different gifts, interests and personalities. Emmaus provided two weeks of training. The goal is not simply to make us effective in our ministries. The goal is to integrate us with the rest of the staff and to make us a team.

The first two and a half days consisted of a full staff retreat at Lake Geneva Wisconsin. We stayed at two homes. Our hosts were Jim and Pam, loyal and active E.M. volunteers. Pam also made e meals and they were wonderful. My favorite part was sleeping in the enclosed porch with 14 windows.

We spent our time in a dance between the larger E.M. family and our small groups. We did ice-breakers, trust exercises, and sharing. We also had time to learn about the history of Emmaus.

In between we played and we worshiped. We had a break in which some folks swam in the lake and others went antiquing. More importantly, we got to know one another in a variety of settings.

The first night we attended a Contemplative Prayer service at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Fontana. We were given a very good description of the history and process of Contemplative prayer. Afterwards we met with the priest, Father Dan and he talked about the gifts, vices that are part of the Christian life and how Benedictine values are integrated into the spiritual life to help Christians access or claim the gifts. He was a wonderful and compassionate man.

The second day we met at a local protestant church. We continued with our exercises. We were increasingly enthusiastic, we were enjoying one another’s company. The minister joined us and learn about Emmaus. He, like the priest the night before was visibly moved by the ministries of Emmaus.

In between all of the good fellowship, the dissemination of information, and the exercises we prayed together. By the time we left for Chicago we were beginning to have a sense of what we could become together as an intentional faith community (Kaio) and as a ministry (Emmaus.)

The next two days of training wee at Emmaus. We learned about procedures for working in the office, the ministry center and for outreach. Food preparation, laundry, group, discipleship, intakes, donations-in- kind and working with other agencies were just a part of what we were introduced to. It was a long but productive week.
This week has been equally demanding. We all started working in the ministry center, doing clerical work, as needed, in the offices and a few of us were began our outreach work. Outreach is from 10 PM until 3 AM. This Friday we will learn more about male prostitution and then have an Immersion Night. The training will be until midnight. Saturday we will have training from 1 PM until 9 PM. We will be learning about boundaries, self-care and how to approach the guys and the different.

In between all of this training the Kaio Community has been learning how to be a community. We have moved furniture, cooked, prayed and played toghet. We are all very different but this is the honeymoon stage so those differences are great.
Well, gotta go. There is a thunderstorm now and I have to go on outreach. This is a great learning environment.

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