South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice
Epiphany Ministry is an ecumenical Christian Ministry for young men and women who are in the custody of Juvenile Justice Facilities. The weekend models on which it is based are: Chrysalis, Cross, Cursillo, Happening, Kairos Prison Ministry, Tres Dias, Vida Nueva and Walk to Emmaus. Our purpose is to manifest God's Love to incarcerated youth, known as "Stars". Each Epiphany weekend involves a team of adults and youth from the Christian community who work together to show the Love of God to those attending.
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. 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 of 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.
"I was in prison and you visited me...Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:36-40
Willow Lane Chapel, Broad River Road Facility
Links to other Epiphany sites: