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Cursillo-related Movements
> in various Christian Churches > Koinonia
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Koinonia is the Greek word for "fellowship" - the term early Christians used to describe their gatherings. Koinonia is a multi-denominational community that through prayer, fellowship, and sharing of common experiences helps individuals feel God's purpose for their life and focus on becoming more committed Christians.

It is fashioned after the pattern of Cursillo.   So, there are two basic parts to the method: 

  • First: a living experience in Christian community, a Koinonia weekend. 
  • Second: opportunities to share life and faith with others, and to gain - especially through small sharing  groups - the support and encouragement necessary to be an apostle (meaning one who is sent out) in today's world. 

The Koinonia movement began in the Presbyterian Church in Findlay Ohio, in 1972.  It was developed by an ecumenical group of Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, and Quakers.   In 1975, Koinonia spread to Buffalo, NY, owing its existence to Roman Catholic Cursillistas who offered to share their method of renewal with the Protestant community. 

Koinonia is found in different American locations such as: Arkansas, Colorado, Colorado Prison at Florence, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Northern Colorado, Oregon, Texas, Washington and Western Colorado.  It was introduced to Canada, in Southern Ontario, a few years ago, with the help of Cursillistas from Buffalo,.  Since then the two movements have been closely associated and mutually supportive.  In Buffalo, NY and Burlington, ON, the Catholics of the Cursillo Movement and the Protestants of the Koinonia Movement help each other during their respective weekends and join hand in helping the Kairos Movement in the three prisons of the region.  They also look forward to implant Kairos in other prisons of Canada.

In the diocese of Washington, Koinonia is recognized as a Christian ministry of the Presbyterian Church, USA, Synod of Alaska-Northwest.  It could be the same with the Oregon and Montana groups, although we are not sure.  But all the others are independent, nondenominational groups.

More, from an e-mail received on March 29, 2005

De Colores Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
My name is Patrick Van De Motter. I made my Koinonia weekend at West Side Koinonia in Cleveland, Ohio. K-55. I just finished as a Troubadour on K-57. I find it almost overwhelming to go from a nominal Christian to a burning heart Christian in 3 days. This movement is phenomenal. I would also like to let you know that there are 3 Koinonia communities in and around the Cleveland Area. I believe that Buffalo NY community help found the Lake County Koinonia in Ohio. Lake County helped found West Side Koinonia in Olmsted Falls Ohio. West Side Koinonia helped found Inspiration Koinonia in Burbank, Ohio (Near Wooster, OH). Perhaps, if this keeps rolling along, there will someday be more burning heart Christians than nominal Christian.
I thank God for this movement and all that have gone before me. It is the closest thing I can think of to the REAL Christian communities that St. Paul always talked about.
God bless all who take part and spread this good news