Crossroads of Hope offers hope to registrants

By Sandy . . . For persons required to register whose life “before” included regular or even occasional church attendance and worship, being ostracized from the fellowship or forbidden to attend due to restrictions or laws can be one of the more devastating consequences of life on the registry. And for those who are seeking a church home for the first time, the registry is a barrier that can be difficult to overcome.

Crossroads of Hope, a new church, was established to help mitigate that devastation and break down those barriers.

Founded firmly on the Christian faith, Crossroads is a non-denominational, virtual church whose first service will be held online on March 27 at 1 p.m. central time.

According to their website, “Crossroads of Hope is a community of faith rooted in the love of God. In his earthly ministry, Jesus focused on the people most marginalized by society. We are a church with an eye and heart towards the incarcerated, former incarcerated, and others working to reintegrate into society and family.”

The executive pastor is Pastor Jon Kendzie. He is responsible for the care of staffing, training, operations, technology, and finances.

Pastor Jon has served in ministry for 19 years, seven years as a Stephen Minister®, a non-profit Christian education organization; ten years leading in a traditional church setting; and now leading ministry online.

He and his wife of thirty years have two sons. His educational background includes a Master of Divinity from SMU’s Perkins Theological Seminary, an MBA in global business, and a Bachelor of Science in marketing from the American University. He is also certified in spiritual counseling.

In reflecting on his vision for this new ministry Pastor Jon had this to say:

We have a big vision for this community, and it is built on small groups. Online worship is a great way to gather and share in a pastoral message, but having that sense of “belonging” hinges on being able to build friendships and connections. So, while registered citizens and their families are central to our vision, we welcome all people who want to know Christ and grow in knowledge and love of the Lord.

There’s a reason our tagline is “Forgiven. Faithful. Family.” First and foremost, we want our attendees to experience Crossroads of Hope as a place where they feel accepted and forgiven. We are ALL sinners in need of forgiveness (Romans 3:24). We have all made mistakes we regret, and we all miss the mark of living out God’s will for humanity. Jesus tells the woman in John 8, “Go and sin no more.” In this, Jesus is saying our past is behind us; what we need to focus on is who we will be in the future.

Secondly, we want this to be a place where people can grow in faith. It is a safe place to ask questions and find answers to our faith questions. Finally, we want COH to be a place where people feel like family.

Initially, we will build this personal connection in our volunteer serving teams, and more so, through LifeGroups. LifeGroups can be Bible studies, but they can also be people gathering to go jogging or kids’ play-dates or breaking bread together. We envision that we will identify areas where local, in-person groups may be possible as we grow. As we identify these, we will find ways to invite people to meet locally in LifeGroups, serve in community missions, and worship together. We may even step into opening local church campuses.

What we are not is “the answer” to church. We see all Christian churches as equally valid expressions of Christian faith. We are simply creating an environment where people who are challenged to feel welcomed in many of America’s churches can feel safe and supported in growing their relationship with Christ.

Pastor Jeremy Pierce leads the online worship. Pastor Jeremy developed his calling to the ministry during incarceration, which equips him in a most singular way for ministry in a church “with an eye and heart toward the incarcerated [and] formerly incarcerated.” His particular focus is with those often seen as modern-day lepers: those listed on sexual offense registries and their families, who bear the same ostracism and feelings of shame as the registrants themselves.

Jeremy and his wife have six children and two grandchildren. He began his educational history during the eight years he spent in the U.S. Navy, completing a Bachelor’s Degree in technical management from DeVry University. He later completed a Master’s Degree in educational studies from the University of Phoenix.

Pastor Jeremy describes himself as having an “easy-going style that will meet you wherever you currently are in life.” He stresses, “Crossroads of Hope is a safe, non-judgmental worship and faith community. It offers opportunities to make connections and grow deeper in faith through LifeGroups, which are now registering. Those with musical talents, welcoming dispositions, and leadership skills are encouraged to explore the service opportunities at Crossroads of Hope. There is a place for you!” It is also of prime importance to him for those on the registry to know and believe that the registry does NOT define them, a position that NARSOL heartily endorses.

More information, as well as contact information, can be found on the church’s website.

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7 Thoughts to “Crossroads of Hope offers hope to registrants”

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  1. Philip

    Apropos and similarly to the words of one of our greatest leaders Abraham Lincoln, it’s high time we had a church of the registrants, by the registrants, and for the registrants. Blessings to the long-suffering, their families, friends, and vested partners.

    Best wishes on a fruitful launch to Pastor Jeremy & Jon! Here’s hoping to see you all at the first worship service on 3/27 at 1 pm CT [or 11:00 am PT, 12:00 pm MT, or 2:00 pm ET] in the metaverse at https://crossroadsofhope.online.church/

  2. Linda Emmons

    I think that is wonderful. My son will be on the registry when he comes home in In a couple of months after completing a required 4 month class. It is great that someone has the desire to help those on the registry… at the same time I am appalled that churches would turn away registrants, those most in need of forgiveness and hope. I thought the church was a place for broken and hurting people…. and their families who have stood by them who also have to endure the hardships from being on the registry. We are all sinners in need of God’s love and the love of others. It is great there will be an online church but some on the registry cannot have internet.
    Linda E

  3. Tim in WI

    Online worship? Now there is a place to contemplate Christian culture and notion of God and Jesus for those slaves ostracized by the traditional church where people gather in person physical attendance. As if the database driven church is a fine substitute for the traditional communion of men and their maker. All sorts of people contemplate and praise God on the DDI. Some even openly curse and openly blasphemy God in the Cyberverse. The seering irony that the registry database is used by human to broadly impose affirmative restraint on human attendance to worship ( among other things) is now contemplated as an equitable replacement to proceed in effort resonates unstomachable. Welcome to the Internet of things. What is next? An online confessional? What was once a interpersonal whisper to pastor or preacher, from man to man, is now broadcasted via electronic text box?

  4. Facts should matter

    Freedom in fellowship is a hollow win and simply not enough.

    Freedom from being made a spectacle out of Online is the only true victory.

  5. A Mistake They Made

    A real church of God does not discriminate. I am glad there is one now.

    1. Tim in WI

      IDK friend if we can correctly identify online gathering as “Church” but human discrimination is an inherent trait of being human. There is no escaping it, else it would have occurred already. Same as we tend to build better mouse traps to lend an easier softer way. We simply build machines to meet that end. It keeps us from starving to death or stagnating and we can lay claim to human progress and a better existence based in elusive notions of equity, harmony and union. But alas such notions evade humanity all the more. And again even as we renew our resolve to abate the conflicting conditions – via means not human as by database machine -we fail.
      Here in WI we’ve recently had to witness a case and aftermath of a young man who literally chopping up his own parents. It has hardly gotten any national press! Wasn’t that long ago we’d another young man and killer who kidnap a young teen after breaking into the family home and killed her parents which got an amount of press coverage! The girl survived by escaping a month later. More recently, Another guy ran over a largebportion of a parade- vehicular homicide! That got national press for a week.
      Something is very very very wrong and no database, and especially any gov database, is going to fix that or prevent it either. All it did was promote something other than the full faith and credit of the people of the United States of America on a World Wide Scale.
      After all, we could claim to treat the people well. That is to say “our treatment is excellent in these cases.” We’ve corrected that person by means of treatment. I mean, why call it literally “The Department of Corrections” if you’re not interested in laying claims to having the ability to successfully do so?
      Something is very vey very wrong here.

  6. w

    Different values today. With the internet, smartphones, and social media suddenly free speech became weaponized. Principles like being a decent person took a backseat to sensationalism and hysteria…concepts that are eerily Democratic in nature. And you guys keep falling for it everytime.

    The people don’t matter, just the votes.