Koinonia of Jamestown & Chautauqua County 


   The Cursillo movement has its roots in Spain. In the late 1940’s, Bishop Juan Hervas realized the people of the diocese lacked the spirit and enthusiasm of the early church. He gathered together a team of lay persons and clergy to formulate a plan to make Christ a living reality to the people.


   In the United States, a small Roman Catholic parish in Texas held its first Cursillo in 1950. The weekend experience remained regional in popularity until the late 1960’s.  It then grew into the Louisiana area and began growing along the Mississippi River Valley.  In the mid 1970’s, congregations in the Ohio Valley were hearing about this wonderful experience in the Christian faith.

It was in the late 70’s and 80’s that a number of Protestant and Roman Catholic clergy got together to share information about Cursillo. The guiding of the Holy Spirit lead this small group to nurture the beginning of Koinonia.

From Painsville Ohio, Koinonia spread to the First Presbyterian Church of The Covenant in Erie, PA.



   A Koinonia weekend focuses on the basic “ how-to’s” of the Christian faith: how to live for Christ, how to live with Christ, how to live with other Christians. It is literally an intensive short course in Christianity.

Lead by a team of specially selected and trained lay persons and clergy, the weekend stresses the meaning of God’s grace, the necessity of spiritual growth through prayer, study and action. It deals with the needs to carry Christ’s message to the community and the world both individually and through the Church.

The three day weekend begins on a Friday evening and ends Sunday evening. It shares some features of a conventional retreat but otherwise is unique in its structure and content.


   Those who attend live, listen, discuss, worship and sing together. It is truly an experience in meaningful Christian community!  Our purpose includes a deep and abiding respect for all Christian denominations and practices of faith. We are a group of Christian lay per- sons who believe that it is essential to demonstrate to others their love of God and His graciousness. It is also our hope that when others experience the love of God as we have, they will renew their active commitment to the congregation of their choice.






   Koinonia is a term derived from the early Christian Greek of the New Testament. The term meant “ Christian Fellowship” or ‘to gather together for the purpose of Christian fellowship”.  The term has been adopted as the name of the ecumenical Christian movement that came from the Roman Catholic experience called in Spanish, Cursillo which means “ short course”.


   Koinonia then, is the lay group that has developed out of the ancient purpose and activity of Cursillo.  Other groups that share the purpose and activity of Koinonia are recognized by different denominations such names as: Crysallis, Kairos, Walk to Emmaus, Footsteps, Great Banquet.  Our organization has chosen the more inter-denominational term, Koinonia.






   After a number of seasons of traveling back and forth to Erie, there were enough Koinonians to hold a weekend experience in Jamestown in 1991. The Lord has allowed us to grow and to prosper.  We would be pleased to share an unforgettable experience of God’s love with you!


   As part of the program experience, you will be asked to join in activities that demonstrate a developing knowledge of the Christian faith.  You will never have more fun being a Christian!  Talk to a Koinonian about sponsoring you for a weekend. Complete an application and join us!

Koinonia of Jamestown & Chautauqua County


P.O. BOX 331

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. 14702-0331