Archive for July, 2017

What is a “support group” ministry/BLOG?

Posted in singles in church on July 23, 2017 by xybatt

People ask me from time to time, ” How is your singles group?”

That is a great question! How is our group? Can I even define the “group”? What does the group do? Where does it go? Why is it (there)? Who is (in) the group? What is the group for?

First of all, L.A.U.N.C.H. (Let’s All Unite iN Christ’s Honor) has never been a cut and dry, located, put your finger on it group. It is a (extremely) loose SUPPORT ORGANISM. Often “it” is a one way support group with a purpose of encouraging Christian Singles as they navigate through the challenges of life. Occasionally a few (maybe 12 or 22 or 200) single Christians and their friends and family will gather together for an event. An annual Singles Conference somewhere in Florida. Singles Classes at lectureships (Spiritual Growth Workshop in Orlando or Pepperdine in Malibu). A tubing trip, a Christian concert, dinner, Christmas lights or the Paula Dean trolley in Savannah. We have been to a Braves game and the Georgia Aquarium, Sightseeing in New Orleans and New York and the Tenth Annual Singles Retreat at Disney. More often, it is a case of friends chatting online about the hardships of life. Complicated times like being alone yet the mother of six. Being a believer and working to produce better entertainment in Hollywood, grieving the death of a wonderful spouse or the loss of a potential marriage. Celebrating the joys and accomplishment of life. You see, as Christians, we are the church. Individuals with the highs and lows of a roller coaster. A high five here, a brush off of dust there. And prayer. I am happy to lift each name in prayer when asked. Mission trips? Many go and serve in Central America, Africa, America’s Inner Cities and recently for us, Europe.

Where is the group? Well, some live in California and others in New Jersey. Many are scattered around Florida and Tennessee, Texas and North Dakota, Lithuania to Honduras. Ten percent are people that I have met face to face (does that surprise you?). Most are people who text, FB post or E-mail. Stories of abuse, neglect and disappointment. But also tales of success, new starts and triumph.

What can you “accomplish” with such an eclectic group? A good question! I don’t have a great answer….. I can point to the obvious.

  • Over 20 years an unfunded, non-budgeted ministry has been instrumental in over 100 baptisms and many more people returning to their church roots.
  • Numerous marriages have occurred and only one “failure” that I know of.
  • Kids who we met in youth groups have stayed loosely connected through college, dating and now share there marriages and baby pictures.
  • Numerous bumps in the road have been overcome and more will be encountered.

What does the future hold? Hmm. Again, the obvious.

  • LAUNCH 2018 Singles Conference will be in Tallahassee and old friends will gather and new friends will be made.
  • Small get togethers (like wave boards, fish tacos and a sunset) will be shared.
  • Opportunities to reach others through meetings with ministers locally and chats around the country will occur.
  • DivorceCare and personal notes and phone calls will help people heal.

     If you are looking for a “real” ministry that you can define led by a “real preacher”, this isn’t it. If you are looking for a place to connect, encourage, ventilate or just read to improve, L.A.U.N.C.H. Christians Singles could make a difference for you.

 

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Exploring Our Traditions and Heritage While Traveling on a Mission Trip

Posted in Mission BLOGS on July 15, 2017 by xybatt

     Exploring our traditions and heritage while traveling….(picture of Luther advertisement in Mall in Germany)

We know that MOST of the churches of Christ are in FIVE southern US states.  We have 30 congregations in the Pensacola area and some towns (like Huntsville, AL, Nashville, TN and Houston, TX) have hundreds of congregations. Plus, we have numerous other Restoration movement churches including Independent Christian Churches, Disciples of Christ and Community churches. It is NOT like this in most of the northern US and in Europe a similar church is almost non existent.

My friends in Germany attend a church affiliated with their daughter’s school. They are very concerned as their female minister is “gay” and plans to marry her lover. They have few options as most churches are traditional Lutheran or Catholic. The church of Christ listed in “our” web site had a non working phone and e-mail. Bottom line is that fellowship is hard to come by.

We took 52 kids to camp this year. Most were age 6-9 years old and few come from families who attend church anywhere. The kids do not have the basic Christian basics that American kids get in any local denominational church. They do not know who Jesus is, that he loves them and that church is a privilege and an encouragement.  This is the first full generation of children raised in a country free of the restraints of the Soviet Union. The young adults who are their parents were not raised with church and few attend.

The Christians in Lithuania are good, strong and faithful. They love to fellowship. A quick phone call and several will meet you to “hang out”. They have few believing friends, family or co-workers. In addition to the small Vilnius church of Christ there is a small Baptist church, a small Pentecostal church and a community church. Period. The rest of the country are either Catholic, Lutheran or Orthodox. Yet, love abounds and Jesus is Lord.

I suggest to each of you to examine your beliefs. Give thanks for the many fellowship opportunities at your door step. Find ways to tell others what Jesus has done for you. And never take it for granted.

 

 

Freedom to go on a mission….a blessing of singleness

Posted in Single Living, Uncategorized on July 6, 2017 by xybatt

     You are single and answer to only God and yourself (unless you are a single parent- another story)

Why not go on a mission trip?

We ( Jameson went with me this year) just returned from Lithuania. I went last year (with daughter Jessica).

Here are some positive observations from the trip:

  • It is very easy to encourage AND be encouraged! There is not another church on the corner or in the next neighborhood to “compete” or “steal sheep from”.  The Christians there are thankful for and willing to fellowship. They have a limited support system and love to talk and ask/ answer questions and show you their world.
  • Believers are not “worried” about the speck of sawdust in your life. They know hardship and reality. If you clap your hands or move your feet (in Step by Step), it is ok (and also if you don’t).
  • The mission field is not “politically correct” and you are allowed to not be perfect.
  • (At Ruta Christian Camp) everyone you meet is a Christian because of outreach. They understand how to be friends in Jesus.
  • The kids you minister to take their stories home and then they BRING their parents to church!!!!
  • You make lifetime and “forever” friends!

So, think about it! I need some good, patient and adaptable singles to go next summer. Or, go on a mission as a medical good Samaritan, build houses in Honduras or whatever!