Dear WGA Friends,

Greetings to you all; all of you are so very important to us personally and to the vitality of the work here at Where Grace Abounds.  We are so grateful for your prayers and investment in our ministry!  As I write this letter and think about the past year of ministry, I am grateful to you for your prayers and financial support.  Without you, we could not have offered all of the exciting and meaningful services that have touched the lives of so many. 

Our Thursday night group continues to provide opportunities for people to learn more about sexuality and relationships and to share the deep struggles they are facing.  For Tom B, this was the first time he had ever told another person about his struggles with same-sex attractions. His voice shook as he spoke, and the weight of shame was lifted. The group was able to reflect back the love of Christ to him. Another Thursday night, the topic was about how repressed grief can be a roadblock to our own emotional growth. As I looked around the room, there were many with tears in their eyes, wanting a touch from God. These are just a couple of examples of what happens there each week.

We have been blessed to work with a number of interns over the past several years. These are counseling students working towards becoming licensed professional counselors. They are able to get some of their required group hours working with us. The ripple effect of working with these counselors in training is amazing to consider, as they leave and begin to work with men and women in their individual therapy practices and churches. Two years ago, we had a married couple interning with WGA who then had WGA come to their church in Bismarck to teach a seminar. This connection has led to another seminar for the leaders of 34 churches in 2020! We just don’t know what God is up to until we see the fruit of the labor coming to harvest.

In 2018, we held our first Story Slam. This was a fun event where people shared a personal story on a specific theme. It was such a hit that we did two more of these events in 2019. Our themes for this year were “Resolve” and “Balance”.  The stories were creative, fun, silly, and/or serious. These events have proven to be a good way of introducing new people to WGA and to raise some funds as well. You can check out some of the stories from our Story Slams by visiting our event website at www.myWGAevent.org.

Over the past few years, we have seen a big increase in requests for us to speak in churches and local ministries. We’ve had a couple of speaking opportunities each month this year.  The recurring topic that we’ve presented the most has been “LGBTQ+: Loving the People Behind the Letters Well”. One pastor was especially interested as there are LGBTQ people in his church, and his daughter had recently “come out” to him as well. Additionally, several organizations have asked us to come and talk with their leaders about how to navigate the issues of gender identity within their ministries to youth and the challenges of offering housing when transgender people are in need of their services. We’ve spoken on a variety of other topics related to sexuality and relationships as well. Please let us know if you’d like to have us come to your church!

If you stop by our offices, you will not notice that we have a new roof (because it is a flat roof and you can’t see it, hahaha). But, rest assured it has been replaced and has already stopped a few leaks and will help preserve this building for the future. We also got a bit of new siding and will be having a painting project coming up soon. Let us know if you’d like to help paint! We are so blessed by a donor who has stepped in to pay the majority of the expenses for the roof and siding.

Looking ahead into 2020, I am filled with excitement.  We’ve got more speaking opportunities already filling up the calendar.  Our regular Thursday night group will continue, as we delve into our ReSOULutions series topics of Ways of Healthy Relating, Roadblocks to Healing, Sexual and Gender Identity and Sexual/Relationship Addiction. We have another Story Slam on the horizon (May 30th), where we will honor Mary Heathman for her 75th birthday.

As you consider any year end donations that God is directing you to make, will you partner with Where Grace Abounds in ministry to men and women in need of God’s healing in their sexuality and relationships?  With enough funding, we would love to hire an additional staff person, specifically someone who is younger and more tech-savvy than the rest of us. And we would love to increase our presence online, developing some video resources and online support to expand the reach of WGA’s message. Will you help make it possible for the WGA staff (Roger, Scott, Mary, Steve, Jill, and Nancy) and leadership to continue training pastors and other ministry leaders to effectively minister to those dealing with sexual problems? You can make a donation by clicking on the link here: Donate.

On behalf of the WGA Staff, Board of Directors, and Leadership Team,

Roger Jones

Executive Director

 PS  As a specific financial prayer request, WGA needs an increase of about $2,000 of regular monthly gifts to meet our budget. Thank you for your prayers!

 

Roger Jones

Roger Jones

Executive Director

In the spring of 1995, the conflict Roger felt between his faith and his sexuality, as well as an addiction to pornography, led him to WGA. His personal journey has provided him unique insights into sexuality and the pain of adversity, which he shares through his testimony, facilitation of small groups, writing and public speaking. Roger began working with WGA in October of 1996 as the Assistant office Manager. Since that time, he has worn many hats and served in several different positions, including Assistant Program Director and Operations Director. In April of 2007, Roger assumed the position of Executive Director. Roger attended West Texas A&M University, where he studied Music Business. Much of his training has been “on the job,” where he was mentored by the ministry’s Founder, Mary Heathman, and the Program Director, Scott Kingry. He holds a BA from West Texas A&M University. Roger, his wife Jill, and their daughter Julia and son William, attend Celebration Community Church where Jill serves as Associate Pastor.

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If you enjoy reading WGA’s blogs and would like to show your support, please consider making a donation. Where Grace Abounds is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The majority of services, including support groups and discipleship counseling, are provided free of charge. Your financial gifts help to cover the costs associated with offering a free program to those who seek WGA’s services.

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