Back in 1992 when I began working at Where Grace Abounds, my role was “Assistant Program Director”. I was glad and anxious to learn the ropes of creating our Thursday Night Support Group every week. Yet sadly, within the next month or so the current Director was on his way to another ministry and I was thrown into the deep end of the pool. I was now officially the Program Director. Some of my duties included scheduling, training and following up with our group facilitators which help during our small group time. But another main duty is still creating content and curriculum and finding teachers and speakers.
Every Thursday evening since the dawn of WGA time, we have about a 30 minute teaching or someone sharing their personal story. Every month I’m beating the bushes for speakers and topics relevant to our group members. It’s an ongoing job—but what topics do we cover? In the first few years the topics were simply random every week but focused on various aspects of sexuality and relationships. Later, I began using different categories to pinpoint topics. We want to work with the “whole person” so I had 5 different headings like—emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual and relational. Within each category I had about 20 topics I could use.
The ReSOULutions Series:
In 2016, we as Staff decided to freshen up and revamp our program and came up with what we like to call our ReSOULutions Series: Restoring the Wounds in Our Souls through Real Solutions. The Series is a program comprised of 4 topical modules (listed below) addressing the need for understanding, ongoing resolution and healing of certain issues around sexuality and relationships within the context of our relationship with God. Each module is 4 weeks (Thursday evenings from 7-9 PM) and will offer lists of resources, teaching times, introduction of helpful tools, discussion and small group support time.
These modules have been developed for those who are seeking healing from deep relational wounds. For people who want to remove the barriers to healthy connection & community, as well as deepening relationships with God and others. Also, this program is for those who want to understand and support a loved one working through these issues.
The 4 Modules:
Seeking True Connection: Addictions are False Solutions
This 4 week series will concentrate on teachings, tools and support around the issues of love & sex addiction (and addiction in general). Definitions and contributing factors (such as shame, trauma, family dynamics, etc) will be discussed. The addiction cycle will be explored, along with resources to choose healthier options and alternatives when in the thick of temptation.
Understanding Sexual/Gender Identity & Same Sex Attraction
The components that form our gender and sexual identity will be explored in this 4 week series. The elements of same-sex attraction will also be addressed. Experiences from a male and female perspective will be shared, along with how these dynamics can affect families and other relationships. Other topics will be available, such as relevant theology of sexuality, as well as tools to create a framework for understanding these complex parts of who we are.
Roadblocks to Healing
Many different issues can get in the way of our growth and healing—some of these might be broken relationships, shame, abuse/trauma and negative emotions. These can prevent us from knowing ourselves well and connecting with others in a deep meaningful way. This 4 week series will focus on addressing our wounds, find healing and resiliency in the process.
Ways of Healthy Relating: Loving God, Self and Others Well
We are designed by God for connection, community, and healthy intimacy. As He continues to resolve and heal wounds in our lives, the need for healthy intimacy and connection remains. This 4 week series will concentrate on ways of forming deeper connections, offer tools, as well as give vision for healthy relationships with God, self and others.
How it Works
These aren’t just four random topics we’ve created—they overlap and interconnect with one another. We’ve all been wounded (Roadblocks), this may or may not affect our sexuality (Sexual & Gender Identity). We can also run to addiction to numb our pain (Addictions are False Solutions) and our goal is to relate in a healthier way (Loving God, Self and Others Well). We run the 4 modules in the Fall and in the Spring, with fresh topics for each module each season, repeating teachings about every two years. To participate in a Series, contact the WGA offices.
A staff member since June of 1992, Scott is a key player in the WGA discipleship ministry. He plans, organizes, and implements every aspect of the Thursday night support group. In addition to public speaking, counseling group participants and training leaders, Scott maintains personal contact with many group members and it is to Scott’s credit that many group members feel personally welcomed, cared for and loved.
Although he holds a degree in graphic arts, he attributes his ministry qualifications to the “school of hard knocks.” God’s abundant grace continues to be the instrument of growth in his life, and he desires to be firmly grounded in the forgiveness and freedom of relationship with Jesus Christ.
Scott attends a Presbyterian Church.
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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.