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On Monday, June 1st, we will be kicking off our second round of Sixty Minute Seminars. The seminars are intended to open up dialogue about issues that are traditionally not spoken of freely within the church (whether intentionally or unintentionally). In our regular 13-week reGROUP curriculum cycle, we don't have the time and space to explore specific recovery topics individually, but we recognize the benefits of doing so. This is what birthed the addition of the seminars to the reGROUP calendar last summer. The seminars are aimed to benefit three groups of people:

  • Those who may be struggling with one of the topics discussed
  • Those who love someone struggling with one of the topics
  • Those who are ministering to people struggling with one of the topics

I should point out that our goal is not to present a cut-and-dry "spiritual" answer with regard to these issues. And in fact, there may not always be one. For example, many of us hear topics like "Anxiety and Depression," and immediately come into the dialogue with some faulty assumptions about what it means. A well-meaning friend may tell someone who is clinically depressed that they just need to just trust God and "snap out of it." The assumption there is that the person is choosing to be depressed, or their depression is a result of a lack of trust in God. When we speak out of these assumptions, we are sending a message to someone in pain, and that message may not be true—but true or not, it stifles their willingness to talk about real pain with "church people." In instances like these, we are no wiser than the disciples who asked Jesus, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" (John 9:2)

Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

As one who has experienced my own round of postpartum depression, I can assure you no one would want to choose to be depressed. But, due to unfortunate (however unintended) messages like these, those who struggle with some particular issues may feel unsafe discussing them within the Body of Christ—the one place where they should feel safest to be broken. And perhaps one of the only places they can find real hope. As Jesus answered His disciples, "It was not because of his sins or his parents' sins. This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.”

The purpose of the seminars is to educate, dispel unhelpful assumptions, and offer some hope and some practical next steps for those affected and their loved ones. They are not meant to be the end of the conversation, but rather the beginning of some dialogues that are already taking place outside of the church and within the culture in which God has called us to minister in our particular place in history.

The first seminar on June 1st will be a kind of setup week, in which we'll explore the context for approaching these topics. It will be helpful to attend if you're planning to attend any of the other topic weeks.

 

Sixty Minute Seminars | Schedule

Mondays at 6:30 p.m. at the Herndon campus (live seminar) Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. at the Waterford campus (video from Monday)

June 1st & 4th | The Core Problem: Matt Casada

June 8th & 11th | Anxiety & Depression: Aaron Moore

June 15th & 18th | Sex Addiction: Michael Blackston

June 22nd & 25th | Eating Disorders: Ryan Casada/Kristina LaRue

June 29th & July 2nd| Co-dependency: Chris Burns

July 6th & 9th| Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Dave Stelling

July 13th & 16th | Vulnerability & Shame Part 1: Debbie Miller

July 20th & 23rd | Vulnerability & Shame Part 2: Debbie Miller

July 27th & 30th | Alcoholism & Substance Abuse: Lindsey Coates