Divorce Care group provides members a chance to heal
On Saturday, a group of Tonganoxie area residents will meet at CommunityAmerica Ballpark for a night of baseball at the home of the Kansas City T-Bones.
The event is in conjunction with a relatively new program at Tonganoxie Christian Church -- the Divorce Care group.
Matt Clayton, the church's minister of discipleship, said the program, which began last fall, has proven to be popular. The group started with six people attending, and ended with 14, Clayton said.
Clayton stressed this is not a singles group.
"It's not a chance to find another husband or wife," Clayton said. "It's a chance to grow and heal together."
The participants' ages ranged from the 20s into the 60s, Clayton added.
Though the first session has ended, Clayton said a few summer outings are planned, such as the Kansas City T-Bones game. Clayton said it's too late to make any more reservations for the game, but those who are interested are welcome to attend a July 6 trip to an evening concert in the park at Lawrence. The group will leave the church at 6 p.m., have supper at a restaurant in downtown Lawrence and walk to South Park for the concert. Children are welcome.
Participants of the Divorce Care group or activities need not be members of Tonganoxie Christian Church, he said.
Clayton said the program began last fall with a video curriculum. After that, the group studied the Bible, focusing on the Book of Romans.
"It dealt with the issue of freedom that we have in Christ -- the forgiveness we find in Him," Clayton said. "Then it moves on toward the end of Romans and talks about life in the family of God, how we're supposed to be in relation with each other."
This doesn't mean the church recommends divorce.
"The Bible speaks clearly about it that divorce doesn't follow God's plan for marriage," Clayton said. "But what we find in Romans is when we come to Him with it and we're willing to confess it to him and repent and try a new way, there's grace available."
Clayton said some participants told him the Divorce Care sessions helped.
"They found freedom from the ... feeling like they were the only one or that they were out of place in the church, which they're not, because the church is a bunch of people saved by grace," Clayton said. "I think sometimes in our churches, people feel like they have to put on the mask of everything is fine."
And, the sessions appeared to have strengthened the beliefs of some of those who participated.
"Three people were baptized during their time in the group," Clayton said.
Clayton said the program was so well received, the church will sponsor it again this fall.