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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 10, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas 6A ■ Herald-Zeitung ■ Friday, Feb 10, 1995 , Church Life t ■ To talk with Managing Editor t Mark Lyon about Church Life, call 625-9144, ext. 21. I H oral d-Zeitung fl Church Life Giving help to the separated and divorced Friendship More than half of Amen-ca’s marriages are dissoh mg > in divorce or separation rn according to the University Hr of Wisconsin. bi    What can be said to pro vide hope to someone whose marriage has reached the terminal stage? How can persons who are separated, llieheel    divorced or enduring a trou- bled second marriage find McManus useful advice? Here are some suggestions drawn from my newly revised book, Marriage Savers: How To Help Your Friends and Family Avoid Divorce: First, if you are separated—you can rebuild your marriage. That’s not what the world says, of course. Even pastors advise the separated: "Get on with your life.” But what does that mean? Forget your partner of years or decades, and look for someone else. This is tragic, foolish and unbiblical advice. Divorce is universally harmful to children and to most of the adults involved. Judith Wallerstein wrote in "Second Chances,” that even a decade after divorce, most people suffer from "loneliness, anxiety or depression.” The divorced are twice as likely to suffer heart disease, stroke, hypertension and cancer. Some are happier after divorce and remarry. But three-fifths of second marriages fail. Therefore, the church should help the separated to reconcile with spouses. "Approximately five million couples, or IO percent of all currently married couples in the United States, have experienced a separation and reconciliation in their marriage,” wrote Howard Weinberg in "Journal of Marriage and the Family.” (Feb. 1994) And he says a third of women attempting a reconciliation succeed. And if the church gets involved, the odds get much better. The best single step is for the separated couple to attend a weekend retreat for troubled marriages called Retrouvaille (French for Rediscovery), a Catholic lay-led movement open to all faiths. In Fort Worth, 70 percent of the 817 couples who attended through 1993 were living apart—yet 70 percent rebuilt their marriages! Alicia and Bob Waning, who direct Retrou-vaille in Northern Virginia, were attendees when they heard a "back-from-the-bnnk" couple tell how they healed a marriage after both had cheated on each other. "That gave me hope. We never did that,” Alicia recalls. Bob adds, "It helped me heal my brokenness and I learned to trust in Alicia’s basic goodness." To learn more, call 713-455-1656. Another possibility is a course created by Jim Talley, one of America's foremost "marriage savers.” It is best led by couples who have rebuilt their marriages. It is helpful to the separated even if one partner doesn’t participate. Rule one is "Do not date,” even if one’s partner has run off w ith someone else. By remaining faithful to one’s marital vows, the possibility of reconciliation is held open. Often a departed spouse returns, willing to try again -but not if the other is dating The wounded partner needs to rebuild his or her self-esteem at four levels: spiritually, emotionally, lovingly, and financially Bible study is essential. The course involves writing in a workbook and having it reviewed by a mentor couple, which helps one to regain emotional control. To learn more, call 405-789-2900 Regrettably, most churches do nothing for the divorced, though divorce can be devastating. People feel ripped apart, raw and angry What’s needed is a "divorce recovery workshop” that can give practical advice on how to rebuild their lives, and put them into a support group nurtured by those who have recovered from divorce, The First Assembly of God in Rockford, Illinois, created such a workshop that has helped 2,400 people since 1983. Your church can create a similar oasis for the divorced wounded. How? A remarkable series of 13 videos by DivorceCare, an interdenominational ministry based in Raleigh, North Carolina, has been produced which taps the wisdom of America's most knowledgeable experts such as Jim Talley plus 79 average people who talk about their pain and recovery. It includes a detailed manual on organizing DivorceCare For more information, call 800-489-7778. Finally, what if you remarried and have stepchildren? Have you found you are living through unexpected, horrifying explosions? A kid screams "You are not my mother You’re my wicked stepmother!” Roswell (Georgia) United Methodist Church has created a remarkable answer a "Stepfamily Support Group” that meets biweekly. It has cut the stepfamily divorce rate from 65 percent to 5 percent The information above comes from a new chapter of Marriage Savers Helping the Separated, Divorced and Subfamilies. (Michael McManus is a syndicated columnist.) My Wednesday starts before rational people reach for their first cup of java. I shower in the dark. don’t want to wake up too quickly, and never hit the light switch until I am forced to put the razor to my cheek. nA||r||e Before a ray of sun- " shine hits the deck, I G3ll3n©f am gone, usually running late because I took one too many shots at the snooze alarm. I am not a morning person. Fact is, I’m not a night owl either. And I like to take naps in the afternoon. I guess that just makes me a "sleep" person. But nothing could keep me from this standing appointment. Not even my love affair with dark rooms and warm bed covers. Because by 6:30 a.m., I am receiving one of the greatest gifts that anyone can be given. The gift of friendship. Over the years we have bounced from the church sanctuary, to an occasional home, and finally to Hill Country Cafe. But no matter where w e wind up, the coffee is always hot and the friendship rich. Through the years the topics and faces have changed but one constant has remained the same. Each early Wednesday I receive the encour agement that only true friends can give. Social scientists tell us that loneliness is the number one pain in the soul of America. To no one’s surprise, youth gangs are prevalent because they provide a sense of belonging that young people no longer find in families. Translated, that means a cure for loneliness. Though divorce is one of the most traumatic events that a person can endure, 75% elect to remarry. In fact, a divorced person has a greater likelihood of marrying a second time than a never-married person for the first time. And all because of loneliness. And here is Gallaher’s unscientific study. Pass by any place that serves coffee in New Braunfels between the hours of six and ten in the morning and you will find groups of folks yakking it up and solving the world's problems. All because of our God-given need for friendship. We fight to the grave the nagging thief called loneliness, don’t we? When I was in college, I worked for a time at a nursing home. My first day on the job, one of the nurses asked me to help move a resident who was close to death in order to place clean sheets on the bed. I had never been close to a dying person in my life and was vainly curious about the whole affair. The old lady didn’t respond as we moved her this way and that in her bed. Her eyes barely followed us out of the room. But my heart was pricked. I knew that I could not allow this person to die without even a prayer being uttered. So on my break, I walked back into the dying woman’s room. Placing my hand on the woman’s head, I began to pray, out loud and without shame. Imagine my shock when I felt another hand on mine and heard another voice beginning to “amen” my prayer. If the old lady was dying it was merely for lack of a friend. Her sickness was acute loneliness. A condition, incidentally, that all have the power to heal. Granny Smith and I soon became fast friends. She was an old-time Pentecostal saint whose family had abandoned her to the nursing home and never, and I mean never, visited. And all she really wanted was to be called “Granny” and for someone to hold her hand for a bit. She was lonely and without a friend, and I, a nineteen-year-old college student, would do just fine. I was her lifeline. All because she needed a friend and I volunteered for the job. Remember the story of the Last Supper? Jesus is preparing the apostles for the tragedy of the cross. One of the most important things he tells them, though, is about friendship. Not dying or suffering or rising from the dead. But friendship. It was foremost in His mind because He knew it would bring the greatest comfort during the painful days ahead. He said it this way: "No longer do I call you servants, but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. ” Friendship goes beyond kiss on the cheek niceties. Friendship goes deep. It is abiding like a well-worn path in the woods. It is common and everyday but it is the crown jewel of life. It is not expensive to give but is the most precious of all gifts to receive. And everyone who has been called "friend” by Jesus has the great privilege and task to do the same to others. So here’s to my Wednesday morning buddies. Thank you for your friendship. You consistently give me hope and encourage me to dream big. Thank God that you are my friends. Bet you’re wondering about Granny Smith. She didn’t die. At least not then. Each day, I would go in and talk and pray. She was back in her wheelchair scooting around in the hallway in no time. The nurses said that she "rallied” never could tell about these old people. But I know better. It was friendship that did it. It is one daily vitamin that she couldn’t do without. Can you? (Dennis Gallaher is a guest columnist and is pastor of Freedom Fellowship Church in New Braunfels.) ‘United We Build’ Phenomenal growth forces Oakwood Baptist to begin $1.2 million expansion By MARK LYON Managing Editor About two years ago, members of Oakwood Baptist Church began realizing that one day they would have to have more room, more space. However, back then, they probably didn t figure the need to expand would come as soon as it did. Now, two years later with with at least three Sunday school classes meeting off campus, special committee members and members of the congregation have moved to meet the need for more space with a $1.2 million expansion project which includes the construction of a new youth education facility, a structure which will more than double the size of the existing church building. "For two years we’ve seen considerable growth," said Dudley Blakeney, Associate Pastor and Music Director. "Since the arnval of Pastor Ray (Still) two years ago, we’ve just seen our membership grow and grow. We formed a facilities committee in the spring of 93 to determine the best use of our space. We did a lot of rearranging and moving things around to make the best of w hat we had. But soon it was just inevitable that we would have to build on." The expansion project, actually the first phase of a three-part project, will give the church a much needed facility for an evergrowing youth education program The new structure will include more than 7,800 square-feet while the existing church is 14,900 square feet Later, the church hopes to build a new sanctuary and perhaps an athletic/activity complex. An expanded parking lot to be located slightly behind the church is also in the works. Blakeney said the church has set a three-year goal to have the project paid for, with A more    than $760,000 having already    been pledged or raised toward that goal. The education facility could be finished as soon as October of this year. "That is pretty ambitious," he said. "It could very well be November before we move in but we’re shooting for October." Growth within the church has caused the church's facilities committee    to become creative in planning. Two adult Sunday school classes have been meeting    at Schwamkrug's Steakhouse while another has been using the ROTO facilities at New Braunfels High School. "There was some talk about expanding or building a new sanctuary first," Blakeney said. "But our real need first was for a new education building. We’ve been able to schedule two morning worship services on Sunday which has helped our worship accommodations. We're having to project for the same type growth in the future, trying not to be overly confident but at the same time not being to conservative. We're excited about this and hope to get started as soon as possi- At th* ground breaking ceremonies are (from left) Pastor Ray Still, Don Hill (architect), James Schmaltekopf (Bible Study Director), Bill McCormick (Chair of the United We Build Committee) and Jack Chisholm (Chair of the Facilities Committee). Members of the Facilities Committee breaking ground at ceremonies held recently include (from left) Joe Perron, Bill Jones, James Schmaltekopf, Pastor Ray Still, Shirley Wright, Jack Chisholm, Tom Barganier, Nail Morton and Roxi Vanstory. ble." Actual construction could begin as soon as mid-March, he said. After the decision was made to expand, a special committee, called the "United We Build Committee" was formed to plan for the expansion. Through their efforts and considerations, the expansion project began First Protestant Church hosts alternative music recording star Clay Crosse Feb. 17 Nashville’s hottest top recording star, Clay Crosse, will appear in concert, Friday night, Feb 17, at 7:00 p.m. at First Protestant Church in New Braunfels (comer of Seguin and Coll streets). Clay had two #1 hits in 1994, and two songs in the top five hits for 1994. His 1994 tours included performances with Twila Pans, Kathy Troccoli, and the Young Messiah (Word Record’s showcase of top recording stars). As one of the top performers of the "alternative music scene,” his musical sound and the lyncs to his songs are applauded by a wide range of listeners. Tickets are $ 10.00 and can be purchased at the PPC office, all locations of The Shepherd’s Shoppe, and from designated ticket representatives. Call 609-7729 Seating is limited, so purchase your tickets now. ‘Let patience ripen in us’ set for Dayspring Dayspring Christian Fellowship meets at Memorial Elementary School at 1900 S, Walnut Sunday mornings with Sunday School beginning at 9:30 and Morning Worship starting at 10:30. This week’s message, "Let Patience Ripen In Us,” will cover seven principles for managing anger. Please join us for this message in our current series on "The F ruit of the Spirit.” We have a staffed nursery for each service and a Children’s Church is available. Everyone is welcome. "In Essentials, Unity; In Non-Essentials, Liberty; In All Things, Love.” MVBC makes move Mission Valley Bible Church has moved We have relocated our Sunday morning services to the downstairs banquet room of Treetops on the River restaurant. Our Sunday schedule begins at 9:00 a rn with 4-U, a ministry for middle school and high school students. Our service continues at 9:30 a.m. with Worship including contemporary praise and worship songs, Bible teaching and preaching, and ministry time During the teaching time, a nursery and Children’s Church are available In addition to our new location and schedule, we have also begun a new friendship with the Vineyard Association of Churches Our congregation is "A Friend of the Vineyard " lf you have any questions, call our office at 629-8101. ;