The Equipper Newsletter
August 2, 2010
Churches Equipping Saints for Service

 Building a Family
by Beth Kettner  
(Editor's note: I met Beth at the Women's Leadership Institute conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this past April. When I heard her story, I wanted to share it. Sometimes the Holy Spirit blesses a church through unexpected people coming together in unexpected ways. Kudos to the leaders at Hope for supporting this ministry. --KK

He had been coming to the same church for over 30 years. A quiet man, no one noticed him much. Not knowing how to go about meeting new friends in a church, he stayed on the sidelines, going right home after worship. Another person, a woman, helped with Sunday School for years, yet no one knew her. She was pleasant and friendly, but lacked enough confidence to reach out to anyone. This went on for years.

Then there were some new things going on at the church, Hope Lutheran Church in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Many things -- pizzas parties, picture-painting, a congregational Christmas party, roller skating, apple festival, Easter egg decorating, kids' painting crafts, little girls' tea party, dog show, trips to local attractions, and cake decorating - a series of less-than-traditional opportunities for people to get to know each other. The elderly, the little ones, the people who didn't know anyone, could come together and have some fun.

Strawberry picking in June was a hoot. We piled into the church van, and enjoyed our back-road, countryside trip, till we arrived at the farm where we could pick our own strawberries.

How did all this start?

I was that Sunday School helper. Other than the head teacher, I did not really know anyone. There were many friendly "hello's" at church, but I don't remember anyone asking me to share a cup of coffee or ask me how I was. I felt alone. I wasn't active in church and didn't know much about it. Then Diane opened her home and four of us women came over to play cards. The second time we had seven women. Then others were invited.

It was a great way to get to know wonderful people and brought me joy. But I felt a pull for something more.
 Good Stuff on the Web
If you're wishing you could get immersed in equipping skills, consider the LifeServe Conference coming up in late September in Columbus, Ohio, sponsored by Group Publishing Company and the Externally-Focused Network. The wealth of workshops and the opportunity to network with people from churches across the country, make this conference (the only one of its kind) well worth the investment of time and money.

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The Equipper Newsletter published monthly by
Karen Kogler, Equipper Church Volunteerism Resources