Dear First Pres,

 On Sunday I announced an important new team in our congregation. We now have a group of folks who are trained to be Circle of Care leaders. As I said on Sunday, a Circle of Care is a one-time gathering focused on one person who is struggling with any kind of issue. The purpose of the Circle of Care gathering is for that person to share their story, be heard, and experience the love of Christ in a safe, prayerful community. The goal is for the care receiver to know the healing of Christ in the context of Christ's community.

   One of the things we've learned over the past many months is that being heard is a critical need for anyone who is struggling. Of course, to be heard, a person has to be able to articulate their experience, which is also a critical need for relational, emotional, and spiritual healing. Finally, healing happens best in community. So often, we tend to isolate ourselves in our hurts and traumas. We keep them under the surface; we keep them to ourselves. But when we do, we short circuit the healing process that God has designed for us. God made you to experience the wholeness of God in the context of His community.

   For each of these reasons, we believe these gatherings can be a transformational experience for people in our congregation and beyond. In fact, those of us who have already experienced one can testify to the way that God has worked in this simple experience to help us move to the next step in our healing.

   To initiate a Circle of Care you can simply connect with any of our trained leaders. Your contact will work with you to build a team of three or four trusted leaders that can meet for your Circle of Care, typically for one or two hours.

   Finally, a Circle of Care is not the "end-all, be-all" of healing. But it is already a proven experience to help people move forward in their healing process. So, if you've been holding on to a hurt for weeks, months, or years ... if you're in the midst of struggle right now ... if you feel stuck, I hope you'll have the courage to contact one of our leaders to discern if a Circle of Care is right for you. Seeking Christ's healing in our lives can be hard work, but it's totally worth it.


P.S. Here are the folks who have been trained as Circle of Care leaders. You can contact any of them to get a process started. 
Lana Roberts, Meagan Bergem, Gerre Brenneman, Stuart Conrad, Jim Dice, Touradj Etezadi, Debbie Fletcher, Jim Franz, Melanie Franz, Chester Goodale, John Goodell, Lisa Goodell, Linda Guzman, Terry Jaurena, Carolyn Johnson, Allan Knepper, Dianne McKneely, Lori Meadors, Ann Morgan, Margie Nunez, Chris Popadich, Lisa Popadich, Jeremy Vaccaro

Circle of Care Information is available here