Mom’s Group

For the most recent publication of my church magazine I wrote an article highlighting a Mom’s Group. Meeting this group of women encouraged me in my own walk. What started out as a writing assignment has become so much more.

Every other week these ladies meet together to discuss God’s Word and pray for one another. It is so empowering to be surrounded by other mothers who seek God’s direction in the same way that I do. Below is the article that appeared in the publication as well as a photo of the finished product with photo credits to Beth Simmons.

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Group Highlight-Crystal Beres’ Mom’s Group- By Lauren Sisley

Many of the cLife groups at Covenant are open to all types of people and from every point of life’s journey. One thing that makes Crystal Beres’ group different is that it is a cLife group exclusively for women. The group was founded on the principle that women need to band together and encourage one another. Currently, this cLife group is reading through Hope Unfolding by Becky Thompson. This text helps to direct conversation about being a woman and living out that purpose with hope.

Christina Galvan is a young mother of two who has been encouraged by attending this group. “It’s easy to feel lonely and like no one shares your struggles as a mother, but when we meet I feel uplifted. The women’s group has impacted my life in a positive way and has connected me with strong and encouraging women I may not have met otherwise.”

Women who attend this group are mothers of babies, toddlers, and young adults. The group is also composed of both singles and married women. It is unique when women of these different distinctions gather because they serve as mentors and resources for each other.

“This women’s group quickly realized we needed to encourage each other in our marriages first before we focused on our kids. We know that sometimes our husbands get seconds when we have small children, but when we focus on our marriages God blesses the whole family.” Host, Tami Iguchi says of an important focus of the group.

Ali Spann has been attending the women’s group for several months and says her favorite part is, “how open and honest everyone is. I feel secure sharing things going on in my home and knowing I will be encouraged and not judged.”

After her first visit to the group, Jessica McMillan said the group was, “close knit, but willing to open up to visitors.”

The women of this group have come to value this time so much that they have  organized nights for their husbands to get together and meet in a similar format. cLife groups are designed to be places where we do life together so if you are a woman in need of a team to encourage you or lift you up in prayer, then check out this women’s group led by Crystal Beres. They meet every other Monday night at the home of Tami Iguchi.

Brothers on the Field

The following is an article that I wrote for the Covenant Life Magazine May 2016 issue. This is a publication put out by Covenant Church quarterly. Some of you have been asking to see the article so here it is:

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Fifteen minutes south of Grove City in the small town of Ashville, God is moving in big ways through athletes at Teays Valley High School. Neal Davis, a senior captain of the football team and member of Covenant Church, has made a big impact on the life change taking place on that campus. Neal began to cultivate a relationship with Christ his freshman year of high school and soon became a leader in his school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Neal used that platform along with his enthusiasm to spread God’s Word in order to reach his team.

“I was invited by my FCA Advisors and David to attend Covenant and I was looking for an uptempo and more modern church. Everyone shared my excitement for God and I felt like I belonged.” Neal recounted about his initial experiences at the church.

As a leader for FCA, Neal was in a position to impact others and lead them to Christ. Through his involvement in teams and FCA he met Walker Moore. Walker, a younger football player, looked up to Neal as a team captain. Before long Walker began to notice that there was something different about Neal. He wasn’t like many of the other athletes. Although passionate about his sport, Neal still displayed his faith on the football field. He was encouraging and applied the principles of his faith to playing the game.

Walker began to spend more time with Neal and soon came to faith as well. Shortly after Walker accepted Christ, Neal invited Walker to Covenant Church. Through their friendship they have been able to reach and impact other members of their team as well. Both Neal and Walker have felt called to roles of leadership amongst their peers and are known for their character throughout the high school. They both have a large influence and credit God for their successes in academics, sports, and beyond.

However, it wasn’t always that easy to bring his friends to church. Over the next two years Neal continually invited other members of his team to attend church with him often without success. But one week after many attempts he was able to convince the team co-captain and quarterback, Drew Pennington, to join him on a Sunday morning.

“Neal asked me to go with him several times, eventually I decided to check out the church and I loved it. Now I attend Covenant nearly every Sunday.” Pennington recounted about his decision to call Covenant Church his home. Prior to attending the church Pennington had not accepted Christ. He had always known that God was making a big impact in the lives of his friends and he soon would experience those changes himself once he accepted the invitation.

It is through the prayer and persistence of one high school student that God brought several members of a team to know him. Neal’s journey of faith and his courage to reach out to others around him started a chain reaction on his team.

“Faith, Family, Football…” Neal’s mantra is a perfect example of how God has shaken up the lives and priorities of these three high school athletes. In a day and age where kids and families can be so centered on what they do these boys are choosing to place their focus on who they are in Christ. They are all three extremely talented athletes and two of them will be competing beyond the high school platform, but they have learned that if God isn’t first then everything else is worthless.

This January, all three of these students decided to make an outward expression of their decisions to follow Christ and were baptized. God has started a chain reaction with this high school football team, but this story isn’t finished yet. One of the Core Five values of Covenant is that We Bring Our Friends. Their story serves as a lesson to everyone that the more we step out and invite others to church the higher the possibility that those people will accept that invitation. This is a reminder that it just takes prayer and persistence to set off a chain reaction in your sphere of influence. If you don’t give up even when a friend, family member, or co-worker says “no” God may still be using you to work on their heart.

 

“I have been growing in my relationship with Christ and I felt that being baptized was that next step to growing closer to Christ.” Walker Moore

 

“I had always wanted to [be baptized] and I knew if I did in January my friends may be more comfortable doing so too.” Neal Davis

 

“I decided to put all of my faith and trust in God and to follow the path he has for me.” Drew Pennington